I went to a monster truck rally yesterday.
Do you hear me snooty, New England upbringing? I said, “I WENT TO A MONSTER TRUCK RALLY YESTERDAY!”
Of course, despite my overwhelming excitement for the glory that is seeing Gravedigger in the flesh, I still wasn’t quite able to pull off resembling anything close to a “regular” at this event. My children were outfitted with $8, rip-off Beats headphones that their mother hurriedly purchased from the “impulse buy” section at Wal-Mart – not legitimate, heavy-duty noise-canceling devices by Bose. I had SLP-style prepared my boys for an event that would consist primarily of big cars smashing little cars – this is categorically untrue. And I was wearing tights and a plaid scarf – like a real, live boob.
But it was okay. Because against all odds, absolutely nobody in the entire arena cared one lick about us at all. Nobody cared that my kids were blatantly ignoring all OSHA and ASHA hearing-loss prevention standards. No one sitting around us thought it was silly that my kids continually asked me, “When are they going to smash all the cars, Mom?” And not a single person there mentioned that my once plain, gray tights were now covered in dusty footprints, from a two-year-old’s boots.
It was almost as if all 10,000 people in attendance at the Bridgestone Arena yesterday were focusing on Monster Jam and not, me, Kelly B. Bandas.
Recently, I saw an article from my favorite underground, hard news outlet The Onion (maybe you’ve heard of it?) with the following headline, Report: No One Currently Thinking About You and one particular except from this article was just too perfect not to share:
Whatever words you may have spoken today and whatever tasks you may have accomplished—no one is thinking about any of that. No one has noticed what you’re wearing, either, or how well or poorly groomed you are.
Now that’s not to say that I don’t think we each have the ability to impact each other’s lives, for better or worse, but I’ll be damned if any of you were thinking about me before you started reading this. If you were, I’m flattered (and also considering possibly changing my phone number…), but you most likely were not. Just like you most likely don’t sit around thinking about the size of my jeans, or my parenting decisions or my level of anxiety on a particular Tuesday.
As Dr. Meg Meeker points out in her book, The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers, we so often derive our value from the things we see as our flaws, or the things we think that other people are thinking about us. And that, in order to achieve contentment within ourselves, we should attempt to find our value in our positive qualities, and stop competing with others to create the best “version” of ourselves.
Of course, the other, arguably more important reality is, ain’t nobody thinking about you!
We’re all much to preoccupied with what we’re thinking/doing/eating/planning/saying/wearing to give you another thought. So lean into it! Choose the dirtiest yoga pants hanging from the clothes chair in your bedroom! Quit the PTO! Stop volunteering to be the “point person” at work! Focus on doing the things that make you feel whole and bring you joy and get rid of all the crap you’re doing simply because you think you should.
Because if nobody’s watching, shouldn’t we all be dancing?