• The Hopefulist

Stop taking yourself so seriously.

I was in Washington DC over the weekend. We were lucky enough to catch the Cherry Blossom Festival which is so beautiful. I've been wanting to do this for years and I just decided I'm no longer waiting for the things I want to do. Like when I went horseback riding last fall. I've been wanting to do that my whole life and there is no point in waiting any longer. Stop dreaming and just start doing.

My husband and I were lucky enough to have a personal tour guide to take us around town to see the sights. My second cousin lives in the area close to her family and they all came to greet us as we arrived and went to lunch. Then, my cousin and his son took us all around and gave us the lowdown on the history of buildings and monuments and such. It was great and so nice of them to take the time to do so. While we were getting the tour my cousin John kept telling me we should rent those scooters. They are really convenient and they get you around much quicker. I told him I wasn't a scooter kind of girl and I would likely fall off. He was not deterred. He kept recommending them over and over touting all their benefits. Honestly, I have no interest in riding a scooter. I could care less if I go to my grave never having ridden a scooter around Washington DC. But it was funny how he just never let up.

What I did find interesting about the scooters is they seemed to be abandoned all over town. I would see them all over just parked somewhere. I'm not sure how the system worked but it seemed a little confusing to me. Again, I don't care all that much. But there was one parked right in front of our hotel. My husband and I were joking that I should get a picture taken as if I had tried the scooter and fell off. So I splayed myself on the ground and got the shot. I sent it off to my cousin and do you know what he said? He said it looked staged. I mean, really? How dare he??? It was all in fun and I took much delight in picturing his face when he got that picture.

The other issue was actually lying down on the ground to get the picture. Luckily it was pretty early in the morning and there really wasn't anyone around. If there had been I don't know if I would have been so willing to sprawl out on the ground and make people move around me while in such a precarious position. But there is something else I learned while on the trip. I really shouldn't be worried about people seeing me take pictures of myself. If you weren't doing that this weekend, you were the weird one! There were a massive amount of people in the area of the cherry blossoms and everyone was taking pictures. People had selfie sticks and tripods and all types of apparatus for self picture taking. There were full out photo shoots taking place. We saw numerous weddings and it looked like some people were getting shots in prom dresses. And trust me, none of them cared what I thought of them getting pictures of themselves. So go ahead and take those selfies at the gym, out and about and sprawl yourself out on the ground if that is what the shot calls for.

But the thing is, we all really need to stop taking ourselves so seriously. I used to take myself so damn seriously. Like I could never put myself in a position where I looked so goofy lying on the ground. I just couldn't bring myself to do it for fear of the judgement of the people around me witnessing such a thing. But what I forgot to do is to focus on the end result. The laugh I was trying to solicit from my cousin who would be receiving the picture. Is it more important to worry about what I bunch of people I don't know and will never see again think or to get a laugh from someone who had sang the praises of the scooter that I really didn't care about? I choose to go for the laugh. And it felt really good. It was goofy and fun and made my day even that much better.

We all tend to worry about how we look to others. Luckily, the older you get the less that seems to be a worry. I wish I could have learned this lesson much earlier. I have often throughout my life not done things because I worried I would look uncool in front of strangers. Or even more so, I would take strangers lack of courtesy as a personal affront. I mean, I would get so angry at times if someone were to stop right in front of me while walking to take a picture of something or to look at their phone. I would be outraged at their rudeness or lack of concern about anyone other than themselves. It would stick with me for awhile and sometimes I would let it ruin at least part of my day. But here's the thing, the rude person doesn't give one iota about how I felt about their lack of respect. They just finished what they wanted to do and went about their day without a second thought about me. Meanwhile, I'm ruminating about such outlandish behavior and how I was treated. You know, taking myself too seriously. Because it really isn't a personal affront to me. It's just a selfish person who doesn't care about any of the others around them. They do what they do and continue on with their day. Yes, they are rude. Yes, they may have seemed to lack courtesy. But it really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. If it weren't you right behind them to stop short on it would have been someone else. It's not personal and we need to stop giving these types of people any power on how our day goes. If they are rude and inconvenience you then move along. Don't let them invade your thoughts for the rest of the day. It's just silly and only hurts yourself.

So stop thinking everything is about you. Because guess what? It really isn't. Most of the time things have absolutely nothing to do with you. So don't let rude people rule your moods. Choose peace. It's so much more important for your well being to just let things go. And loosen up a little. A little goofiness goes a long way to bringing a smile to your face and others. Because here's another thing I've figured out along the way. Nobody really cares how cool you are. So drop the self importance and let that freak flag fly.

My husband and I have so much fun together mostly because we are the biggest nerds I know. We call each other names, make fun of each other, feign outrage at each others actions. And we never get mad because we know we are just goofing on each other. I'll sing really loudly in the car and my husband will start making a face as if I'm hurting his ears. So, I'll sing louder and more out of tune. We are constantly making fun of each other and ourselves, honestly. As someone who took herself way too seriously for way too long I can tell you it is much better to loosen up. You don't get upset all the time about everything and honestly, it's just fun to be a goofball. So do it. Try it. Live it. You won't be sorry.

If you liked todays episode please leave a review on the platform you listen through. Or share with your friends. Stay tuned all this week for ideas on how to loosen up just a little bit. And for goodness sake, stop worrying about what people think so much.

Keep doing you and being badass. I'm right here, cheering you on.

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