You’ve Got No Common Sense!

Ok, full disclaimer: I read ambiguity into sentences where most people wouldn’t. Part of the reason I am a good technical writer is that I appreciate and use clear language to describe concepts and list instructions.

In my non-work life, when I’m helping move a heavy object or do other physical task with a partner, I follow instructions exactly. If you tell me to move right, I will move to MY right. If you tell me to Lift up the object, I will ask how high or I will ask why, because otherwise I don’t know. A better instruction for me would be to Lift it up a few inches, or Lift it up to get it past the newel post, or Lift it up so we can make our way up these stairs. When I lift and move forward (or backward), I put my back into the task, full steam ahead, so you’d best be prepared or else tell me beforehand that I should move slowly.

(Oh! Another great development at our house is that boy midget is now old enough and strong enough to help move furniture and other heavy stuff. Awesome.)

When I was hoeing weeds in my childhood, or picking up large rocks in the field in preparation for planting, I kept focussed on the task in front of me. I didn’t scan the ground at the sides of me, just in front, unless I was told to do otherwise. Because of this focus, in which I would let me mind wander so as to keep myself from dying of boredom, I would not see weeds or rocks that were outside of my chosen path. And for that I was told I had no common sense, because if I had, I would know enough to look around.

I don’t respond well to YELLING. I don’t like those boot camp workouts where the instructors are from the armed forces and tell you you’re a quitter who won’t be able to finish the set. I’m in fact working out for fun, not to be insulted. Otherwise what’s the point? Why would anyone sign up, take their precious time and money and give it to someone who is mean? It doesn’t make sense. And to talk to a kid like that, well, that won’t work out very well for the instructor and kid’s future self either.

We are constantly being told that to love someone else we need to love ourselves first. Does any of that self-flagellation make sense in the context of self-love? No. And that’s why I think fat-shaming and dieting doesn’t work, like, ever. If you love yourself you will treat your body well. Maybe sometimes I treat my brain well by eating some ‘junk.’ But still. I love myself. I don’t yell at myself.

I still have goals and I challenge myself physically at times. I’m not a gym person but I get outside and I love doing yoga. Doing yoga at home hasn’t been that successful, partly because my novice form needs an instructor present and also because my dogs simply will not leave me alone when I’m doing a downward dog. Yes it’s true, they think I’m playing and get right under my face. Then the barking starts. Then a midget needs something from me. So effing peaceful and zen, right? Augh. It’s easier to say Bye guys, see you in an hour or so after yoga!

Boy midget belongs to Scouts and has done for about 5 years now. Scouts teaches common sense, there’s no doubt about it, but it teaches through calm instruction, teamwork, and positive outcomes. Before I get too preachy here, I have to say I sometimes lose my patience. I yell. And then I apologize and we all move forward.

I would love if my kids would see me struggling with bags and get up and help without me having to tell them. This might be a woman passive-aggressive thing. To me, this is a big part of common sense. I teach my midgets to be more responsive and we all benefit.

On Wednesday evening when Husband arrived home with a carload, I helped unload it even though we were all sick at our house. The next day boy midget mentioned that he felt bad about not being able to help with that. Success! That’s what I want; not the guilt but the common sense.

I leave you with this.


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