Thursday, January 20, 2011

Never Give Up

     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,
     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.


  1. No Melanie I don't mind that you said that...glad to know I am not the only "crazy" one out there that feels that way =) You are right though, it is part of why we are help us progress and become stronger and better people...that is if we allow it.

  2. Hey girl! Saw this of FB and had to come check out your blog. LOVE this post. We ALL have these feelings and days where we just don't feel like what we have to give is enough. I was having a moment (lots of them since Joe and I separated last August and I'm a single mother working fulltime trying to keep it all together) and bawling to my mom on the phone. I told her I just wanted to be a 10 at something. My job, my housework, my commitment to scripture reading, etc etc. She said-sometimes it's okay to just be a 1. Can you be a 1 today? I replied I better be able to be at least a 1. Ever since then, for some reason I don't feel the need to be a 10. Because sometimes, it's okay to just be a 1 at things instead of amazing at them. Sometimes our lives are so busy crazy packed that there is no way we can be 10's unless we a)never sleep or b)never have fun. Your kids will not remember how many times you mopped the kitchen floor but they WILL remember how you made them feel. And when you give them copies of your amazing book, they will cherish them. I read a bit of the book "The Power" by the author of "The Secret" and I would really recommend it. REALLY great postitive ideas in there though i don't agree with all of it.
    One more cheesy postive thing I do. When I'm unseure at work I tell myself in my mind that I'm the best dental assistant in the world. It's silly but it actually makes me feel better. Just this moment now. Live in the moment as much as you can. :)

  3. Erica- I love your, it's ok to just be a 1! Such a great way to put it. I'm sorry about you and Joe. Wish there was something I could do.