It is not often in my life that I say to myself, “This was a good decision.”
Phrases that slip more frequently passed my tongue are self-deprecating. “That was stupid.” “Why are you so clumsy?” “Can’t you do anything right?” “You should have done this differently.”
Strangely, whenever I speak to myself this way, I have flashbacks to my childhood. No, there isn’t some cruel adult saying these things to me. It’s not the type of thing my parents would say to me. Honestly, I vividly remember my Mom muttering the same phrases to herself on a daily basis, especially when things were a mess and it was ruining whatever she’s trying to do. Just low-grade self-shaming that we all do on bad days to make them seem just that much worse, right?
That is not to say that I don’t say positive things to myself. I spend a lot of my time telling myself how awesome I am, especially when I’m telling others the complete opposite. In my head I say, “I am super smart, way smarter than these dumb college kids.” To the college kids, I say, ” I’m not that smart.” This is a brilliant strategy to get them to agree with what I actually believe. I don’t always do this consciously, but if I catch myself doing it, I don’t stop myself. Unless I’m doing it to my husband. Then I’m just pulling mean, womenly wiles on him, which it totally unfair and not healthy for our relationship.
It’s strange how I never say mediocre things to myself. I’m either super smart or incredibly stupid. I’m never of average intelligence. I rarely congratulate myself for walking across a flat floor without tripping. Maybe I should start.
I constantly bemoan all my bad decisions. Of course, I only know they are bad decisions now. When I made them, I thought I was being conscientious and logical. But that’s how it goes for everyone.
My good decisions tend to be minor in the grand scheme of things. But lots of little decisions can add up to an awesome day. Make something special for breakfast. Finally tackle a small project I’ve been putting off. Those sort of good decisions won’t cure cancer or fix the economy, but they will cheer me up.
Today’s good decisions: Take Buddy on a movie date (Lucy => very good). Try tiramisu tea with coffee ice cubes and a dash of creamer (totally my jam). Make a stuffed beef tenderloin petite roast with horseradish goat cheese and a little dill (OH MY GOODNESS. ANYTHING TENDERLOIN IS A GOOD IDEA). End the night with homemade tiramisu (I have an addiction, sue me) ice cream over Kahlua soaked lady fingers and two spoons. All good decisions that led to a great day.
It’s easy to get into a cycle of negativity, to focus on all the ways I could have done better. It’s also easy for my ego to tell me that I don’t make mistakes, when that’s obviously not true. I think I will practice making more small good decisions.