Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Work in Progress

The last thing I want this blog to do is depict my life as being perfect. I don’t want people to think I live in this perfect little world with a perfect little family who just go around spewing sunshine and rainbows.

Nope. That’s just not reality.

Me, and my life, are far from perfect. And I want this blog to be REAL.

Of course, often times I will share the joyful moments from my days and weeks. I will describe happy memories and post photos depicting a loving, blissful family.

 Lindsay Thalinger Photography

But y’all? I think it is important to put out there that me, and my life, are absolutely, without a doubt, a work in progress.

Recently, the pastor of our church, Andy Stanley (whose sermons just so happen to be the reason that, for the first time in my life, I actually look forward to, and pay attention in, church), said something that I will never forget: 

What’s it like to be on the other side of me?” 

He suggested that we stop and truly consider what others’ experiences are when they are interacting with us. This idea has followed me around since the words came out of his mouth. It made me take a good look at myself and truly try to envision how others perceive me. To consider the impact I have on others, the good, the bad, and the (hopefully not too) ugly.

So, in the spirit of being real, I want to highlight some of my faults. Just to name a few and in no particular order…

Fault #1. I truly believe that I have some degree of Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, aka an extreme form of perfectionism. I get frustrated, irritated, aggravated, annoyed when things don't come together just perfectly. Just ask my sisters when I am in the midst of throwing a baby shower. It's not pretty. Have a conversation with my hubby about what it's like to be around me when I am planning my kiddos' birthday parties. Again, not such a flattering image when every.single.detail. isn't flawless. This perfectionism definitely extends to my professional life, too. Exhibit A: This is the manual that lists the criteria required to diagnose mental health conditions. As you can see, I tabbed each and every disorder when I was memorizing this manual in graduate school. This is ridiculous. Time-consuming. Irrational. OCPD at it's finest. 

Fault #2. I take my hub for granted. He is the person I feel the most comfortable with in the whole world. He knows me better than anyone on the planet (And I'm sure he'd be readily able to contribute to this faults list). He has supported my dreams from Day 1 and climbed every peak and battled every valley alongside me over the last 10 years. Yet, despite the fact that he is my best friend, I realize that I sometimes treat strangers, acquaintenaces, friends better than I do him. I can be quick to lose my temper with him, or say things I don't mean, because I am so comfortable with him. This is absolutely, 100% wrong of me. I should treat him better than anyone on the planet. Add this to the resolution list.

Fault #3. I am too competitive. And I don't mean in the, "Hey, let's go play some cornhole so I can whoop up on everybody" kind of way (By the way, that has never happened. I suck at cornhole.). What I mean is, I am constantly comparing myself to everyone I know. At times, I admit I try to be the best, do the best, have the best. I have fits of jealousy and feel my stomach turn when I see others excel in areas where I can't or don't. It's a waste of time. It's not healthy. A better goal would be to focus on being the best me I can be. I am so not there yet. Not even close. But I'm working on it.

Fault #4. I have been known to lose my patience over whining. To me, whining is like nails on a chalkboard. Only think of the nails as being those nasty, curling nails whose picture we all remember from the Guiness Book of World Records, and magnify that sound by 10,000. I just get so aggravated when my little boy, who is in the middle of what I try to euphemize as the "terrific twos," whines. Which seems to be non-stop some days. This is not to say he does it all the time, but when he does, I feel my body temperature (and my voice) rising. Too quickly. Again, it is something I am actively working to change about myself.

 Lindsay Thalinger Photography

Fault #5. I am an organized, my-life-is-easier-when-every-single-second-is-scheduled kind of girl. I live and die by to-do lists. Each morning at work, I write out my specific timeline for the day and Lawd help me if this timeline must be changed. It's why I get irritated so quickly when my patients are running late. Spontaneity? Not in my vocabulary. It's a shame because I think that life should be a balance of living in the moment while also having a back-up plan. Unfortunately, my scale tips heavily in the "plan each moment" direction. Okay, who am I kidding? The scale is toppled over in the "plan each moment" direction. Sometimes, I just need to relax and live a little, ya know?

Now, just so we're clear, this is obviously a short list. A very short list. Yes, I certainly have my faults. Plenty of them. But I will do my best to continuously consider the question, “What’s it like to be on the other side of me?”. Because at the end of the day, at the end of my lifetime, I hope that I will have done more good than harm. I hope that my impact on my family, my friends, and strangers alike, is remembered positively.

Yes, me, and my life, are a work in progress. But I love a good challenge. And I figure that acknowledging (some of) my faults is a good place to start. Right? Now, where's my planner...

1 comment:

  1. I have been thinking a lot about things like this lately too. Actually, my blog post tomorrow has a similar tone, self awareness and improvement. :) Great minds...