I had a flashback this morning of one of my more outrageous "WHAT WAS I THINKING" moments. Most sane people would never admit to something this ridiculous, but I've never quite fit neatly into any official definition of sanity, so what the heck...
A friend was visiting on this particular day. (I always save my most embarrassing stuff until I have an audience.) The two of us were in the kitchen and I reached into the cabinet to get a glass, when horror of horrors, I broke a nail off on the cabinet door. NO PROBLEM! I keep nail glue around for disasters such as this. This just happened to be a particularly stubborn tube of glue that would not yield to my repeated attempts to twist the cap off. So, what would you do? EXACTLY! Put it in your mouth and try to open it with your teeth! RIGHT??? (I'm visualizing you nodding in agreement. It makes me feel better somehow.)
After struggling with it for a bit, the top finally twisted and came off. That was the good news. The less good news was that all that struggling had squished the tube and as the top came off, some of the glue squirted onto my front teeth. My teeth responded instantly by grabbing my top lip and forming an amazingly secure bond. (The like of which I've never been able to achieve on stuff it's suppose to work on.)
So - there I was, standing in the kitchen trying to carry on a conversation as though nothing had happened. It worked for about 2 minutes until my friend caught on that I sounded a bit funny and turned to see my talking (but not moving) lip.
Sadly, this friend has witnessed more that her fair share of my "what was I thinking" moments. I think she stays on just for the satisfaction she gets from the seemingly instant rise she perceives in her own I.Q.when we're together.
We all have moments that make us wonder where our brains were while our bodies were carrying out some absurd activity. Goof ups are just standard operational procedure. They're part of the "human condition." Maybe it was that relationship where we chose to ignore the entire parade of red flags followed by a marching band and entered into it anyway. Maybe it was the job we knew would be horrible for us but accepted. Or was it that business deal that we knew seemed too good to be true? It really doesn't matter what it was or yet will be. The important thing is that we don't define ourselves by them. (That's what the people who witness them are for!)
If I chose to measure myself only by the dumb things I've done, I wouldn't be able to pull the covers off my head each morning, much less crawl out of bed and face the possibility of doing something worse.
It's so easy to beat ourselves up. All we have to do is compare ourselves to others. The problem with that is that we always compare our worst selves with someone else at their best - in part, I believe because most of the time that's all we allow each other to see.
I had a friend who had a hard and fast rule. She said "Never judge anyone until you've looked through their closets." What she meant by this is it's easy to walk into someone's perfectly ordered life and assume it always looks like that. We forget that we all have closets where we put the things we don't want seen.
Another important thing I've learned is that it's vital to be able to laugh at myself. It makes it so much easier than just standing and looking dumbfounded while everyone is. I'm learning to be OK with my humanness. I've lived with myself long enough that I've grown accustom to my eccentricities. My husband thankfully has a sense of humor too or we'd both be in trouble.
If we just start out knowing that not everything will always go according to plan, it makes it easier to shake it off and bounce back when they don't. It's been said that "when we don't get what we want, what we get instead is experience" - and that's something we can't buy at any price - that and a new lip!
I can only hope that none of you can top gluing your lip to your front teeth, but if you can, and you don't mind sharing, I'd love to hear all about your craziest "what was I thinking" moment. My I.Q could use a boost too!