Phony

I envy those people who know what the hell they are doing. I’ll admit it: I haven’t a clue most of the time. Like today.

I’m prepping to start my workday and I’ve got major imposter syndrome going on. Not just with work, but life in general. One of the cats had to have four tooth extractions yesterday — some kind of thing going on where the living tooth starts to revert to bone instead of living tooth and quite possibly the reason he has been so obnoxiously vocal the past few years — and I have to set up a new routine for him in terms of food. He has to eat soft food while he is healing and won’t touch the rehydrated kibble. I had some canned food left over from before we found out one of the cats is allergic to most canned food ingredients, so I segregated Smudge to feed him some of that — which he loved. But now I have four feeding scenarios: one kitten with kitten kibble, one cat with sensitive stomach that can only eat turkey-based kibble or shit literally flies, one cat who is aggressively overweight and on a diet, and the remaining three that can have a standard kibble diet, but calorie-restricted because one of them is prone to overeating.

And timing is essential for this. If I don’t time it right, the cats go bonkers because they are hangry. Diets… Sigh.

If that was it, I’d be fine I think. But I now have everyone seeking my advice within the household for things I haven’t a clue about. So I have to figure it out, although everyone else should maybe take a hand in their own destinies. Or I have conflicting demands that I have to smooth over. [Just now: “Two of the cats know something is different about Smudge and are hissing at him and stalking him, should I separate?” Me: “Everyone’s going to have to get used to the new Smudge, but you can send him down with me. If he gets disruptive, though, I have to put him back into the mix and someone else will have to guard him.”] “Should I tell my friends that I am sick and can’t get together with them, or admit I just have really bad cramps?” “Grammie wants to know if the girls can hang out at her house, but they are taking care of an aunt recovering from surgery and no-one wears masks. They are all vaccinated, but the twins are too young to be vaccinated. What should we do?” “How should I do this homework using the new math that you haven’t a clue how to use? It’s due tonight.”

Do I know what’s best? Should I make a different decision? Clueless.

Or work. Apparently, in the age of smartphones, having a schedule is not allowed in consulting. Usually, I’m not the main cog in the machinery, so I don’t have to worry overmuch about those weirdly-timed calls. But the past few weeks have been filled with writing emails or taking calls or attending meetings while I am cooking dinner or running errands. Some of it is in my wheelhouse, but others are — I’ll have to get back to you kinds of moments and they don’t want to discover that I’m not really a walking encyclopedia of information. Plus, I often only see a fraction of the needs, and yet people ask me questions about stuff that they haven’t bothered to inform me about. And then make me feel like I should know what about the think they are asking about. I also do a lot of artsy-fartsy interpretations using statistics, the fuzzy kind of stuff people hung up on very precise measurements in their workday don’t particularly like. Is this chemical there? Statistically… probably. But I can’t promise it is. Why not? Because… statistics. UGH! Just tell me if I should plan on it being there! Okay – plan on it being there, but I won’t promise that it is.

And then I feel like an idiot for not having a more precise answer. Even though — there isn’t one. And it makes me wonder if I didn’t examine the data close enough, except that I did.

Essentially, I go through each and every day hoping I make good decisions and doubting most of the decisions I make. Because… Do I really know as much as I guess I make people think I know? I’m pretty certain that I haven’t a clue 99% of the time.

And that fills me with existential angst.

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