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,
Carolyn
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