I have to tell myself this out loud sometimes, which isn’t something an easygoing person does. They would just think it, but maybe they’d get distracted.
Today for the first time this year I forgot about an assignment. It wasn’t life-threatening. The assignment is due Thursday and I have done half of it. Still.
Last week, I watched a TED Talk by Amy Cuddy (watch it! watch it!) where she explains that through power-posing (literally standing in a powerful position) you become more relaxed and are judged better in an evaluative situation. Because I am someone who smiles at myself when I pass by a mirror, I am always in an evaluative situation. I’ve been taken to standing in odd power poses in bathrooms over the past few days, repeating I Am Easygoing, I Am Easygoing, certain I am not.
Oh but how I want to be. Imagine a sunny day if you were easygoing. Imagine a rainy day. Imagine having children and being easygoing. Imagine being a teacher and a writer who is easygoing.
I’ve been living with a dog for five days now. I do this periodically, sit in for people who are away. I take over their lives and try out what it would be like to be any notch more easygoing than myself. This dog I am staying with is so easygoing. Sometimes he gets a little whiny, but it’s just because he wants you to tear this mauled toy squirrel out of his mouth like you mean it. He just sits outside the house most of the time, or wanders around the neighbourhood. He is so casual. Even this morning his brother cat joined us on our walk. This family is so easygoing that their cat goes on a walk with their dog.
So this Amy Cuddy says to take every talk you’re asked to do. She says to fake it until you become it. She says that after a while you will forget you were ever faking anything.
So I will keep repeating this mantra to myself as I run, then stroll for a missed bus. I will keep repeating it to myself as I check my oil and I worry I put the wrong key in my shoe on a run. I will keep repeating it to myself as I spend days not writing and forgetting to even think about writing. I will repeat it over and over as I begin to teach, as I begin to learn that 22 kids cannot and will not and should not do what I say. I will repeat it as I learn that teaching is not at all what I just said it was. I will repeat it as my unit plans and lesson plans and maybe a student go flying out the window. I will repeat it as I do this presentation thing I signed up for and am already scared about two months in advance. I will repeat it as I go through life hardgoing, thinking everything is so hard, only to realize that, at some step along the way, I did start strolling and stopped running (I hate running), and there is a cat and a dog by my side and we’re just hanging out.