Sunday, 24 August 2014

Perfectionism and Accomplishment

My elementary school French teacher went above and beyond the curriculum to teach those who wanted to learn.  I really appreciated the extra effort she put into challenging me.  When I was in grade 7, this French teacher decided to give us a half-day diagnostic French exam that touched on everything she'd taught us over the years.  There was a total possible 200 points.  I scored 198. Every other student scored under 100.   I remember this exam because I cried when I got it back because I lost 2 points.  I couldn't have cared less how the rest of the class did.

And although I think my ability to not compare myself to others was laudable, the degree of self-criticism was not.  It was symptomatic of a level of perfectionism that has haunted me since.  I will never be "perfect".  I know there is no such thing.  However, it has taken me a long time to find comfort with that.  I miss major milestones, and downplay my accomplishments.  It is a difficult exercise for me to brainstorm my contributions ... to anything.  I tend to focus on everything I aimed to do but did not.

Anyway, this is all to say that I had a wonderful last couple of years.  And before I downplay to the point of forgetting, here is a list of things that I did (or didn't do):
  1. I bought a Jag. I call her Kitty.
  2. I took golfing lessons and discovered I can drive well past 200 yards consistently.
  3. I bought a new Fender guitar and started guitar lessons.
  4. I took some lessons in boxing and did some TRX training.
  5. I fell in love with Vibrams.  I now own 2 pairs.
  6. I started cycling or walking to run errands.  To help with this, I bought an amazing Detours Freemonster Flap Pannier.  I save gas and get fresh air and exercise.
  7. I went rollerblading for the first time in 7 years.
  8. I went to a Jack Johnson concert at the Molson Amphitheatre.
  9. I visited Wasaga beach for the first time in years.
  10. I went for a hike at the Cheltenham Badlands twice this summer.
  11. I got a Canada's Wonderland Season's Pass this summer and for the first time in my life I went on all the biggest roller coasters, and spent time in a bikini at the water park.
  12. I've watched every blockbuster that has come out, but only blockbusters.  If there aren't good movies out, I don't go to the movies.
  13. I cut my hair, manicure, and facial budget.  They are frivolous treatments.
  14. I cut my restaurant budget and started cooking again.
  15. I didn't move! I did find a new apartment and am planning a move in the imminent future, but I managed to stay put for a few years.
  16. I stopped drinking, clubbing and going to bars.  I just enjoy the occasional glass of wine with dinner.  I don't have time for the other stuff.
  17. Although I cut my spending on clothing, I've picked up some pricey staples: a black Hilary Radley wool winter coat, a grey Helly Hansen raincoat, a champagne Rudsak winter coat, and a Nooka Zem Zot Mirror in Steel.
  18. I and my sister got through a draining year for caregiving through my mom's a hip fracture and hip surgery, starting dialysis early, and a sepsis infection.  (My mom is doing exceptionally well and is in good spirits, I should add.)
It's been a great couple of years.  I only expect it to get even better.

Wishing everyone the same,

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Eminem vs. Macklemore

Eminem's writing is introspective; Macklemore's work is socially conscious.  They're different.  They can't be compared.

It's on my mind because I'm tired of 'angry Eminem' and I don't want to see Eminem evolve into a socially conscious rapper.  His ability to delve into human psyche is unparalleled in rap, imho.  So these forays he's made into American politics have just been disappointing. I think we need to hear from a happy and balanced Em.  I want to hear about the successful Em who never succumbed to industry pressure. I think he'd elicit deep emotions of happiness no other rapper could express because he has rich lyrical content and expressive vocal style.

Fans need their stars to grow with them. Else they outgrow them.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Problems, Changes and Growth

You can learn a lot about a person from (1) the list of things they complain about and (2) how often that list changes.

The former will tell you how much that person challenges him/herself.  The latter tells you how successful they were at overcoming the challenges.
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