The other day, during the daily ritual of pointless procrastination on Facebook, I came across this posted on a now-forgotten someone’s page:
Amongst all the “inspirational” quotes, clickbait headlines and 50s memes that are plastered all over Facebook, this struck a chord, precisely because I’d been having a conversation earlier with The Guru about how my new life goal was to become a functional adult.
When I was a kid, I assumed that at some point between being a child and being an adult, a switch was flicked somewhere in your brain, and you started caring about whether the bed was made, or if you had vacuumed the floor in the past
month week. Adults always seemed to know how to do stuff, and appeared to have some internal motivation to do the annoying things like cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping before the situation got critical. I care a lot about whether my apartment is tidy and clean when other people can see it, which is why nobody is allowed to spontaneously invite themselves over. If I know I’m having people over on a certain day, then I clean everything and tidy up my place. If I think I’m home alone for a while…eh. I’ll leave the chores until I have an assignment to procrastinate over.
The same goes for living a healthy lifestyle. For the last few weeks, I have been a guinea pig testing out the exercise component of The Guru’s awesome upcoming Body Bliss Program*. While I have awarded myself a ten points for exercising five times a week, and given myself an extra gold star for actually enjoying doing so, I didn’t quite experience the transformation I had imagined. In my head, I was miraculously going to turn into Miranda Kerr, fall in love with salad, and be nauseated by the mere mention of cake.
In my head I also grew four inches and gained a cup size.
Surprisingly, this didn’t happen. I haven’t turned into Miranda Kerr, or any other Victoria’s Secret model, for that matter. Shocking, I know.
I was confused as to why my daydreams of becoming some clean living warrior didn’t match up to reality, when a friend explained that when we think of ourselves in the future, our brains perceive this “future self” as a total stranger, someone completely disconnected from the real “us”. You can read an explanation of the research psychologists have done on the phenomenon in this article, which comes complete with Simpsons references.
This idea of my brain identifying “future me” as another person makes so much sense, and has some worrying implications for my holidays. In fantasy-land, my holidays are incredibly productive: I’m exercising, learning new music, practicing my vocal technique, editing and transcribing music for upcoming projects, working daily on my research project, and catching up with friends for beverages on the beach at sunset. In reality, I’ve been on holidays for weeks already, I haven’t done most of those things, and am sleeping throughout the day because I stay up too late watching Netflix.
Now, I would start addressing my laziness straight away and get to work, but I’m about to go to Spain. I guess Future Self will just have a lot of catching up to do.
*I may not have turned into Miranda Kerr, but I can truly credit this program with getting me into an achievable exercise routine and for improving my fitness. I haven’t tried the eating plan, but with a nutritionist behind the recipes and knowing how much The Guru loves her food, I know they’ll be super good for you and tasty too. If the Body Bliss Program isn’t for you, you can always check out her website. Sure it’s designed for brides-to-be, but I can’t help but feel that a lot of the stresses, issues and goals are the same for singers preparing for significant performances! Plug done 😉