Wednesday, April 08, 2015

How do I shut up the internal critic?

When I start urging my husband to stop being so darned reasonable, you know I need some help disabling my tiny puritans.

They live in my brain, these tiny puritans, passed down through generations of workaholics suspicious of pleasure. Their squeaky little voices shriek at me that I'm not working hard enough or wasting time on silly things or being selfish. They shriek loudest when I'm thinking about spending money on something frivolous instead of  saving for a rainy day or putting it to more practical use. If I want to spend money on myself, they kick and scream and ask what I've ever done to deserve something so nice.

You can't reason with the tiny puritans that live in my brain because they simply don't care about reason. Right now they're jumping up and down angrily simply because I'm thinking about buying a new camera, which would be a perfectly reasonable purchase, but they don't care. Selfish, they say. What did you ever do to deserve a new camera? You broke the old one!

This is true: it took me more than a year to quiet the tiny puritans enough to permit myself to buy a canoe--a used canoe--which anyone who knows me would tell you was the smartest purchase I've ever made. The tiny puritans wanted me to spend the money on paying down some debts, which would be prudent and reasonable, but here's the thing: the canoe money came out of the sky when I won our college's top prize for excellence in teaching. I earned it! If winning our top teaching prize is not evidence that I deserve a (used) canoe, then something is wrong with the universe.

So now I need a new camera but the tiny puritans are having a hissy fit. Even when my husband marshals all the reasons, the tiny puritans can't be persuaded that it wouldn't be selfish and frivolous and not at all deserved. They are loud and annoying and they won't leave me alone. 

Someone needs to beat them to a pulp, those tiny puritans, or at least bind and gag them long enough to let me have some fun. But where do I put out a contract on my tiny puritans?   

1 comment:

Bardiac said...

That's a hard one! Especially since my own tiny puritans are pretty loud sometimes!