I was over at Wit & Delight recently and read an article on 10 Simple Life Hacks to Make 2018 *This Much* Easier.
I mean....how could I not click that link? Even if I only get one tiny tidbit out of this list (I reason), it will be totes worth it.
Then, the very first hack made me stop and think and grab a pencil and start a list.
Here's how it goes: we all do things probably daily that we know we shouldn't do. We know better, so to speak. Yet, we do them. Or we promise not to do them and then do them and re-promise not to do them.
The author of the great life-hack list (Megan McCarty) suggests actually writing out a list of these know betters, as a reminder of what we know and a sort of in-black-and-white analysis of the whole subject.
As someone who believes writing offers far more clarity than thinking, I took to this idea like I take to coffee and chocolate: that is...with enthusiasm.
Seriously, though, writing engages an entirely different part of the brain than does speaking or even making mental lists. So, to actually sit down and write out what we already know has huge benefits in terms of solidifying knowledge and helping us apply it to our daily lives.
With all of this in mind, I set about writing my list.
Here is my Top 10 'Know Better' List:
1. I know better than to sit on my laptop in the morning, for just 20 minutes, before the kids wake up. It's never 20 minutes. I always get sucked in. Then, the mornings are rushed. Lunches are slapped together. The kids are hurried along, grumbling all the way. My chest is tight, and by the time I drop them off at school, I can barely take a full breath. When I do not get online, the mornings are much more fluid, and anyway, I can always fire up my computer when I get home. I know better.
2. I know better than to eat after dinner. Seriously. Seriously. Seriously....I'm not sure how all these hipster Europeans are eating baguette and potato gratin at midnight, but this style of eating does me no favors. When I eat after dinner, I gain weight, feel bloated and have trouble falling asleep. Period.
3. I know better than to click on online sales links. I never need anything I end up buying. It's impulse shopping at its finest. I always regret at least one purchase. I spend money I don't have or money that could be better allocated elsewhere.
4. I know better than to drink more than one glass of wine at dinner. It's not that I get drunk or can't stop; it's that more than one small glass of wine makes me tired. When I'm tired, I flop down on the sofa and can't be bothered to do the dishes, put away food, fold laundry or help my kids prepare for bed. The evenings for most parents aren't easy-going, slow drawls into bedtime. They're some of our busiest moments, and they're also some of our most important moments.
5. I know better than to talk politics. Ever. Period. Done.
6. I know better than to say maybe when I mean no...or worse, to say yes when I mean no. I do this all the time because I am uncomfortable with other people's disappointment. I also often truly mean yes in the moment only to later realize, upon reflection, that I mean no. Now I pause, give myself some time to think or just say: no. It's scary....and liberating.
7. I know better than to let my children use technology unsupervised. There is absolutely no good that comes from allowing my children to take an iPad into a bedroom or close the door to the office while on the computer or spend hours on my phone. I know this. It's so tempting, however. The quiet is like a siren song. Still....if I could do one thing as a mother to better my parenting, it would be remove Internet-accessible technology from my kids' lives unless under direct supervision.
8. I know better than to blame my problems on my husband. This is big. Many of my friends do this. I do this. I blame my loneliness on our military moves, which I blame on him. I blame my lack of outside employment on his job...and him. I blame my overall sense of ennui on him. It's just so easy to have a scapegoat, no? The fact is, I am responsible for me. All of me. The biggest problem with being a victim is that it leaves the victim no say in the matter. The beauty of responsibility is that one can take life by the horns and make shit happen.
9. I know better than to wait. I need to wear the bathing suit now, in the ocean with my kids, instead of a year from now when I may (or may not) have lost 10 pounds. I need to enjoy this meal, this cup of coffee, this bedtime cuddle, this book...right now. It won't be better when the house is clean or the credit card bills are paid off or the menu is entirely junk-free. It is only here, right now. All of it.
10. I know better to than to think I know what's best for anyone else. I barely know what's best for me, and even that changes regularly. I have no idea which diet is best for you, which workout will make you strong, which dress you should wear, if you should go on vacation (or where you should go), how you should feel about Trump, if kitten heels will make you feel sexy or anything else. I have no clue. So...you know....maybe I should stop trying to tell you?
I could go on. I am tempted to make 'know better' lists for every area of my life; I am a woman of extremes, after all. This whole exercise makes me want to write a 'Know Best' list, too.
What do you know? Have you ever thought of it and made a list, written it down, put it to paper?
If you do....please leave comments and tell me at least one of your 'know betters.'