In Which I Channel Stuart Smalley

Oh, please don’t tell me that you’re so young that you don’t remember Stuart Smalley from back before Al was the US Senator from Minnesota. Seriously. I don’t need to hear that.

I said recently that I wasn’t coming up with any resolutions, but I’ve actually got one. I’ve decided that I’m going to try to have only positive thoughts about myself. For example, instead of thinking “I’m a dork,” I’ll try to think “I’m full of awesome” instead.

This has turned out to be more challenging than I anticipated. For a girl with kick-ass SAT scores and an advanced degree from an Ivy League school, you wouldn’t expect that I’d think, “Wow, I’m unbelievably stupid” too often. Alas, you’d be wrong. I’ve realized how critically I view myself. Like, all the time.  Once I became aware of this alarming tendency, I decided that this bullshit simply. must. stop.

And shortly after making this resolution, I did something like, oh, I don’t know. . . drive my car directly into my garage door.

No, I’m not kidding. I wish.

We’d put one of those cargo carriers on the roof of our car for our holiday trip, and we hadn’t taken it off the car. I generally forgot that it was even there, but my driveway’s so long that by the time I’d traveled from street to garage, the garage door was fully open and I was in the clear. Except last week, when I planned to park in the driveway. Except it was snowing. So to avoid clearing snow later, I changed my mind, hit the garage door opener, and drove right in. Until there was a loud and alarming crunch.

Okay, so it doesn’t look so bad. But the door was broken enough and sort of bowed in just enough that it couldn’t go entirely up or entirely down. With the cargo carrier on top, the car couldn’t even fit into the garage. Luckily only the door itself was damaged: the car was fine.

Anyway, Cute W was out of town when this happened, and I switched to parking on his side of the driveway. Then, the night he was due home, I thought, “Gosh, he’ll be home so late, and he’ll be tired, I don’t want to disorient him by parking in his usual space.” I’d forgotten entirely why I’d parked on his side to begin with. So the next time I came home, I pressed the garage door opener, waited an extra-long time to ensure that the door was finished going up, and I drove into the garage door again. (If you’re confused here, see the phrase in italics in the previous paragraph.)

I couldn’t write about this while it was still fresh, but it’s resolved now. The door was semi-functional, but semi-functional just doesn’t cut it where Cute W is concerned, so he’s replaced it. The job took him all weekend, and although I tried to help, it was a bit like when your 3-year-old tries to help unload the dishwasher.

Actually, I was tempted to take a picture of Cute W, because he was wearing these grease-stained jeans with a super-masculine tool belt over it and a bunch of tools hanging off of that except that one pocket held a pencil with pictures of fluffy puppies and pink roses on it. It was hilarious. But at the time he was cursing and muttering, and I was overcome with remorse. And feeling like an idiot dumbhead a$$h63 intelligent person who had made an two unfortunate errors.

So again, it’s more challenging than I anticipated. But that’s what makes me feel that it’s a worthy endeavor. If you generally don’t do resolutions, or if you just haven’t settled on one yet, what about this one? Try listening to yourself and your internal monologue. And if it’s mean, unhelpful, or depressing, just shut it off. Replace it with something a little more joy-affirming instead. And if you’re having a bad day when you’re feeling like you’re not the sharpest knife in the drawer, just think: “Hey, at least I didn’t just drive my car into my garage door twice.”