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The Voice

Like a Duran Duran earworm, “The Voice” is a byproduct of motherhood, a quirk of nature whose sole purpose is to annoy offspring.

I am certain the “The Voice” is hardwired somewhere deep in my cerebellum. It surfaces to warn, advise or chastise.

“If you aren’t careful, you are going to make a mess,” is not what I want to hear when I am tackling an unfamiliar project and unsure about how to proceed. As a young person, I thumbed my nose at this warning, thus I’ve made a mess more often than I would like to admit. Age brought slight wisdom however and my adult self hesitates prior to thumbing its nose.

“Sometimes you just have to take it,” is a bottom line version of the serenity prayer. It is a teeth-gnashing dictum for proactive individuals. On the other hand, it relieves you of the frustration of providing a solution.

“Take one day at a time,” always sounded like a huge cop out to me. Type A’s are obsessed with planning and organizing. As time marched on I realized, there are some things you simply cannot organize and if a “sometimes you just have to take it” occasion arises, “taking one day at a time” is a relief.

“You better save for your old age. It’ll be here before you know it,” made no sense at all, and is a contradiction to taking it one day at a time. The thought of old age looming in the background, ready to claim me before I was ready, created paranoia. I wanted a specific time range for its arrival. I try to cover all my bases and clip coupons to “save for my old age” and prevent old age “one day at a time”.

My awareness of this phenomenon arrived too late for me to edit my voice. Why didn’t someone warn me about this legacy? Had I known, I could have programmed something totally classy and memorable. I don’t even want to think about the voice my offspring will hear.

Categories: Biased, Unbalanced and Politically Incorrect

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JoAnn Williams

I am a lifelong Southerner, short story author, and essayist. Home is Dallas, Texas.
My essays have appeared in Flash Fiction Magazine, The Dead Mule School of Southern Writing.

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