Did you just call yourself a genius?

 

make·shift

ˈmākˌSHift/

adjective

adjective: makeshift; adjective: make-shift

1.    serving as a temporary substitute; sufficient for the time being.

 

gen·ius

ˈjēnyəs/

noun

noun: genius; plural noun: geniuses

1.    exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.

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I am decidedly NOT a genius. Let me just put that out there first before you think me arrogant and click away immediately. I am FAR from a genius. But I am a mother, and I am a writer, and therefore, I makeshift a hell of a lot. I have to. Don’t we all?

So I call it my makeshift genius.

I love the idea of a makeshift genius. Not the real genius, the kind with exceptional intellectual or creative power – but the kind that is temporarily sufficient. The kind that will do, that will allow us to survive and – if we’re lucky – kick ass and take a few names along the way.

I like to think of this makeshift genius as my muse. The one I ply with dark chocolate and red wine after the kids have gone to bed to keep her happy and working for me.  

The first few years I sat on this concept, I thought of it in terms of the creative ideas I’d come up with in a pinch. This was before the BuzzFeed and Pinterest era that gave us all the solutions for life’s problems in the form of chewing gum, or cardboard toilet rolls, or dryer sheets or maybe bacon. Strokes of makeshift genius, if you will.

More recently though, the idea has morphed into something slightly more meaningful to me, even if that means it’s less BuzzWorthy.

If motherhood has taught me anything about myself, it’s that I know how to get shit done. I always got shit done, don’t get me wrong. But now I can do it with less sleep, more patience (a-hem, mostly), and two kids hanging from my neck.  

And that’s a very good lesson, but there’s a better one.

Motherhood continues to remind me that it is not cool to judge. Not that it ever was. But I see more than ever now that most of us are just doing the best we can to get by, makeshifting our way through life. 

We like to pretend that we’re genius. And our social media encourages us to share the genius. But really, we’re a little more makeshift than we let on.

I sometimes wish my genius was a little less makeshift, but I’m forty now, so I’m going to own that which I am and that which I am not. I’m okay with that.

I am indeed exceptionally sufficient at most things.

And creatively genius at a few.

Aren’t we all?

Don’t get me wrong, I don't have this down. No sir-eeeeee.  I judge. You bet I do. I'm not proud of that, but I'm human. I’m working on it though, trying to remind myself all the time, that there is not a single right way to do this mothering gig. Even if sometimes, I can be obnoxiously self-righteous in my opinions.

So here is my space to share my makeshift, my genius, and everything in between. I hope you’ll share too.