So as you probably know by now, if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I work with a fantastic coach, Lynne, every week. And if you know anything about coaching, you also know that one key aspect of the coaching relationship is accountability.
However, me being who I am, the kind of things that I need to be held accountable for are not things like, “Let’s set some goals to help you move forward on this project.” No, my accountability issues lie in the area of Things That I Am NOT Allowed To Do. As in, “No, you may not read any self-improvement articles while spiking a 10 on the pain scale,” or, “No you may not use exercise as a way to punish yourself for your imagined transgressions.”
But now my accountability story has taken yet another unexpected turn. Because now, in addition to reporting on what I’ve done (or not done) that day, I must also perform an, “Am I lying?” check-in each day.
As a former “Good Girl”, you can imagine how stunned I was to discover that I am, in fact, a lying liar-pants of lies. Especially when it comes to my declaring to the world that, “I’m fine.”
-Suffering with a 2-week long migraine that shows no signs of letting up? “I’m fine.”
-3 weeks into an especially compelling obsessive-compulsive episode? “Fine.”
-4 days in a row of being at an 8 or more on the pain scale, but too afraid to take my pain medicine? “No really, I’m FINE.”
And people believe me, because I am THAT good at this particular lie.
But not anymore, because people have finally caught onto the game that I’ve been running. It’s one thing to be able to lie by omission, but now Lynne and my husband know that they have to ask me specific questions, such as, “Where is your pain level right now?”, and “Have you taken your medicine today?” There’s enough “Good Girl” left in me to not be able to lie in the face of such specifically directed questioning.
This has also been good for our marriage because, for reasons I don’t entirely understand, if my husband is not here in the evenings, I feel that it’s unnecessary for me to eat. This is very weird, because if you met me in person one of the first things you would notice is that food and I are obviously on extremely good terms. I haven’t figured this out yet, but it does lead to some interesting conversations, like the one we had the other day as he was on his way out the door to play poker.
My husband: “So what are you going to eat for dinner?” (Once again, he has learned that he must inquire as to the SPECIFIC DETAILS, or else I will find a way to lie about it.)
Me: “Oh, I’m so excited. I knew you were going to ask me that, so I figured out a plan while you were on the way home. My plan is, I can have the leftover lasagna for dinner.”
My husband: “You do know that you actually have to EAT the lasagna for this plan to be acceptable, right?”
Just like Ozzie and Harriet, no? (Or at least, Ozzie and Sharon.)