Stream of Consciousness Saturday: No Excuses!

Another Stream of Consciousness Saturday entry. Click the picture below for rules and to see this week’s other participants. This is hosted at Linda Hill’s blog, but she’s on vacation, so the prompt comes from Leigh Michaels.

Click the picture to play along!
Click the picture to play along!

This week’s prompt: excuse

A great choice of prompts, particularly as 2014 is drawing to a close.

I see the expression “no excuses” all over the place, mostly ads for fitness centers (usually said by one of those characters who spends too much time at the fitness center), financial advisors, and business books by productivity “experts.” It’s supposed to be an inspiration to be more physically fit, invest your money a certain way, or be more productive/efficient. The last thing in the world I want to hear is them saying “no excuses.” What they’re really saying is, your way is R-O-N-G wrong, and therefore you suck, and you need to do what I do to measure up to my exacting standards. No excuses!

Remember this from “Bye Bye, Birdie”?

My stepfather used to go around singing that one line, “Why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way?” whenever we got out of hand, by which I mean, being rebellious and wanting to go our own way and driving my mother crazy.

I’m just using these people as examples. They come in every shape and form. The holier-than-thou are great for it, too. (What, you haven’t done the novena to St. Peregrine? No wonder you have cancer. Well, I’ll do it for you. I’m not even sure there even is a novena to St. Peregrine, but if there isn’t, I’ll write it.)

You know the type… (NOTE: this was created by videotaping the TV screen and is not particularly good, but it’s nonetheless effective, and seasonal besides.)

Well, I’m going to give you a “no excuses” of my own: If someone asks you why you’re fat and out of shape, or inefficient, or sacrilegious, or any of a thousand other passive-aggressive questions meant to criticize you, the answers to which they really aren’t interested in, don’t give them an excuse. Tell them the truth: that you choose to be out of shape, inefficient, sacrilegious, etc. If they offer to help you get started in the direction they want you to go in, tell them no thank you, that if you change your mind you can find your own way there, thankyouverymuch.

Whether or not the path you’ve chosen for yourself is the right or wrong one is something you, and only you, can decide. And anyone that tries to manipulate you into doing things their way is frankly not someone you should be taking advice from in the first place, and you really don’t need them in your life. You know what you want to change — hell, maybe you don’t want to change anything — and, if you want someone’s advice or help, remember you can accept or reject it. If you paid someone for the advice and don’t like it, you can walk away. Same thing if you ask a friend. If you buy a book (or if one of your helpful friends buys it for you) and don’t like the advice contained therein, you can donate the book to the library, trade it in, give it away, or throw it away.

Okay? Okay! Straight ahead!

6 thoughts on “Stream of Consciousness Saturday: No Excuses!

  1. I so enjoyed your post! I love this: “If they offer to help you get started in the direction they want you to go in, tell them no thank you, that if you change your mind you can find your own way there, thankyouverymuch.” Many times people offer unsolicited advice, and often in a less-than-kind way for sure, or assuming you don’t know how to do so for yourself. So, I really appreciate and agree with your approach!

    Like

  2. Thanks, John: this is good advice for me to read as I prepare to spend time with extended family over the holidays. Don’t get me wrong: most of my siblings are overly apologetic types like me, but we seem to have married more confident and assertive types who tend to offer well-meaning but unsolicited (and often unwanted) advice.

    Like

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