Is It Harder Than It Looks??
A friend (who will remain unnamed), who has a severe case of math-phobia, said to me, “I don’t like feeling stupid, that’s why I don’t want to take the college math class”. She and I talk, literally for hours at a time most weeks, and we both have acknowledged, that we don’t always hear “everything” that the other person is saying during these marathon conversations. That’s the beauty of true friendship, you listen even when you don’t give a crap about what the other person is talking about. At one point, however, I did hear her say something to the effect of not studying her multiplication tables before her first class this semester. I chuckled inside to myself, remembering the many, many flash cards I had prepared for my daughter over the years. I thought she was using a metaphor for the anxiety she was feeling on the eve of attending her class. So I, like a true friend who hasn’t really been listening very well said, “well, girl, it’s not like you don’t know your multiplication tables, don’t worry you will be fine, most people have some sense of math anxiety, it’s understandable and the professor seems to be a pro at dealing with just that..“. She, in turn said to me, “umm.. I really don’t know my multiplication tables, I wasn’t joking, now you know why I’m so stressed out.”
Ladies and Gents, I say to you this is truly one of the smartest women I have ever met. If you read anything she has written, you will be blown away. Her use of grammar, syntax and style is nothing short of awe inspiring and she has the tenacity and wit and sense of humor that would rival the likes of any New York Times columnist. There is nothing she needs to be afraid of and yet something as seemingly mundane as her 9 tables makes her quake.
I’ve said it no less than a thousand times in my life, “it’s all about perspective”. What’s hard for me… well frankly, it’s how to talk honestly to my daughter about uncomfortable situations. Probably to most mothers who have a “best friend” relationship with their kid, that would be a piece of a cake. Hard to my friend, is the idea that some college professor is going to call on her and ask her to answer what 9 x 6 is. For me and most of us, it’s one of the few math questions we could answer in Cash Cab without giving pause. For another of my friends, hard is “how to keep herself from buying a new sofa because she needs to tighten her finances due to an unexpected change in household income.” For me, not buying a brand new sofa is as easy as not putting a bid in at a Christie’s auction for Elvia paraphernalia – i.e., not too hard at all.
I don’t know where all the people who read my blog (all 2 of you!) are when it comes to perspective, but I would imagine that there is something that you think is incredibly hard to do, something you think, you just can’t do because it’s too much. So you may say something like ,
“forget “____”, it’s not that important, I can’t be bothered with it”, or
“i can’t really fit “____” in right now, I’m to busy and it’s not worth it”,
or my personal favorite
” I can’t deal with “____” today, I’ll worry about it later”.
The latter is a nod to to my other favorite, fictional heroine character Ms. O’Hara, “… After all… tomorrow is another day“. The blank line in all those excuses, for me, is not rekindling the lost love of Rhett Butler, as it was for Scarlett, but instead represents “going back to school”. I’ve used all those phrases and then some. For others, it may represent ending a bad relationship, asking for a promotion at work, or setting your foot down with a child, spouse or family member who isn’t behaving correctly. My words of wisdom today are to take control of that situation and realize that you have the power to put things into the Perspective that you want. You can make what’s seemingly impossible or out of reach very possible and very much in reach; if you give it the importance you give to the other things in your life that hold priority. Case in point, my math phobic friend who I mentioned at the start of this blog, has become in 6 months a yoga expert. She had no idea how to do yoga when she took her first class, now, she is the student that the instructors often call on to lead class if they have to walk away and that other students look to, to copy poses. She mastered something that at one point, I am sure she felt was unattainable, and something I would never even attempt to do. Why… because it became a priority to her and it meant something to her to vanquish it. I know she will do the same with her math phobia, once she puts it in the same perspective as her yoga instruction.
I believe that furthering your education in this day and age, especially for women, is key to moving up in position and power in whatever industry you are in. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issues or feel no sense of (unjustified) self righteousness for those without a degree (after all that’s me right now). Neither my parents, nor my siblings, received a four year degree yet all did very well for themselves and are successful in their own rights. And while the list of notable celebrities and historical figures without college (some even high school) degrees reads like a veritable “Who’s Who” in American history, I am simply giving you one Wonder Woman wannabes’ opinion. IF, you ever wanted to pursue your degree, and IF it ever made a hill of beans to you at some point in your life, and IF you think it might make a difference in the career path you are on, I want to encourage you that it’s really not as hard as it looks…in fact, if you look at it from a different perspective, it’s actually as simple as it seems.