Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day 34 and 35 too

Is about time travel. Because this is actually Day 36. If you remember, I wrote recently about continuous vs continual.

Continual wins. I set out to write something on the blog every day for a year. I'm not going to give it up because I missed two. The same applies to any goal.

In first grade, when I was learning to write sentences, I couldn't tolerate a mistake. If I made one, I'd wad up the paper from my pad and march it up to the trash can. After the third such trip, my teacher, Mrs. Yonce, snagged the wad from the trash can and gave it back to me. She told me that such perfectionism was a waste and that I'd have to smooth out the wad of paper as best I could and finish my assignment on it. To a six-year-old perfectionist, this was devastating.

In the end, I finished the assignment and handed it in, tear stains and all.

But I learned how to erase and keep going. Occasionally I have to remind myself of this lesson. Occasionally I fail. It's hard to go on, plough forward despite mistakes, failures and flaws, but it's infinitely smarter than quitting.

It's January 25th. I wonder how all those New Year's resolutions are holding up out there. We tend to refer to them as 'broken' when we slip. Possibly we should switch to another term. Got any suggestions?


Melissa P said...

I tend to think of them as faded. It seems a good way to visualize the way they become less urgent over time. The real work seems to be in the restoration--of them and of our selves.

Hang in there.

GingerGirl said...

Actually, I rather dislike the term "resolution" itself...entirely too serious. Perhaps we should have New Year's Endeavors, or New Year's Pursuits (that way, if you get "off track" you might well find your way again and carry on).

May the rest of your pursuit be full of adventure, and discovery, and laughter...

Anonymous said...

My new years resolution is disappointed. Continuously. Mwah mwah.

Robbie Downer

cmw said...


Diandra said...


Kathy Bolt said...

My teacher in Primary School confiscated my eraser as I kept rubbing things out! I didn't think it was a bad thing to keep trying to get it 'right'. It is sometimes difficult to give yourself a break when it doesn't go 'right' or at least as we want it to but even mistakes inform our lives - either now or later so maybe it's just good to keep trying and also allow a more flexible idea of what is 'right'.
I also second the 'New Year Endeavour' idea :-)

spacedlaw said...

"Broken" does sound a little terminal.
"Strained" or "sprained" might be easier to live with if still painful.
Perhaps "bruised"might be good enough.

Drinne said...

I'm with Diandra I would go for "dented" if it was something I was going to keep trying and maybe "cracked" or "leaking" if I weren't accomplishing it.

Apparently my perfectionsim is so bad that as an adult I would regularly tell people and truly believe that I didn't do any of my work in High School. When I expressed fear going to college as a non-traditional student that I might do the same thing again ( although I never did it as a professional) my mother laughed maniacally and informed me the house was covered with my work, I didn't turn it in because it wasn't good enough and I was sure I would fail anyway.

I got through college then and now by realizing how screwed up I have to be to have blocked that from my memory in real time - ( I told the teachers I hadn't done it) and made a pact with myself to turn it on the due date no matter what I thought of it.

But the mistakes drive me crazy - waiting for the grade is agony and less than A now seems like a yawning abyss waiting to turn me back into the kid who didn't pass high school. That resolution didn't leak, but I'm not sure it fixed the underlying problem.

And despite my best efforts to model otherwise - like many other personality traits it seems to be hereditary.

lisa said...

thank you, all of you. As I read through your comments it occurs to me that you're thinking and learning from the 'fadings, dents, cracks, bends, strains and disappointments.'
That makes me think that we could almost refer to them as 'detours.'
If we're on a path toward our goals, we might slip off for a bit, such as the Dwarves and Mr. Baggins did in Mirkwood.
There are lessons to be learned in these detours, but for sure, they can be painful and costly.
I know. I'm living through one as I type this.
As always, thanks for traveling with me. I know we're all at least better off for the company.