Fake it ’til You Make it

It seems that being an 11 year old girl is really hard.  I mean, there’s a lot of heavy sighing and eye-rolling to be done.  You have to constantly correct people even when the situation doesn’t pertain to you in any way.  And OOF!  Pretending not to know what people are talking about if they don’t use the precise vocabulary you deem appropriate?  Exhausting!

Plus, your parents are always intentionally making your life difficult by demanding that you call upon your God-given talents in order to properly open a box of granola bars or properly close a box of cereal.  Totally unreasonable.

Folks, we have an 11 year old girl living in this house.  She goes by the same name and likes the same basic things that my eldest daughter did, but she is…well, have you seen my real daughter?  The one who is eager to please and amicable and compliant?  She was way easier to manage than this new model, I gotta be honest.

Things irritate her these days.  Lots of things.  And people.  And when she’s irritated, she shows it in her body and on her face and with her voice.  There’s no subtlety with this one, no ma’am.  If looks could kill, I’m quite certain our entire family would have been a smoldering heap of ashes as of last Thursday.

But if my looks could kill, she’d have been a heap of ashes way before she could incinerate the rest of us, anyway, so I guess there’s not really anything to worry about. 

Because mama don’t play that game.

You know the game.  The game where pre-adolescents and adolescents don’t actually do anything wrong so they think they can’t get in trouble.  Like stomping on their way to clean their room.  Or, worse, giving us the slumped-shoulders shuffle-walk when we tell them to help their sibling hang up the wet laundry. Or…well, you get the picture.

“Your actions speak louder than your words,” we say.

“Your attitude is as important as your behavior,” we say.

“Your body matters.  What it does has meaning.  Change your body and you’ll change your feelings,” we say.

Because it’s true.  No one learns to like doing something they ought to do by never doing it.  And no one learns to like doing something they ought to do by doing it through clenched teeth and with clenched fists, shoulders tense, mumbling about how absolutely unfair it is that they be expected to do this thing and how, HOW ON EARTH! could any sane person like it.  Or even like being done with it enough to do it willingly to begin with.

The fact is that sometimes, well…sometimes you gotta fake it ’til you make it.  Yes, plaster a smile across your face even if you don’t think you mean it.  Shake out those shoulders.  Stand up straight.  Take a deep breath.  If insert-name-of-person-who-inspires-you were here, how would you sound?  Make your voice sound like that.  What would you do?  Do that.  How would you act?  Act like that.  If they make a movie of your life someday, how would you want people to see you?  Be that kind of person.

This is why kneeling in prayer matters.  This is why bowing before God matters.  This is why standing in His honor matters.  Because what we do with our bodies changes how we feel in our hearts and what we think in our heads and what we say with our lips.  So even if your heart and head and lips aren’t quite there yet, kneel anyway.  Bow anyway.  Stand anyway.

Fake it ’til you make it.

Trust me- you’ll make it.

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Dwija Borobia lives with her husband and their four (soon-to-be-five!) kids in rural southwest Michigan in a fixer-upper they bought sight-unseen off the internet. Between homeschooling and corralling chickens, she pretends her time on the internet doesn’t count because she uses the computer standing up. You can read more on her blog house unseen. life unscripted.

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Dwija Borobia lives with her husband and their five kids in rural southwest Michigan in a fixer-upper they bought sight-unseen off the internet. Between homeschooling and corralling chickens, she pretends her time on the internet doesn’t count because she uses the computer standing up. You can read more on her blog house unseen. life unscripted.

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  • Amy

    Absolutely true. Love it, Lady. ;)

  • Olivia Demkowicz

    I agree.  ;)

  • Mary @ Better Than Eden

    Yes, yes, yes!!  Theology of the body and Catholic worldview applied to every day life.  It affects everything including (especially) how we raise our children.  Great post, Dwija!

  • Lisa G.

    Love this – It is my mantra and it has gotten me very far in life.  I have no recollection of being nice to people or happy in a given situation, but other people remember me as always smiling (even though they had no idea what I was thinking or feeling on the inside).  The effect is a ripple effect that always comes back to me in a positive ripple effect :)  Now if only I could remember to apply this philosophy more to my poor husband!!!

  • http://www.clan-donaldson.com/ Cari

    My beloved high school band teacher used to always say, “If you ACT enthusiastic, you will BE enthusiastic!”  
    Loved him.  He was on to something there.  
    And so are you.

  • grace822

    always wise!!! My mom said this to me ALLLLLLLLLL the time — I was going to write a post about it — because these days — these days —- have been killling me.

    Thank you for doing it better and before me!!

  • http://twitter.com/HouseUnseen Dwija Borobia

     It’s hard firing the babysitter cold turkey, Grace.  Really, really, really, really hard.  The fact that you’re still able to put together a complete sentence speaks volumes about your fortitude, and I mean that with ZERO sarcasm!

  • Micaela

    Hey! My mom always says that, Cari! Oh man it was annoying as a kid. But she was right and so was your teacher. :)

  • Micaela

    As a formerly very angst-y preteen/teen, I can tell you that habits like that are hard to break. Luckily for me, my mama didn’t play that game either. I can only imagine what my oldest (now 6) has in store for me. Hoo-eee, doggies. Payback time.

  • shovedtothem

    It gets better.  I promise. My awful preteen is a delightful 15 year old.  It’s puberty that’s super hard, all that changing makes their brains not work.

  • http://twitter.com/HouseUnseen Dwija Borobia

     I’m going to trust you on this one, Rebecca!  It gives me hope…. :)

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