This is Liz. (from www.clipartpanda.com)
Not me Liz.
No. Liz is the Facebook-perfect version of me; the one that I would like to believe (and like you to believe, for that matter) that I am. Liz is the me that I fantasise that I could be. I like and admire the woman.
Liz doesn’t start her day by scowling and hitting snooze. He first words aren’t an irate reminder to her sprogs of what time it was when they finally fell unconscious last night. She just gets up, stretches a big, ginormous stretch (taking care not to knock the kids out in her enthusiasm) and sings: Good Morning!
Liz has woken with a perfect blood sugar level because she stopped snacking well before bed time last night and then tested. She therefore feels full of beans this morning.
Liz knows that her kiddies like to choose what colour breakfast bowl they get, and that crashing a boringly-coloured one full of already-soggy Shreddies in front of them while growling ‘Come on, we’re going to be late’ will make them sad.
While they are eating, Liz gets ready for work. She smiles at her reflection as she puts her clothes on. She feels good because she did yoga last night. She makes just enough time to dress carefully enough that she feels okay about herself. She doesn’t use make-up. This is not because doesn’t know what to do with make-up, but because she’s so confident that she doesn’t need it. Liz doesn’t get hung up about what other people look like. She knows that it doesn’t really matter.
Once she’s dressed, Liz brushes her daughters hair. Slowly and very gently. Even when Big Sprog starts screaming ‘No Mummy! It hurts! I don’t WANT my hair brushed!’ for no discernible reason, Liz negotiates gently and doesn’t say ‘but that can’t possibly have hurt!’ Or ‘just stand still, will you!’ or even threaten to drag her outside and cut the whole lot off. She just gives her a hug.
So Liz and her daughter haven’t fallen out by getting-dressed time. Liz then doesn’t need to turn out the washing pile looking for a worn school sweatshirt that isn’t too filthy, because she thought about this last night and washed one. She doesn’t need to hunt for Big Sprog’s book-bag or shoes, because she encouraged Big Sprog to tidy them away last night, after they’d read together.
In fact, if you were to photograph Liz and the children now, you’d find that they all looking much happier than the children and I did last Wednesday morning. Liz wears her cheerful start all around her, like an aura. It lasts for the entire day.
Liz isn’t perfect though. She never acheives the impossible: she wouldn’t get up at 6am for solo yoga because that’s the time she most likes to sleep and it’s hard to motivate yourself at your sleepiest time. She will never have an immaculate house because it doesn’t matter enough to her, although she does tidy up and put the bins out before the place stinks and she can’t find anything. She often makes mistakes, like asking awkward questions too loudly, or enthusiastically teaching her children that it’s great fun to howl like a wolf-dragon. She doesn’t dwell on it though. The main thing is, that whatever Liz does is good enough for Liz, because she always does her best without being unreasonable and without pushing herself too far.
The fact is, that I want to be more like Liz. I want to be the best Liz I can possibly be. Hence my new silly game: I keep asking myself what Liz the character would do. Liz the character, when she’s having a cool, calm and collected day. And then I do it.
Today I am writing this in a clear(ish) house. I went for a walk at lunchtime and yesterday I sent away a journalistic article for a weekly veterinary magazine. I just stopped writing this blog to do a number jigsaw with Tiddler becuase he needed some of my time, and now I am back to it again.
And do you know what? Being Liz is great.
From now on, I’m going to Be like Liz.