June 23, 2010

Do The Right Thing (A Rude Cactus Joint)

I'm a lazy asshole. No, really. I know you guys tell me all the time how amazing it is that I do as much as I do in a day, and how I'm a kind and patient father. I appreciate that, really I do. But you've been had. I'm a lazy asshole. Because - like most of us - I don't like doing the hard stuff in life. I'm trying to get better, less lazy and less asshole.

I have this little - and really unoriginal - mantra that I've started playing in my head. Do the right thing. It goes around and around, its volume increasing when I veer farther and farther away from the right thing. Now I'm not talking about knocking over liquor stores or punching hookers. The right things I have to encourage myself to do are things like flossing before I go to bed or not buying a dozen books at the bookstore because our monthly budget is blown or not saying fuck in front of the kids when all I really want to say is would you just go the fuck to bed already? These are not right things of epic proportions. They're the right things that make my little world go round on a daily basis.

None of us like to do hard things. Like, I went four years without seeing a dentist and then paid a massive and somewhat painful price for such avoidance which is where that whole flossing thing comes from. And doing the right thing pays off. Two consecutive dentist visits and I haven't had to have any work done that requires a hypodermic needle, a drill and a sadistic grin. I'll admit to occasionally pretending to be asleep when the kids wake up in the night. I've gotten better about getting up. Especially since whenever Beth intervenes in the middle of the night she's met with a rather unhappy Owen screaming my want daddy. Smaller and less frequent ice cream portions have also become necessary so I don't have a coronary at age 40 or develop man-boobs.

Overall, I'd say my Do The Right Thing Percentage is somewhere around 92.4%. Which is pretty good for a lazy asshole.

How often do you do the right thing? And what's the last right thing you had to talk yourself into doing?

Posted by Chris at June 23, 2010 6:46 AM

You know...I was seeing a therapist for this VERY reason. I finally said "Why can't I just be normal and do all these things WITHOUT having to talk myself into them??"

He then informed me I was more normal than I thought.

The last thing I had to talk myself into (and failed miserably) was going to my afternoon class.

I had two choices...

Choice 1: Go to class
Choice 2: Sleep in a little with my husband that just came home for R&R leave.

I mean, really, is either one of those a *wrong* thing?? It came down to should vs. want and the Want won by a mile and an extra hour of sleeping in the arms of my amazing husband. :)

Posted by: Holly Reynolds at June 23, 2010 7:07 AM

You know, I think I'm at about 89/90 of doing the right thing. I don't floss as much as I should either (which isn't helped by the fact that despite not flossing regularly, my dentist always heaps praise on me at my 6 month visits about what a good job I'm doing taking care of my teeth). I don't always play paper dolls when my kids ask. I gag at the smell of broccoli. I get pissed when I get cut off in traffic.

Um. Maybe it should be more like 85.

I'm doing my best, always... it's just not necessarily always "the right thing".

Posted by: sarah at June 23, 2010 8:02 AM

Last right thing - walking the dogs 1.5 miles when it's already 87 degrees and humid as hell at 8:30 in the morning.

Posted by: Heather at June 23, 2010 10:47 AM

I was thinking I was way up there. To be honest, I am pretty black and white. Either you do what you should or you don't.

For instance, today--I littered, now I never (rarely) litter and I consciously chose to today.
Then, I hit the curb. Karma is a bitch.

Then you go and talk about effing flossing. I never floss, unless I have food in my teeth. Thank you very much. Hate to take the dogs out, then get mad if they have an accident or run free.

So, maybe I am even lazier loser than I thought at first glance.

Posted by: debb at June 23, 2010 11:18 AM

I'm about 90%. Although I went back to Weight Watchers today, and have started watching what I eat again to lose the weight I gained when I enjoyed far too many beers and schnitzels in Germany. It was good while it lasted!

Posted by: Maribeth at June 23, 2010 12:01 PM

I'm batting about .500 on Doing the Right Thing. I go to work, I even get here on time, even though it doesn't really matter (I'm not really busy right now; boss gets in at 9); I floss in the morning but I really should brush, floss, and wash my face before bed. But I get great dental checkups and haven't had a zit since February. So am I technically doing the right thing? (In the Doing the Justification Dance category, I'm a gold-medal winner) I do swear in front of the kids. I think I actually heard my 2-year-old say "Dammit" the other day. He also says, "Oh, my Jesus," but I don't know where he got that. No one says "Oh, my jeez", although I do frequently bleat "Jesus, (child's name here), just get it done!" or whatever. I should play my expensive guitars more.

