Last January, I was going to go on a diet/exercise regime. By the time April rolled around, I realized something. I had actually and successfully poorly rationalized three full months away.
What completely cracks me up about my behavior is that I act as if I am a person who does not rationalize poor choices. There was a guest speaker at a previous Etech conference (a big technology conference for educators) and he spoke all about how humans rationalize things. Feeling sick? It will probably be OK tomorrow. Eat the cupcake? Sure, I can work it off. Another glass of wine? Heck yes, I deserve a fun night. And so on.
Sitting there, I thought to myself, “I am not this person. I don’t rationalize like that at all.” Then, I looked around at all the suckers who, I thought, probably do over rationalize. Poor souls, I thought, they are rationalizing their lives away.
Hello pot, meet kettle. Crap. I was one of those suckers.
I never realized until hearing this speaker and really pondering about it how much I actually rationalize things. Here are some examples:
If I don’t write on my blog for a few weeks (hello blog, nice to see you again), I rationalize this by saying I have a lot on my plate right now, or I want the blog post to be good, or I am too tired/sick/cranky/silly to write. Sadly, my last post was before Christmas. I have rationalized almost a full month of blogging away. Bad, bad girl.
I also rationalize people’s sometimes poor behavior. Someone was rude to me earlier this week and instead of just sucking it up and being OK that they don’t like me, I rationalized it by thinking maybe they were having a bad day. When I saw them in the hallway at the end of the day and they were laughing really hard, I realized they weren’t having a bad day. Oh well, it happens, right?
I rationalize other things, too. My checkbook is one. Oh, sure, I think to myself, I have money in there, and I really, really need it so it is OK if I go ahead and buy the flenderfloozle. Not a good plan. And exercising, need I say more? I am Scarlett O’hara sometimes with this. I rationalize that the next day is a better day to exercise. Then I think the next day and the next day until it becomes a vicious cycle with absolutely no exercising.
So, for my one and only New Year’s resolution, I am going to stop rationalizing things. I am going be honest with myself and know that I am not going to walk outside in 28 degree weather and, instead, opt and read the latest YA novel on my Kindle. I am going to pass on the gurligeezles and flenderfloozles because I really don’t need them and, if I eat the cupcake, I may not work it off later.
Glad to be back, and I will do my best to try and not rationalize another month away!