May Reality

If you can gleam one thing from a “self-help” book that alters your perspective enough to render a change in how you interact with your own self, you’re doing good.

I’m reading “Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis. In Chapter 2, The Lie: I’ll Start Tomorrow, she talks about blowing off stuff, not following through with your plans with yourself, breaking promises made to yourself, and how we wouldn’t put up with crap from other people.

It’s true.

If I had a friend who always blew me off, didn’t show up, failed to follow through or rarely keep their word, I would consider them to be unreliable, untrustworthy, irresponsible, etc.

At best, I would let it slide… tell myself that they had good intentions or that’s how they are, people come as is, so if you know how they are, you just know better than to count on them for anything. Once in awhile, they might surprise you by actually doing what they said they’d do.

At worse? Worst case scenario, I’d get tired of it, lose all respect for that person, and have nothing more to do with them.

Here’s what gets me… and it’s a thing many women do. I value being trustworthy and dependable FOR OTHER PEOPLE, not my own self. How many times have I blown off doing what I want to do for me just to be available to do stuff for other people? Postpone my own goals, activities, purchases, wants and desires, whatever because someone else needs something fill-in-the-blank more than I do? We are conditioned, as women, to be caretakers of OTHERS, not our own selves.

Sure, we know that we have to take care of ourselves in order to be able to take care of others, but somehow that gets boiled down to the bare necessity, to get enough rest or whatever. Anything more could be perceived as a self indulgence, which tends to open the can of guilt worms. Who wants to fall into the realm of selfishness?

Perhaps that, in itself, is a lie we tell ourselves.

It’s a harsh reality to realize that if I stepped outside myself and evaluated my friendship with my own self, I might not have anything to do with me. That has to change. I have to start valuing my friendship with myself just as much as I value my friendships with other people. I need to extend the same courtesy to myself that I show to others, give myself the same level of respect and follow through on the intentions I have with and for my own self, be it something I intend to do or whatever.

That change starts now.

Actually, it’s been brewing awhile. On April 24th, I laid everything on the line… told that man exactly how I feel, what I want, and what I need. His response? “Don’t let that woman get to you.” Totally ignored what I want, and absolutely no follow through on what I need to see happen.

That’s okay. I’m woke now.

A shift in perspective alters priorities. Change comes slow, in little ways. It’s pulling yourself off the back burner and lighting a little fire to heat things up. It’s getting out of bed in the morning and heading to the studio with your first cup of coffee. It’s opening the windows of your soul to let a little fresh air rejuvenate your spirit. It’s remembering who you are.

Thanks for reading!

Perfectionist?

I feel contentedly subdued today, as in “quiet and rather reflective” and NOT “depressed” if you check online dictionaries. A peaceful calm has settled over my nest and I am energized as in revived, able to take on tasks postponed far too long, such as scraping the old paint off the old bathroom tiles. That has been on my “to do” list ever since I moved into this place.

Am I a perfectionist?

Words echo, circle in my head, audio memories in other people’s voices: if you are going to do something, do it right. If you can’t do it right, there’s no sense doing it at all. Rip it out and start all over. Learn to do as many things as you possibly can and learn to do each well, someday you might need a loaf of bread. A is for average. Three strikes, you’re out. Trained by the best to be the best. Error free, hit the mark, dead on. Precision, precise, perfection?

It’s not a piano. Precision not required to build a crude crate. Nor apparently, to paint apartments. It will take hours to scrape down the tiles, days because I am in no hurry. Whenever I go in there, maybe scrape a little more. I’m doing it because sloppy workmanship drives me nuts. Yet, it is par for the course. Another echo: not everyone does things like we do.

I think I am a perfectionist when precision is required. That’s a given… as a tool & die maker, I worked to close tolerances, often plus or minus a tenth. That’s ±0.0001″ for those not familiar with the lingo. So yes, I am a bit of a perfectionist per training and conditioning. I definately expect more from myself than I do from others, especially if I know that I can do better. But not about everything… not everything is a piano.

What I am asking myself today: how much tolerance do I allow myself and should I work on loosening that up a bit?

Well, I can’t be too much of a perfectionist if I have lived with THIS (see photo below) for damn near a year.

Thanks for reading!