Thursday, January 19, 2012

B+ Girl

(The charm necklace I won after I decided on my word for the year made by this artist.)

These words we pick for the year certainly waste no time teaching us a few things. At least, that has been my experience year after year and this year is no different.

I chose the word light with its myriad meanings as I listed here, and the part I knew would be hardest is already showing me a thing or two.

This issue I have with handling myself more lightly, not taking things so seriously, not always pushing so hard.  Yeah, that one.

About a week ago, I told my partner that I was tired of "being stuck in my B+ place."

What!? you say.  Let me explain...

You know how some kids rebel by...I don't know...going to parties, drinking, whatever it was that "bad" kids did in the 1980s?

I couldn't do that.  No way.  Not in the house I was raised in.

But I could do something maybe even worse...I could be average.

Smarts were very important in our house, and there were definitely times in my life when I did the best I could and the best I could was very, very good. I was blessed with enough smarts to meet expectations, fairly easily.

Then I started to realize that no matter how much my best was awesome, it would never be good enough.  Got a 98% on that hard math test?  Well, let's look at the one you got wrong.  Why did you miss that one?

You know. (Or maybe you don't and that's nice for you.)

So I decided if my best was never good enough, why try?

I knew I could get decent enough grades -- those B+ range types -- that they couldn't justify punishing me but they would find it annoying.  Disappointing.

The problem with this particular rebellion was that it set me into habits that have been hard to break.

Because I can get by fairly well without trying, I have taught myself not to try.  My trying muscle is weak.

People who know me in person will find this amusing because people think I "do so much," but we all know internally what we are capable of and I do not measure up to what I know I could do, what I really want to do.

Thus my complaint recently to my partner about feeling stuck in my B+ place.

What happened right after I told her this?

I got a chest cold.  MY NEMESIS of sicknesses.  THE sickness guaranteed to PUT ME DOWN and MAKE ME REST!

Yes, I am yelling.

HA!  Said my word of the year, TAKE THAT!

And in this time of enforced rest, I have had a little time to think.

First of all, a B+ is a very good grade.  Not average at all.  Unless you are raised by perfectionists.  And continue to do their job for them inside your own head.

Second, what about taking a little time to work on projects and not getting it ALL done by YESTERDAY is a B+?

Third, if I get an A+ in my project work, is it worth the F I would be getting in self-care?

This issue is certainly not resolved for me, but at least, I am more consciously working on it, thanks to my word of the year.

Even while I am writing this, I am thinking about all the things my chest cold has made me get behind on.