Every morning she wakes newly optimistic that today is the day her life will change. Before she leaves her bed, Ms. Optimist greets her: “Good Morning — welcome to today, did you know that today is going to be something special?” She smiles at the thought of a brand new day; a new beginning; a day of change. How wonderful — life is really going to begin today. She just wants to stay in bed a little longer, warm under her covers, snuggling with her puppy. Instructor stirs, she has awakened. “GET UP” “GET UP NOW,” she commands.
She lifts her weary body out of bed and feels the cold floor on her feet. The harsh light above the bathroom mirror assults her eyes, and she looks at herself. The sight does not please her — she looks old and broken. She stares blankly into her own eyes and hears the Criticizer reach the mic. “Testing, testing; is this thing on?” Criticizer sees her refection and gasps “You look terrible.” “Look at your hair, and your skin has broken out.” “It’s because you had that dried fruit, and you didn’t drink enough water, and you probably had more calories than you were supposed to.” “Did you not wash your face well enough before bed?” “Terrible, you look just terrible.” Criticizer continues his abuse, as she washes her face and ties her tangled curls back at the nape of her neck. The Instructor enters and silences the Criticizer.
The strong and powerful Instructor tells her to find her running tights, bra, top, and socks. “Dress,” she says. “Good, now find your runners and jacket and feed the dog.” Her every move is dictated by the Instructor. “Put on your jacket and get the dog leash, now get your car keys, and turn out the lights.” She is outside; the chill of the morning feels good on her face. The Instructor moves her forward: “Start the car, turn on the heater, turn on the radio, put the car in reverse, DRIVE.”
As she drives to her destination, the Instructor and Criticizer argue.
Criticizer: “With all this running, you think you would be thinner.”
Instructor: “Don’t listen to him, turn up the radio.”
Criticizer: “You can’t shut me up that easy; by the way, take a look in the rear view mirror, you look terrible today.”
Instructor: “Keep your eyes on the road — now sing along. Sing; it’s a great song “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna get me down…”
She gets to her destination and parks the car. Her running buddy is waiting for her, and they mumble their usual morning greetings. As they begin to move, the Nurturer awakens. “Oh, look at you. Exercising and being healthy at 5:30am. You should be so proud of yourself.” The Nurturer stays with her for the rest of the run. She cheers her on, and points just how beautiful the morning is.
It’s time for her to go to work. The Pessimist meets her at the entrance: “Well it’s a good thing your early, at least the boss will notice you’re punctual.” “He most certainly won’t think you are any good at your job.” “I’m not even sure why they hired you, what do you do anyway.” She sits at her desk, and eats her breakfast. Instructor has returned: “make a list, start your computer, organize yourself.”
The voices take their turn through out the day. The voices blend together into one chaotic boom inside her head. They make her happy, sad, anxious, mad, afraid, confident, relaxed, stressed out, bored, exhaused, exhilerated — all of these feelings happen within five minutes.
After work she goes straight to the gym to find Optimistic waiting for her. “Oh there you are!” “I’ve been waiting all day for you.” “You are going to have a great work out, and you will look so fantastic when you’re done.” “Most likely you will find a great guy here.” “I can’t wait to meet him.” She finishes her work out and heads to the change room. Criticizer laughs “Did you really think a man was going to come up and just start talking to you?” ” Come on, get serious… Don’t you realize there are much prettier and younger women here?” “Why on earth would a man talk to you?” She leaves defeated.
The day is over and she’s at home. She washes up after dinner and finds her way to the sofa. She pulls a blanket over her feet and listens to the silence in the room. Lonely joins her. “Another day and nothing changed.” “You have no one to share your day with; you are alone again.” She calls her dog to her side and scoops the little fur ball into her arms. She pulls the dog into the crook of her shoulder. She kisses the top of the dogs head and whispers, “I love you, thank you for being mine.”
It’s time for bed. Nurturer tucks her in, “Good night, my love. You are safe.” “You did so great today, I am so proud of you for everything you accomplished. Now go to sleep.”
“But wait, don’t you remember you really messed up that schedule at work today? Let’s think about that. You can’t go to sleep after making such a stupid mistake.” demands Criticizer.
Pessimist replies to this statement: “You’re right. You will never get it right. What is wrong with you. This is why you’re alone; it’s because you just aren’t good enough.”
Lonely, always ready to join in the conversation, reminds her: “Yes, you will always be alone. Just look, you have no husband and no children. Your life is meaningless.”
“That is not true,” claims Nurturer. “You have chosen a different path. That makes you brave. You have a different purpose in life, and you need to cherish and appreciate the wonder of you.”
Optimist yawns her goodnights and silently reminds her, “Oh, just think — tomorrow will great, so many wonderful and exciting things are coming tomorrow. Everything you ever dreamt of is waiting for you — tomorrow.”
Instructor has the final say, “Go to Sleep.”