Sunday, October 25, 2009

If only I were animatronic.

I've been thinking a lot lately about forgiveness and compassion.

I have compassion for Lil' Frankfurter and forgive him every time he barfs. I don't have quite the same amount of compassion when he poos in the house. I'm working really hard to forgive him for eating 27 toys and causing us both a lot of grief. I'm about 90% there. So, let's round up and say score one for compassion.

A few months ago, one of my editors accidentally deleted a document. Recreating it was a hassle, and it was the day before I was leaving for vacation. She was mortified, but it never really occurred to me to be upset. I totally could have done the same thing.

Score two for compassion.

But when it comes to me? To being compassionate and forgiving of ... me?

Well, the score is really, really low there.

I make a living being critical. It's my job to point out flaws and inconsistencies. And really? I'm good at it. I'm good at being a hyper-vigilant freak. I'm blessed to have found a job that takes advantage of my natural gifts.

But when I'm not looking for style guide inconsistencies or misplaced commas, all that critical energy has to go somewhere. And typically, I train it on myself.

My house is a mess. Foxie needs a bath. I need to repair the chip in my windshield. I owe 27 people 27 e-mails. I wore shoes with too high a heel for the pants I had on. The pants were wrinkled. I should lose 10 pounds. Everything I own is covered in dog hair. I have yard work that needs to be done. The right side of my hair is still growing out and looks like a wire-haired terrier. I need to mop my floors.

And there's some broken little synapse in my mind that thinks, "Well, all of these things are well within your reach ... if only you would just try harder."

Yes. Because clearly, I'm not trying hard enough.

Typing this, I see how ridiculous it is. And yet? Yet, I feel guilty for the time I spent cuddling sweet Lil' Frank this weekend. It was great, and then I reached that "What am I doing with my life?" epiphany, and I got up and washed windows.

Yes. I washed windows instead of cuddling with my dog. What the fuck is wrong with me?

I'm not compassionate towards myself. I don't seem to forgive myself for ... gulp ... being human.

Any words of wisdom?


Trixie Bang Bang said...

Every Sunday night I suffer from "I didn't get a fucking thing done this weekend!" panic, which throws me into a whirl to accomplish some type of household chore, answer an email, make a phone call, pay a bill....all the stuff I'd rather not do on the weekend. Nice to know I'm not the only one who freaks out and will put a cat aside to wash dishes, when really we all should be enjoying a lazy-log afternoon catnap. We need to reassess our priorities.
Now, I must write myself a reminder to call Monday morning about the chip in my windshield...

Unknown said...

It's hard to find balance when there is always so much to do. For me, I can't relax when there are things to do and the house is messy or dirty. If you figure it all out, let us know, because I sure haven't.

itsjustme said...

Well, it is hard to argue against clean windows. My how the house seems brighter. Although you KNOW you are too hard on yourself, it is hard to tell you to take it easy when I do the same thing. Maybe if you just schedule dog time and clean time? Some times that makes me feel better to have scheduled things . . but I'm a little on the crazy OCD side when I get stressed.

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Nope. No words of wisdom. Just the consolation prize of knowing that I could have written this myself. Except for the dogs. I'd have to replace the dogs with my puking, peeing cats. But other than that...

Gretchen Hembree said...

I am SO with you here. I told me this was my time to get shit down and here I am reading your blog and ignoring the big pile of MUST Do's behind me. I am SO critical of myself and Ryan always comments that I act like I carry the weight of the world. Well, honey, I DO!!!! :)

Here for you! ~G

sherilee said...

Speaking less from actual experience than theoretical knowledge... it's about balance. And it actually sounds like you achieved some this weekend--a little cuddle with the pup, a little cleaning. Not bad.

I wish I could say the same for most of my weekends. I suffer from the lack of "middle speeds" as I refer to them--I can go all out in 5th gear for quite a while, or make like a slug in neutral and laze about, but pace myself in the middle speeds? What's that? But, it gives me something to work on, right?

Good post, Cha Cha... almost like therapy for the rest of us!

Patti said...

I am remiss in my commenting, so catching up....

Live in the present moment. Don't spend one second beating up on yourself for what you did or should be doing. Be in the moment and fully appreciate where you are this minute, this breath. You will get done what needs to be done, and it will all happen with so much more joy. Choose to be happy, forgiving and compassionate with yourself!

I don't always practice what I preach (I know, shocking!) but if I go to bed at the end of the day and everyone is alive I consider it a success. Life is hard enough without beating up on yourself.

Remember, you are completely perfect just as you are. Strip away the dog hair covered house (mine is cat hair) and the too much work too little time and the stuff not done and your car and all that you think defines you and what you have is the true self. The unchanging ever present spark that connects you to every other living being and to God(insert your deity of choice here) and it is perfect. Absolutely perfect. Not perfect when the dishes are done or the windows washed. Perfect. Now.