Stroke your Wookie
I’m awake. It’s 3am. It’s dark and it’s quiet. The cat has jumped onto the bed. I resolve to shut her in the kitchen but then she purrs and slumps against my hip and I forgive her. Now I can’t turn over in case I disturb her. My wife is asleep. I hear her breathing, punctuated by an occasional snore. On the street the milkman’s cart murmurs past our house. My tiny corner of east London is peaceful, still and calm.
Here comes the Wookie…
We all have a Wookie. Hairy, simple and loving, my Wookie is no different to anyone’s. Unlike Chewbacca in Star Wars most real Wookies seem to be nocturnal. They hang about the house all day, invisible, waiting for night time and that precise moment you open your eyes in the small hours and then they whisper in your ear: “you’re a terrible person, you haven’t done that thing you need to do”. It’s the Wookie who is responsible for those night time feelings of doubt and self loathing, reminding you that you haven’t finished the presentation or replied to the email.
Someone clever once taught me how to deal with my Wookie (thank you Scott). He told me I mustn’t be a hater because my Wookie loves me. He is simply a worrier and I need to soothe my Wookie so he understands that I’ve heard him and that whatever he is concerned about can wait until the morning. Next time your Wookie wakes you, be like Han Solo, listen to his mournful roar and understand what he is trying to say. Tell your Wookie you’ve registered his concerns and acknowledge that he only wants the best for you but he’s picked the wrong time to discuss it. Promise him you’ll deal with it in the morning. Even better, have the conversation as you go to bed, head the Wookie off at the pass and let him know that you need to sleep and anything and everything can be sorted out tomorrow, when you are refreshed and on the ball.
Sometimes my Wookie is very convincing. Last night he must have been really concerned about some of my life choices because I was up and pacing around, agreeing with him and nodding along: I am an idiot, what on earth was I thinking setting up a business and leaving a perfectly good job, who on earth do I think I am, what do I know about leather bags, I can’t run a company, I’m just an average person with delusions of grandeur. As much as I’m dishing out advice that sometimes works for me, the point of the post is that at 3 AM when the Wookie is shouting insults, I guarantee that bedrooms all over the world are filled with people worrying about their life choices. The Wookie might be right I suppose; after all, the Wookie is you and you do know yourself, but that doesn’t mean you have to have the conversation there and then. Tell him to pipe down and in the morning the Wookie rarely has much to say, and you may find that actually he is just plain wrong.