Get Your Shit Together

“Get your shit together” is one of those things people say when they’re mad at you, disappointed in you, disgusted by you, and so forth.

“Get your shit together” usually means that once you perform this magical, ill-defined feat you will no longer have your shit.

The oft-implied message is that you will no longer be shit.

There’s a Rick and Morty quote that’s made it into online art. It goes like this:

Get Your Shit Together

The part about the shit store or shit museum fits with the idea that you’re not going to have your shit anymore.

I’m confident that pretty much never happens. Whatever your shit is, you get to keep it. It changes over time, gets bigger, gets smaller, plays off of other people’s shit in better or worse ways, and so on. But you always have your shit.

I had a panic attack in a bank once. I was standing in line waiting to pay my overdraft fees wondering if I was ever going to get my shit together. A vision of my whole life stretched out in front of me, one long string of overdraft fee after overdraft fee. The frustration, the humiliation, the tediousness of money and time and bureaucracy and failure. And I just lost it right there in the bank.

When you think your shit is always going to be your shit, it can get really depressing really fast.

But, I saw something inspirational at the beginning of that quote.

Doesn’t this look like a nice backpack to put all your shit in? (Affiliate link)

“Get your shit together. Get it all together, and put it in a backpack. All your shit. So it’s together.”

That’s a pretty damn good description of what I’ve done in the decade since I had the panic attack at the bank.

I got my shit together. Not in the sense that I don’t have it anymore. I still have basically all the same shit!

But it’s all together. Like in a backpack. I know where it is. I understand it. I know where it comes from when my shit gets out, and I know where to put it back when I’m done with my shit.

Additional reading: Positive Affirmations are one of the tools I use to keep my shit together.

I read a meditation technique of imagining your thoughts as a pile of new puppies. When your thoughts start to wander, you imagine the errant thought as an escaping puppy. You gently pick it back up and put it back in the pile. You don’t get mad at your scattered thought, any more than you would get mad at a puppy losing its way from the pile.

The shit backpack is kind of like that. If I’m walking along and a notebook falls out of my backpack, it’s not a big deal. The same with my shit. The ways that I suck, the ways that I struggle, the ways that I fail… oops! Sorry! Shit is falling out of my backpack. And I can let my shit happen, and then let it pass, and then stick it back in the backpack. Simple as that.

What do you think? Do you still have your shit scattered all over everywhere? Have you sort of got your shit together in a backpack? What kinds of shit are you carrying?