I have a problem. A delusion, if you will. I call it In My Head Syndrome. You see, in my head, I can do things. Things I can’t do in reality. It’s kind of like when you decide to paint a room (or finish a craft project or organize a closet), and as you are planning it (in your head), you think, “This will be a breeze. I’ll be done by lunchtime and then I’ll have the whole day to
lay on the couch watching old 90210 reruns and eating bon-bons get other things done.” And then you start painting and you think, “Hmmm…this is taking a little longer than I expected.” And then hours and hours go by and you are not even close to being done and you’re getting pissed off because your couch and Kelly’s drug problem and a box of bon-bons your other chores are waiting and you can’t believe you ever thought you could get it done by lunchtime.
If this (or something similar) has ever happened to you, you are afflicted with In My Head Syndrome.
In My Head Syndrome tends to affect us older folks more than the younger set. It’s not that younger folks are more in touch with reality, it’s just that they may have fewer responsibilities getting in the way of getting things done. Or they have more free time to work with. Or – and this is the big one – their bodies haven’t betrayed them like ours have.
Now, I mentioned bodies betraying us and you might be wondering what that has to do with painting or crafting or organizing. But you see – the biggest and most dangerous symptoms of In My Head Syndrome are physical. In the most severe cases, the results can be physically painful. Both severe and mild cases are emotionally painful.
In case I have any young people reading who don’t think In My Head Syndrome affects them, let me offer you some proof that it does. Remember when you went to your second cousin’s wedding and your parents started dancing. The way parents dance? In My Head Syndrome. And remember when your uncle went sled-riding with you and crashed into a creek and just laid there for a while? In My Head Syndrome. And I KNOW you remember your ninth birthday party when your mom and aunt decided to show off their ballroom moves and fell into the TV in front of all your friends? You guessed it – In My Head Syndrome. See – these examples were emotionally painful, although not so much for the afflicted person, but those around them – so like it or not, YOU are affected by In My Head Syndrome.
The severe cases can be very painful. I know this from experience. I was much more athletic growing up (which admittedly isn’t saying much. A cactus is more athletic than I am now). I took gymnastics from the time I was four through high school. I was a diver all through high school and two years of college. And even though it’s been years and many pounds, I am apparently still under the impression that I can do a back handspring or a full-twisting 1 ½ back dive. Now I’m sure this won’t be as much of a surprise to you as it was to me, but: I cannot.
Certain things can cause In My Head Syndrome to flare up – taking the kids to gymnastics/baton/etc, looking at old photos & videos , class reunions, alcohol, and many more. Right now, there is a serious In My Head Syndrome epidemic due to the Winter Olympics. If you are anything like, you will watch the ski-jumping and luge and half-pipe and think to yourself, “That looks easy. I could so do that!”
And like me, you would most likely be wrong. Because In My Head Syndrome means that you are way faster, stronger, smarter, more graceful, more motivated, cooler and more awesome IN YOUR HEAD than you are in reality.
Sadly, there is no cure.