Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sabbatical Day 4

I am feeling really stuck today. There are so many thoughts running through my head with no clear direction to any of them. I have found myself being distracted by things today, as if my mind doesn't want to confront any more issues. I mean aren't the issues I confronted the past three days enough? How many issues can one person have? Don't answer that. It was rhetorical. I know that I have multiple issues to deal with this week. I also know that I am not going to cure a lifetime issues in one week. I do hope that I can at least identify most of them and move in a positive direction when I get back home. I am feeling the pressure right now. Only one full day left after today, so I better get this thing figured out. I need to have it all figured out by noon Saturday, so hurry up and figure it out!

Okay, I think I just stumbled upon my next issue. The need for perfection. Those who know me may not see me as a perfectionist. Especially if they have dropped by my house unannounced. I am pretty messy and can appear quite scatterbrained at times. I procrastinate like crazy. I lose things regularly, just ask each of my children how many times they have handed me a permission slip or report card, only to come back later to retrieve it and find that I have misplaced it. By all outward appearances, I am no perfectionist at all. But I am.

Being a perfectionist has nothing to do with being perfect. It has to do with my perfectionist thought processes. I suffer from the "Anything worth doing is worth doing right" mentality. I don't do something unless I can do it right. This means that things I lack the time, direction, energy or motivation for fall by the wayside. I procrastinate until I have time or energy to do it right. I don't make decisions because I am afraid of making the wrong decision. I want to have a clear-cut, right answer. If I am not interested in doing something, but I said I would when someone asked me to (see previous post about my need to be liked issues), I will drag my feet getting it done because I don't care enough about it to do it right. I realize this is a circuitous thought process, but I have been doing it for so long it has become a habit. What to do? Form another habit, of course. Yea, that should be easy, right?

It is going to be an internal struggle for me to go against my natural inclinations and give up my all or nothing ideals. I am going to have to be much more intentional with my thinking so that I don't fall back on old habits. It is going to mean saying no when I am asked to do something I am not interested in doing, which may be quite uncomfortable for me and may even cause some people to think less of me. I am going to have to force myself to get started on a project (ie, that book I want to write) and keep at it until it is finished no matter if I think it is perfect or not, which may cause some anxiety because I really want to put my best foot forward in this venture. Despite the anxiety and discomfort changing my habits will cause, it will alleviate so much dread and stress that I often feel from taking on ill-fitting projects and procrastination. Hopefully the benefits will carry me and I will learn to deal with good enough before I even have a chance to balk at myself.