on our way back from dallas last month, i ended up finishing amy poehler’s yes please. in short, i enjoyed it. of the triumvirate of funny-girl novels, i’d probably still rank it third behind mindy kaling’s is everyone hanging out without me (and other concerns) and tina fey’s near-perfect bossypants, but regardless, i liked it and in addition to sharing a few laughs with S (who was reading over my shoulder), i also had a few takeaways, too.
one of them being that she really loves her children and it’s incredibly endearing,
another being that she and seth meyers are like legitimate best friends (also incredibly endearing),
and finally, that she gives some pretty kick-a$$ advice.
nestled in a paragraph about parenting, was a tidbit of wise counsel about how to cope in a world where everyone seems to be in constant competition with each other. the advice mantra? good for you, not for me. six simple words with the power to change your entire approach in life.
we all tackle things differently. the way in which you choose to [insert any number of things here -raise your child, handle your finances, pursue your professional goals, spend your free time, etc.] might not be best for everyone else. that doesn’t make your technique right or wrong, simply unique to you. because at the end of the day, you know you better than anyone else, so wouldn’t you be the right person to consult when making decisions about how to live your life?
here’s the thing. i care a lot about what people think of me. maybe a little too much. and you know what? it’s exhausting. like i think i’ve been tired since 1993 when i realized that i needed to wear no fear shirts and black vans in order to be considered “cool.” so in hearing poehler’s advice, i was reminded of the realizations i’ve come to in the past year especially. you’re never going to please everyone. someone is always going to have an opinion about what you are or aren’t doing and how if you did it their way that maybe you’d be happier. but what’s that saying? what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander? that makes me sound about 83 years old, but there’s some truth to it. basically, just because a method is popular, or worked for your friend or their husband’s co-worker doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you. but it also doesn’t mean that you should negate or criticize their decisions either. i think we could all be a lot better off if we simply replied, “good for you, not for me” every time we were tempted to insert our opinion (whether solicited or not).
maybe this is a very long-winded way of saying this:
we are all running our own races. and more importantly, at our own paces. we train, we hydrate, we wear special sun-protective clothing. we do what we know to be best for our own path. you wear nikes? awesome. nike’s run narrow on me so i stick to asics. you listen to heavy metal music to motivate you? that’s great! i prefer podcasts to distract me from the fact that i’m running in the first place. you swear by gatorade to keep you hydrated? yum, the blue flavor is my favorite. but in all honesty i just prefer plain h20.
that may be an unnecessarily detailed metaphor, but you get my point. instead of picking apart why someone’s methods or decisions or lifestyle should or shouldn’t look more like our own, why can’t we simply celebrate it? we don’t have to be in constant competition with each other or constantly judging why so and so’s methods are “wrong.”
i like that my life looks differently than yours. and my methods are my own. and i love that yours are unique to you. it sure does make the world a heck of a lot more interesting and fun, doesn’t it?
so thank you, ms. poehler for your six-word sentiments.
good for you, not for me.
image via: the daily mail