In the world post-US election my stomach has been in a knot and I was having some small panic attacks. The day would be normal, then I’d check twitter and SOMETHING ELSE HAPPENED. And then my day was shot. I really felt like I needed to do something to feel less like my body and world was falling apart.
Add to that there have been some recent really big changes in my life. The kind that bring masses of bureaucratic paperwork and balancing the bureaucracies of two countries and multiple cities. Add to that my mail being forwarded to me via Taipei (choice of USPS, not me) and I’m missing a few deadlines.
Suddenly I’m thinking “I seriously need to get my sh*t together”. Nevermind the sheer amount of stuff I’m trying to juggle. Nevermind that I managed to move internationally with just a few week’s notice and managed to get a great apartment and get all my stuff here, despite the best efforts of United Moving and Clancy Moving. Nevermind that I wrapped up and left my last job in good shape and took on a new job with huge amounts of responsibility with absolutely no handover notes. None. Not a quick note. Nothing. I’d say more, but I really shouldn’t in public.
All of this is to say that I needed more than a $20 book.
Strangely, it wasn’t until I started to read that it hit me that this book may not be for me. I have a sky high credit score. I have retirement savings. I manage illnesses while managing major jobs.
Knight starts out with her theory that everyone is a member of the Chipmunks. Are you Alvin? Simon? Theodore? Yeah, I’m definitely Simon. She claims she is too.
A good bunch of the book is aimed at Alvins and Theodores. Show up on time. Keep your job. Don’t lose your keys. Realize you’re an adult and no one else is responsible for you.
Maybe it wasn’t her plan, but this part made me feel a little better. Maybe I’m not unravelling as fast as I thought. Other than an occasional issue with finding my keys, most of my concerns in this area were not staying on top of managing my investments or filing my taxes early enough. It turns out that’s how everyone feels. Who knew.
The part I found really helpful was the section on emotional health. Now I’m sure my lovely readers have probably all figured out that was my issue, but I was too tired to make that connection. Knight has some interesting suggestions to cope that I found useful.
Mostly I think the book is about the fact that adulting is hard. If you’re not doing it, it’s not someone else’s job to adult for you (unless you’re paying them). If you’re doing it, give yourself a break. If there are parts of it that are killing you, figure out how not to do those parts (i.e. hire someone, not evade taxes).
This book isn’t brain surgery and it’s not a substitute for actual therapy. I loved that she had the same response to “The Life-Changing Power of Tidying Up” and I felt like it was a friend giving me a reality check.
Worth a read. Won’t change your life. Only you can do that.