The Being Yourself Series, from Make Me A Plan's Wellbeing Expert, Jane Studd

Last Saturday, two things happened to me in quick succession.  First, I ran a Parkrun personal best.  Immediately after, while on the phone to Principle Planner Anna, I stepped in dog poo.  “You should write a blog post about this”, said Anna, after some in-depth philosophising about what these events could mean.  So here I am.


The Great Parkrun, Dog Poo Double Event revealed a couple of key things to me (once I’d stopped cursing and hopping on one leg).  Firstly, it was a timely reminder about taking the rough with the smooth.  After some impassioned declarations that it had ruined my day, that the irresponsible owner was a terrible person, and that I didn’t even care about my run anymore, I remembered that I can, occasionally, be a bit dramatic.  When I’m in the midst of over-reacting to a situation, this can be difficult to remember, but the perceived negativity of one event doesn’t cancel out the positivity of another, unrelated event.  Even if they happen in quick succession.  Clearly no one wants to step in dog poo, but it would be a shame to let it ruin how great I was feeling after my run. 


The second thing Dog-Poo-Gate revealed to me is that, however capable we think we are, sometimes we will run into an issue that we don’t know how to resolve.  For me, this was that I had no idea how to remove the dog poo from the bottom of my trainer.  This might sound silly, but I really can’t remember the last time I trod in dog poo.  I think I might even have been young enough that cleaning my shoe was somebody else’s job.  Generally I’d say that I tend towards overconfidence in my own abilities, so realising that I was completely unprepared to deal with a relatively minor inconvenience was an eye-opener.


When we don’t know how to resolve a problem, whether it’s cleaning dog poo off a trainer, or something more serious, it can really knock our confidence in our adulting abilities.  Especially if it’s something trivial, it can be embarrassing to admit that we don’t know how to do something and it can be easy to imagine that we’re the only person in the world who doesn’t know what they’re doing.  Just to prove that this isn’t true, we all have adulting blind spots, here’s a quick list of things that either my friends or I have learned late in the game, or else still can’t do:


Telling the time on an analogue clock


The alphabet


How to buy postage stamps


Telling the time in 24hr clock


Times tables


How to tie a tie


How to tie shoelaces without using the bunny ears method


Left and right


How to read a bus timetable


This isn’t an exhaustive list.  I compiled it in about ten minutes by sending out a group message to my friends and choosing the first few replies.  They’re still coming in while I write this, lots of them more than once.  Whatever your blind spot turns out to be, you’re definitely not the first person to have it and you’re probably not even the only person you know who has it.  It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, so just ask around and find a friend who can teach you; or, if you really are too embarrassed, just Google how to do it, and then pretend you knew how to do it all along.  If you’re interested, I went with the classic solution of asking my Mum.  My trainers are now poo free.

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