I am a re-starter. Ever since grade two, if I didn’t like the way I printed, colored, typed up, glued together, phrased, wrote and all other imaginable verbs… I redid it. This seems like a great idea at first. Perfectionism isn’t all good, but why not always do your very best? The thing is, it’s just a habit now. I am slowly learning to do it and move on. To take those notes, and worry less that they aren’t the same ink color as the page before. (I’m only a touch crazy, I swear.) Or to do a task and allow myself to walk away before I criticize myself.
So. How hard are you on yourself? Can you finish a project, no matter the size, and think “I did my best, and I’m happy with it!” ? I’m certainly trying to. And I’ll get there some day.
But speaking of being hard on people, something that I have been increasingly aware of, is how often I project my expectations and yes, those strange daily habits, on my boyfriend. I hate open drawers and cupboards, it’s something I picked up from my equally neurotic father. And my boyfriend has zero concern about it. He’ll grab what he needs, and if the drawer or cupboard is open when he turns to leave, it’s no problem.
So, taking yet another tip from Elizabeth Gilbert, I have put in place some on the spot self reflections:
- “Who is this important to, and how does it effect others?” If it is so damn important that the dishes be done tonight, like right now, then I should take responsibility and do them myself. If something is only bothering me (crooked blankets on the bed) then it is certainly no one else’s responsibility to address and or adjust! Especially with the second part of the question being only answered with “me”.
- “Suck it up, and do it then.” The most difficult step after my first reflection is to maintain responsibility for my annoyances. It is nobody’s fault that they can’t see things how I see them. I had this issue living with my best friend. I allowed myself to be so resentful that my standards of organization, or scheduling, or priorities were not mirrored in her actions. But of course they weren’t! She is a laid back, totally different human being with a differently numbered priority list! So piddly little actions like putting make up back in the drawer she got it from, was not something that occurred to her.
- “Actions speak louder than words.” I recently had a conversation with my boyfriend, pointing out that when I had a bad day, all I wanted in communicating this to him, was for him to acknowledge this. I wanted a “I’m sorry you had a bad day sweetheart” and a hug. I didn’t want him to tune out, or compete with me as to who’s day was worse. And he accepted this, and has obliged really well since. However. What was I doing in return?
My boyfriend has been working really long hours, and is getting increasingly frustrated with his boss’s demands, the long hours and the physical labor. And while he comes home and vents, grumbles and complains about it, and I heard all of it (nearly down the same sentences) yesterday, all he wants is some acknowledgement too. So I’m doing my best to bite my tongue and nod and hug as much as I can. And I’m only human, last night I’ll admit I told him I wasn’t going to watch Breaking Bad if he was going to complain about work the whole time. But I find it’s easier to keep us talking and in good moods towards one another if we let one another throw the bad day on the floor and get a good solid hug for it, than to let it turn into a bitter “Whose Day Was Worse” contest.
There now. I have (almost) effortlessly typed up a nearly 700 word blog post, and I can’t even think of an introductory sentence to my Medieval English Literature and Culture class! Just goes to show where my priority list is at 😉
Well then ladies and gentlemen, good night, and may you cut yourself some slack and remember the humanity of those around you!