What I should know better by now

Life is a nonstop self-improvement project.

Unless you are magically perfect and always do everything right. (Sad to say, but doubtful.) Or if you’ve decided you’ve done enough to get better and now you can stay the same as you are forever. (Don’t do that. It makes things awkward for the people who have to interact with you.)

I am, at many times, an anxious perfectionist who has to accomplish things or I feel like I haven’t done enough. I have grown more aware of my own foibles over the years and have even come to accept a few of my shortcomings (maybe, just barely). I am making definite strides in the right direction.

But there’s some shit that I’ll just never learn. I’m going to wake up thinking I’ll change it today, then I won’t change it, and then go to bed promising myself I’ll do better tomorrow.


You’d think by now I would just accept that there is some stuff that’s just not going to happen. But I absolutely will not. My brain is convinced that future me will unlock the key to the secret that changes who I am. (Narrator: She will not.)

Here’s what I should know better but will never actually learn.

I’ll go to bed early tonight.

I absolutely will not do this. Instead I will look up from bottle washing or from dog walking or from folding laundry and sigh heavily.

Woman in orange long sleeve shirt stretches before morning jog
Oh hey. It’s me, tomorrow morning. (Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash)

I’ll wake up early tomorrow.

When I am training for races, I manage to convince myself that I’ll wake up early and run. I don’t. I managed to do this successfully for a stretch of a few months when my first kid was a baby. I will never get that magic back. Instead I will do the four mile run after the kids go to bed. (But don’t worry. I’ll still get to bed early.)

I’ll have more time to read next week.

In addition to going to bed early, I will also read an actual print book in bed before I fall asleep before 10 p.m. Oh wait. No. I won’t do that.

I’ll start regularly cleaning parts of my house on a schedule instead of when it gets too disgusting to stand.

Anyone who has ever known me my entire life can attest that I have never, not once, ever done this. (I sometimes have flickers of understanding, but they never last.)

I’ll get that that show on my watch list.

No, I haven’t seen The Wire or Friday Night Lights or Call the Midwife or Chernobyl or Killing Eve or Homeland or This is Us! Saved on my lists across various apps though. Don’t worry, I’ll never get to them.

I will successfully cook a healthy meal every night, work full time, do all the laundry and the dishes, update my blog, go on a run every night, and still get to bed early every night.

Just a parody of myself at this point.

I’ll invent time travel, go back to the Regency era, and find Mr. Darcy.

Really, he’d just be a complete nightmare. Get it together, me.

I will successfully convince people online that they should be more empathetic.

Never will anyone online be convinced of anything ever. It is why I type out impassioned defenses and then always hit the ol’ backspace before posting anything.

I will come to terms with the fact that I can’t do everything all the time and that’s okay.

Maybe this one’s not fair. I do come to terms with it sometimes and feel good about it on occasion. But it never lasts. Oh! There it is:

The self-improvement efforts I make will stick once I’ve made them and I won’t have to continually work on them like other humans do for reasons.

Turns out self-improvement doesn’t exist on autopilot.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to sign off so I can go to bed early, wake up at dawn to go on a four mile run so I can be ready for a full day of work, using my thirty minute lunch break to fold the laundry and prep dinner. That’ll give me enough time after dinner to read a few chapters and then hit the hay early.

5 thoughts on “What I should know better by now

  1. You know I identify with this um… a lot.
    Sayeed told me earlier this year that there’s no such thing as motivation. Everything is work and you just have to get up and do it and decide to do it again until it becomes a habit. And even then it’s an uphill battle. (So encouraging, my husband, lol) I’ve found this especially true after full-time momming for several years now and am still mostly failing at it. But every once in a while there’s a glimmer of success; I guess that has to be enough at this point.
    Also – don’t go back in time. Your period costume won’t fool anyone and you’ll be killed or you’ll create some kind of awful wormhole. Heed my warning, madam.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gabs I would like to request that you please get out of my head. It’s creepy when you much about in there. 😜
    I say this as someone who was 100% going to get all my grading done early and NOT stay up until all hours of the night the day they were due. This time I was going to get them done early. *yaaaaawn* wait what?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] I am good at giving myself bad advice. I do it daily. Not only that, I regularly tell myself the same kind of bad advice that for some reason I expect to be good advice today. Almost every morning I wake up telling myself that with a little work and some willpower, I’ll be able to fundamentally change my habits and who I am as a person. (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t work. For more on that, read about what I should know better by now.) […]

    Liked by 1 person

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