I was born with the words People Pleaser on my cute little baby belly. And it’s taken me nearly half a century to recognize this quality for its true insidiousness.

1. To pee.

Honestly. I haven’t added up all the time I’ve spent peeing in my life (Has anyone? I’d like to meet that person.), but I bet if I did it would be a mighty large number of hours. It’s a pain (not literally—no medical advice required) having to constantly self-interrupt the business and the fun of life to squat.

2. To sleep.

Once I’m there, I adore it, and it’s hard to get me out of it without a well-placed shove (or the smell of bacon and coffee), but up until the very moment the Sandman takes over, I’m fighting and kicking all the way. Really, another episode of Mozart in the Jungle is much more important than beauty rest, right?

3. Money.

Duh.

4. The approval of … well, everyone.

Ugh. This should be No. 1, actually. I was born with “People Pleaser” on my cute little baby belly. And it’s taken me nearly half a century to recognize this quality for its true insidiousness. Recently, though, I’ve been stressed out and rushing through most everything—running to catch the bus, jamming a few Triscuits in my mouth and calling it lunch—which, of course, is no way to live in serenity (or sanity). But all this rushing has had the unexpected result of forcing me to abandon my people-pleasing. I’ve not returned phone calls, I’ve been brusque and frank, I’ve pissed off people with my lack of warmth … and it feels good!

5. Sugar.

I know, I know, I don’t need it. But you’re only saying that because you don’t really know me. Trust me, you don’t want to see me when I haven’t had my daily chocolate. Which brings me to … caffeine. I need it, too. Even though it makes me pee (I refer you to No. 1 on this list. Sheesh.).

“Honestly. I haven’t added up all the time I’ve spent peeing in my life (Has anyone? I’d like to meet that person.), but I bet if I did it would be a mighty large number of hours.”

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