I was reading my sister-in-laws blog yesterday and she was talking about how we are the hardest on ourselves. She has a new church calling that is slightly overwhelming because it's new and something she's never done before. On her blog she said that she would feel positve about the whole thing and then seconds later she'd feel really down and think things like, I can't do this, it's not going to work out, they're going to hate me, etc. (Barb- I hope you don't mind that I'm talking about this on my blog!)
It got me thinking, I feel that exact same way with my writing. Some days I think, my book is AWESOME! People will love it! I think Jessica is very relatable, she's funny, and she kicks butt. I think people will fall in love with her and with Alric and with their relationship and with well, eveything!
And then I have those other days. Days where I think, my book sucks. My writing sucks. I have no skills whatsoever. Who is going to care about a stupid teen romance? It's not good enough to get noticed by agents. There are so many steps just to get published that it will NEVER happen for me.
It's not just my writing where I get those conflicting feelings. Heck, I have them every day! Days where I think, I'm totally hot! And then days where I think, I'm such a fat cow. Days of, look what I got accomplished today! And days of, I got nothing done today.
I think what's most common is days that go like this:
So today I did my house cleaning, my writing, I exercised, and showered. I cooked all three meals, my kids got to school/ballet/kickboxing on time and ready, they did their homework, we listened to the scriptures.
But there's so much I didn't do. I made Hamburger Helper and bagged salad instead of a homecooked, organic, completely-from-scratch whatever that so-and-so makes her family. I listened to the New Testament, but I didn't sit down and study and cross-reference and highlight for an hour like so-and-so does. I didn't do that puzzle, or paint, or draw, or whatever with my kids. Sure my house is clean but the floors really need to be mopped, the fridge needs to be cleaned out, and I don't even remember the last time I cleaned out my van! I got my visiting teaching done this month but I haven't done any service. I never do geneology. I haven't read the past three Ensigns.
I'm a terrible mother. I'm ugly and fat. I suck at writing. People don't like me.
I'm such a failure!
I write that in italics because those have actually been my thoughts. I've had days just like that. Days where I can't see what I accomplished, I can only see what I didn't do. Sometimes I don't have days, but probably most days I have moments. Moments of guilt. Moments of failure. Sometimes those moments drag me down and become days. Other times I can rise above those moments. I can say,
I'M DOING THE BEST THAT I CAN!
So why are we so hard on ourselves? Why do we compare ourselves to others? Why do we think others are perfect and have the perfect life when deep down we know that's just not true. No one is perfect. No one has a perfect life. Why can't we be happy with doing the best that we can?
Here's the kicker. I think that if we weren't hard on ourselves, then we won't grow. If I say, I'm fine just the way I am, I don't need to change anything, then I'll just become stagnant. I'll never reach my full potential.
So how do we find the balance? We have to be a little hard on ourselves so that we can become better. But if we're too hard on ourselves then we'll just get depressed, we'll feel worthless, and that DEFINITELY won't help us to become better.
I think the point is to KEEP TRYING. NEVER GIVE UP. Maybe that sounds too simple, cliche, or even cheesy to some. But that's what we need to do. Keep trying. Do the best that we can. So at the end of each day we can say, I know I'm not a perfect mother/wife/housekeeper/writer/whatever. But I'm trying. I'm trying to be better. And I will try again tomorrow and the next day and forever. And hopefully, that's enough.