How do I stop worrying about every, little, tiny thing? How do I stop my constant fussing about what people say or do? I want to quiet my mind and direct it back down the path of creativity, but I get side swiped by my worries, and my thoughts that stem from these worries.
Oh my God! I’ve got it! I need to think like a man!
I have a joke saved on my computer; it is one of my favourites, for it shows, very simply, the difference in thought patterns between men and women. Both sexes find it amusing, it is an instant party chuckle. We all, men and women alike, nod our heads, making polite noises of agreement, as we stare at the picture I have included below, but when we women walk away, we silently wish, that on some days, we could jump ship and head over to the men’s way of thinking.
Let’s face it; an on-off switch would work.
Let me give you an example…when a guy tells his friend he looks like doggy doo (please excuse the paraphrasing) in that top, they both laugh, have a little playful man shuffle, (you know the one, we’ve all seen it…the shove/punch/slap or elbow nudge) while the other guy explains away the bad colour choice, or simply says he likes the way he looks, so get used to it! Some more man shuffle ensues, and the remark drops, a dead subject to the floor, and is promptly forgotten.
Now for women, it’s a very different story. God forbid if anyone, man or woman, comes forward and makes the same kind of derogatory top comment, or perhaps takes it a step further, and insinuates that the outfit possibly, maybe, makes us look slightly…gasp!…chubby! Well, get ready, batten down the hatches cuz there’s going to be an upset, and it’s not going to be pretty! Why, I ask you, can we not laugh it off as easily as our male cohorts can?
I seriously believe we could live a happier life if we could do as they do.
Instead, we go through the process…I speak of the thorough examination process. When a slightly ‘off’ statement of opinion is made to a woman, we take it in, we turn it this way and that, carefully examining every sentence, every word, every letter. We analyze the tone, the look, the inflection that was assigned to particular words, and then back up the remark we go, re-analyzing in reverse, in order to catch what perhaps was missed on the way down.
After all has been reviewed, to the ninth degree, we call in backup…we talk to friends…let me be more specific…girlfriends, and we go through the process once again, together. Finally, we decide, as a team, upon the appropriate primary or secondary reaction to the aforementioned comment.
It’s all so very exhausting.
Even in review, it is draining.
I want to learn how to do the man shuffle, so I too can let unfriendly commentaries drop, discarded and unwanted, to the floor.
Now, I could survive the clothes remark so much better (HA!…who am I kidding?!) than carelessly flung reviews of my writing. Admittedly, I am over protective of my newly formed words, not a way to be if I am to learn to negotiate the path to publication, but…
And yes yes, I know I have to grow a thicker skin, learn to turn the other cheek, let’s welcome in all the other idioms that may fit the situation, but honestly, it will be difficult at times, a learning process if you will.
I was told recently my writing was…and there seriously was a mind numbing pause before the word bomb was dropped…nice. I almost tripped and fell over this unsubstantial word. I should have left it there to languish harmlessly on the floor, but nope, no way! Instead, I had to pick at it like annoying gum stuck to my shoes, so that the comment glued itself to my thoughts, and became part of my worry bundle.
Now, when I am lacking the presence of a friend…which sometimes happens in life…I look for a stand in, a.k.a my husband. I sit down across from him and go through the conversation, building up with an actor’s flourish to the offending word.
I stop, and look to him for a reaction.
I shorten the scenario, putting even more stress on the word.
He blinks, he seems somewhat nervous. Is he expecting more?
Okay, he needs help. “So, what do you think?” I ask.
“Tell her to poop off” (paraphrasing once again)
“I can’t do that.”
“It would be rude,” I explain.
“But she was rude to you.”
“Okay, let’s try this again. Here are the cue cards.” I shuffle out the cue cards with ease as we have played this game before many times. Cue cards are sample scripts of appropriate friend responses for him to easily follow and execute. “Now,” I continue. “You have to play the role of friend for me today, as no others are available.”
I look at him; he looks down at the cue cards. “Just tell her to poop off.”
I gather my cue cards together and leave the room. He returns to his technical books.
An on-off switch would work.
Maybe nice is….well, just nice.