December 17, 2011

on being critical

Growing up I always thought I was a perfectionist.  I guess it never occurred to me that I didn't actually strive for, or achieve perfection.  As an adult (let's be honest... as of the last year or two) I realize that I am not a perfectionist, I'm just very critical.  I'm critical of myself for not being perfect.

It's very unattractive to realize this about myself.  But what attracts me is the opportunity for change.  I love change, I thrive on it a bit.  I've been working on it for a while now.  And I'm making progress.  I realize that my self criticism has kept me from being creative, from trying new things.  Where is the fun in that?  Recently I've thought that maybe I will even take an art class someday.  That is just crazy talk.  If there is one thing that is sure to put me in a terrible mood it is art, more specifically me trying to create art.  My hands don't know how to do what my mind sees... I think that is because my mind has never learned how to direct my hands.  There is a good chance that I will stink at art, but at least I will have tried.  My poor family... I hope they will survive me during this adventure.

I heard someone say recently that they were not athletic.  That is something I've told myself for years, for my whole life.  Really?  What does it mean to be athletic?  Do you have to play a group sport?  Do you have to be good at a sport?  I've been to the summit of mountains, some big mountains.  I've finished a half marathon (not gracefully).  I love to hike.  I enjoy skiing.  I wonder if I will ever see myself as athletic.

I'm thankful that I have children because it makes these flaws in myself (ahem, these opportunities for growth) so obvious.  More important is that it makes me so motivated to change.  How can I encourage my kids to keep trying, to enjoy something even if they are not good at it, to try something new if I am not doing the same?  I hope I am able to be a silent example to them... and I hope they can see me SO frustrated but still appreciating the experience.

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