On my back at the end of a hot yoga class, my mind already five miles ahead of the moment, my body already out of relaxation and all tensed up over my upcoming night shift, the instructor guiding us through a final meditation said the most hilarious thing. She said, “Everything is perfect.”
There were so many things wrong with that statement, the committee in my head didn’t even know where to begin.
It’s hot as hell in here. I’m tired. I’m hungry. My brakes are squeaking. Insurance won’t pay for my last OB visit. North Carolina. And don’t even get me started on the price of produce.
Armed with this information and about a dozen other supporting claims, the committee in my head scoffed, determined that my instructor’s ankles were fat, and went about the business of being generally negative.
“It’s all good,” I’ve heard said quite a lot.
“It is what it is.”
Those also annoy me with their overtones of contentment and acceptance. But Everything is Perfect?? That kind of satisfaction is just plain naive. Why even say that? Did she actually believe it?
About two hours later, I woke up from a badly-needed nap. I made myself a fried-egg sandwich, let my cat up on my lap, then opened an email from a close friend who wanted to get together for a hike. And out of nowhere, the instructor in my head announced, “Everything is perfect.”
Okay, no. No, seriously.
The Committee rallied quickly to find a solution to this unprecedented optimism. My brakes. The cost of healthcare. Teen suicide. Oh! And how could I forget the damn elections?
Instructor: Everything is perfect. Assface.
Committee: It is so very not. Not ever. Also, you’re retaining water.
(It is important to note that The Committee is made up of one surly ex-junkie, one disgruntled 911 dispatcher, one teenage princess, one menopausal ex-nun, and Stewie from Family Guy.)
Instructor: Yellow labs. Fresh hot coffee. Your mother still loves you, despite 1990 through 1992 and parts of 1994. Oh, and you have everything you need. Today. In this moment.
Committee: Gas is four bucks a gallon. Global warming. Mitt Romney. Snap.
Instructor: What does thinking like this get you? Everything is perfect. You said so yourself when you first woke up and forgot to worry about everything from apples to politics.
Committee: But worrying is my thing. Stress completes me. Also, lugging all this baggage around keeps my ankles in shape.
Instructor: That sounds fun. I bet you’re a hoot at parties. Also, my ankles are perfect.
My husband wonders why I often don’t say what I’m thinking, and this would be why. Because the committee in my head is effing daft, and now there’s an instructor in there, to add to the confusion. The Committee would rather tell you what’s wrong with everything than what’s right. I fire them daily, then re-hire them when The Instructor gets too smug and happy.
Is everything perfect? Depends on how much I’ve been hanging out with the committee when you ask.
Is everything perfect, right now?
In this moment?
Yeah, actually. It is.
Caroline Burau is a freelance writer in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, and author of Sugarfiend and Answering 911: Life in the Hot Seat. You can also follow her on Twitter (@carolineburau) or www.carolineburau.com.