Why do we do this to ourselves?

Photo by belchonock/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by belchonock/iStock / Getty Images

I'm putting on my make up the other day and I finally pull out a new eyeliner pencil I got at the Safeway. As I apply it to my bottom eye lids, it goes on smoothly and nicely and doesn't hurt, or stab or scratch.  I can't BELIEVE what I had been putting myself through for LITERALLY months.  Here's how it all went down . . . .

Back in February I got some new make up from Skin Therapy (I love - Susanne!).  The eyeliner pencil started getting stubby after a few weeks, so I used the electric pencil sharpener to get it back nice and ship shape. Whoops, I guess I was supposed to use one of those manual, tiny pencil sharpeners.  The electric sharpener made the pencil chunky and splintery.  Sigh, I wasn't going to see Susanne for a few weeks so I decided I could sort of use one little edgy part of the pencil and most of the time I didn't stab myself.   What happened then was like the poor frog that gets put in cool water and slowly the heat gets turned up until he's boiled, and he hardly noticed a thing.  Just like the frog, I adapted, tolerated, endured and got used to that stupid pencil for months and months.  I had thoughts like, "I should write this down to remember to ask Susanne to buy another one."  "I can't waste my money though, I have to use this one all up (remember the turmeric?)."  "I can't buy one at Safeway (or CVS, or Amazon), I can ONLY use the one authorized by the professional that gives me facials."  "Maybe I should try another sharpener."  "Ouch, ooch, ouch . . . ok that's fine."  "Hmmm. . . maybe just mascara today."

I see people in my organizing practice do this to themselves ALL the time.  Ever notice how much easier to spot problems, flaws and ares of improvement in other people?  I had to stab my eye for months before I realized I was doing the SAME THING I remind, coach, tell and nag my clients NOT TO DO.

Here's an incomplete list of common things we let slide.  Let's all fix one this week, shall we?

Crappy and torn welcome mat.  Worn, fraying, stained towels.  Toys that are broken or have missing pieces (oh, but Paige, they played with it that one time and had soooo much fun). Old, frumpy pajamas. Not enough underwear.  Mis-matched tupperware.  A cupboard filled with EVERY container from EVERY take out food place you have EVER ordered from.  A closet full of reusable bags (and I mean full, sister friends, so full you are afraid to grab one, and they are bunched and unappealing and just . . . ick).  Burned out lightbulbs.  Wrappers, empty coffee cups, mostly empty soda cans, donate bags, change and other miscellaneous debris strewn throughout the car.  No printer near your computer (arrgghhhhhhh!!!!).  Writing checks by hand instead of online banking.  Buying stuff at Costco you don't need because it was a great price.  Wearing your kids old clothes because they fit-ish.  Eating something that has passed its peak because no one else will, and we shouldn't waste.  Old and worn workout shoes.  Unwatered plants, too many pots of unwatered plants (maybe if we purge a few pots we'd water, I can't say for sure, but it's worth a try). 

Do any of these ring a bell?  Strike a nerve? Make you roll your eyes?  Now the temptation is going to be go to tell someone else to fix their crap. . . so much more satisfying to notice and nag others about their flaws and areas of improvement.  BUT let's be grown-ups here, just for a second.  Hey, I'll even start . . . .  I'm going to buy new towels and replace all my burned out light bulbs this week, and you?