I really just aspire to not screw my kids up royally. Doing the Right Thing might actually be out of my league.

Posted by: Brooke at June 23, 2010 12:18 PM

My "doing the right thing" usually involves not procrastinating about something -- office work, a return phone call, cleaning the house. I have to tell myself Just do It!

I managed to keep my swearing only in my head while my son grew up (even changing God! to Gosh!), but once he turned 18 all bets were off and now I'm back to my potty mouth.

Posted by: NancyJ at June 23, 2010 2:54 PM

i would say i've been battling the same thoughts. but then we get into the whole mom guilt talk so i can't give you a solid percentage...

Posted by: kati at June 23, 2010 7:49 PM

God, I hear you on the buying books thing. One of the offices where I work is within spitting distance of Books-A-Million, and sometimes my lunch hours are spent, well, spending money.

I would say that my percentage is probably 90%. I've gotten better about working out and eating healthy, and I also do schoolwork every day so I can get my master's degree as soon as possible. The same goes for feeding and cleaning up after the cats and generally being a nice girlfriend.

Posted by: Stephanie at June 23, 2010 8:35 PM

Yeah, the mom thing kicks in a fair bit. The last right thing I did was supper because what I wanted was greasy chain burger... and The Boy wanted butter chicken.

But yeah, I have to push myself to do a lot of things I need to do. (Hence why the dishes sat there for three days.)

Posted by: Nat at June 23, 2010 8:37 PM

I'm totally eating ice cream right now. I am a terrible person :P

Posted by: Heather at June 23, 2010 8:54 PM

I talk myself into doing the right thing sometimes....

Like that time when I worked my butt off for a fundraiser for a girl with cancer - and then she showed up smoking cigarettes....

Wanted to slap it out of her hand and lecture her for an hour. Instead I bit my lip (HARD) and helped raise over $7,000 for her!!

Posted by: Rose @Dozenroses13 at June 24, 2010 3:22 AM

This comment is more related to a post you did a week or two ago- but- it could still apply here I think!

I was at the pool today, talking with a new mom friend. My son dropped his floatie in front of her, so I picked it up. Standing back up- I noticed....lots of hair. Hair that should not be seen in the light of day. Hair Down There.

I do the right thing by wearing a little swim skirt. Problem solved.

Posted by: alfredsmom at June 24, 2010 5:28 AM

About 85% I'd say for me. And like your first commenter, I've had many convos with my therapist about the should/want/need to do (and although I didn't comment on that post, my therapist is just as crazy as yours, Chris - she has shoes everywhere - fake artsy little knick knacks, not real ones - and she has these two stuffed kittens on a shelf that look so real they scare the crap out of me every time I go in). Had to force myself to take the Little over to a friends house yesterday to play outside. I hate outside. I'm covered with fly bites today, and my hip feels slightly dislocated from chasing him away from running into the street, but MAN did he sleep last night! So, worth it. Totally.

Posted by: Jen at June 24, 2010 6:37 AM

I like this post. I shall adopt your mantra as my own. Lord knows I need the help.

I still remember one of your New Year resolutions when you said that you are trying to enjoy all the little moments instead of always waiting for the big one.

Good stuff.

Posted by: Nila at June 24, 2010 8:52 AM

I've added sit ups and push ups to my workout even though I hate them.

Posted by: Annie at June 24, 2010 12:17 PM

Oh my... there are so, so, so many things I need to man up and take care of, but I just don't do them. I guess the one thing I do keep on my self about is sticking to my diet, though I really could be doing a lot better. I also have to constantly remind myself that since I signed up for classes, I really should attend them. Some days I just don't want to go though. Its hard for me to even do the little things sometimes.

Posted by: Debra at June 25, 2010 3:40 AM

Thanks Chris for pointing out how horrible we all are! I don't even think I could come up with a percentage. It depends on the day, my mood and the situation. I like to tell myself i do the right thing but when it come down to it I'm not so sure I do. I also have discussed this with my therapist who claims a little goes a long way and not to fret so much about the stuff I don't get accomplished.

Oh and on the flossing, try flossing while driving to and from work. I've started that and now I can say I do floss twice daily!

Posted by: Tailynn at June 25, 2010 12:38 PM