I have a monkey on my back. Un singe. See him? No, of course you can’t. He’s a private little fellow.
I’m no addict – he’s not that kind of monkey. But carrying him around all the time can be exhausting. He never shuts up.
There he goes again: What on earth are you writing about? No one is going to have a clue what you mean. A monkey? How ridiculous!
Monkey has his good points. Sometimes he makes me smile. Il fait le singe, makes like a monkey. And he can be a creative little guy. Bitingly funny. Who would even think of half the stuff he comes up with? Too inappropriate, mostly, to share with anyone else. But in some ways he is my muse.
Most of the time he is an angry little dude who makes me impatient and short-tempered. A kill joy. He can be terrifying, with his dire predictions and irrational fears.
He is my inner critic, my slave driver, cracking his whip. Not good enough, he whispers. Who do you think you are? Often I believe him. Monkey see, monkey do.
Too often he exhausts me to the point where I just give up. No, I will not be good enough. While I’m at it, I won’t be good at all. May as well fool around instead of working. Waste time, kick back, have another glass of wine. I will forget about exercising or writing or doing whatever else I’d planned.
Now it’s time for a change. This year, I’ve decided to make friends with my monkey.
I can’t get rid of him completely. But I am thinking that perhaps I need to work with him. He is part of me after all. And in order to enjoy the good I need to manage the bad.
So I’ll tell him it’s okay not to be perfect. Sometimes good enough is just fine. And failure is okay if it means you really tried. In fact, it can be positive.
He will surely scoff.
And I’ll simply say: Monkey, be quiet. (Not ‘shut up’. Even monkeys deserve respect.) I’ll invite him to take a deep breath, admire the view. I’ll even give him half of my banana.
The rest I’m keeping for myself.
Happy new you!
Have you made any resolutions for 2019?