i may have just resolved an ongoing dilemma i have struggled with for years.!.
i don’t want to call myself a perfectionist. my house looks like a tornado touched down, or a collectibles paradise, depending on your perspective. i screw up at work all the time, forgetting things i should remember, making messes here and there, and hearing selective bits of instruction rather than the whole. seems to me a perfectionist would be doing all these things, well… perfectly!
but like a perfectionist, i am very hard on myself. i expect great things from me, and on a sort of unrealistic scale. not that i should find the cure for cancer, because i’m not in the medical field; or that i should discover the fix-it-all for global warming, for same reason. i just always have this nagging, overhead feeling that i am responsible for … stuff. that the world is waiting for me to do something amazing, and if i fail to live my day properly, the fragile balance of the universe will be thrown off balance and must just kill not only mankind, but God as well!
but since i’ve never really figured out what my “calling” is, or what i’m “supposed” to be doing with my life, i have the constant pressure of rescuing everything around me, and the ever-present feeling of impending doom and failure.
some people might say i have a Messianic complex. or point out that my alcoholic father and whack-a-doo upbringing clearly make me just an “average” stereotypical kid from self-destructive, narcissistic parents.
true, that. but hopefully, maybe, i have come up with a miraculously easy mantra for myself, that is both ridiculously obvious, and impossibly profound.
this hard and long winter i have been lazy and enjoying my couch more than my workout videos. oops! but today i was actually engaged in my yoga practice! now, having become a flesh bag of mashed potato instead of muscle, my yoga experience this morning was nothing like it could be, or is normally when i am consistent. and normally i would chide myself for this, and yell a bit about how un-fit my thighs are, or how i can’t believe i don’t work out more consistently, or what a blah blah blah blah blah. you know, just little reminders that i still haven’t saved the world or managed to change the oil in my car.
but i sort of out of nowhere said to myself: “this was a good workout for who i am today”.
now this may not sound earth shattering to you, although it is a nice warm, fuzzy kind of bullshit sounding new age type of thing you can throw around when you feel like crap but really want to pretend you are enlightened.
but for me – someone with multiple personalities – this is the greatest thing to come out of my brain since that last really cool dream i had! because honestly, i never know what each day will bring…
for someone like…NOT me, it might be different. you might have a goal, like going back to school, or running a 5K, or whatever, and meeting that goal can be tough. kids to feed, bosses to please, classes or schedules or house cleaning…tons of stuff shoves its importance into your face and it takes a strong will to reach and complete a goal set for oneself.
for me, it’s kind of an amusement park, or a crime scene. because i have more than one distinctive and developed personality, i have different interests. and i might really really really want to work on a book i’m writing, but if i wake up a little fella – well i might just have to play video games all day instead. or i might wake up a grumpy one, and then i want to be physical, or active, or just watch Dexter all day. or i might just turn into someone who can’t spell or think very well because she doesn’t have the same language skill set that my writer mind has.
goal accomplishing becomes very tricky for me, and i walk around feeling like i haven’t done much of anything ever, because every one of my personalities feels stunted or gypped out of some really rewarding END of the task.
but at least this mantra addresses that; i can just acknowledge that for THIS day, for THIS me, i have done well.
and then maybe tomorrow i can save the world…