Monday, June 18, 2007

change of ideas


this is not the post that was supposed to be here. i had a nicely though-out essay about what i can't even remember. all day long i've been sifting through ideas, refining and rewriting, and now that i'm home with time to write, i haven't a clue what it was i'd composed. i found the pictures that i had gathered for the essay, but i have no idea what i was going to write. none.

however, today em posted a sublime posting that is far better than what i would have written anyway.

I finally finished reading Raising Cain. (I also finally got a photo of Oliver sleeping...) I bought the book almost a year ago. One of the ideas that kept resurfacing was "the big impossible" and it's horrific effect on adolescent boys. But "the big impossible" actually nags at all of us. It's the idea that we are failing because we haven't reached some herculean ideal that we feel (for whatever reason, some say it's a societal pressure) we are supposed to have reached. The funny thing is that we tend to feel like a failure for not reaching an ideal that nobody has reached. Doesn't that seem silly?
We really ought to be a little kinder to ourselves. There's more than one kind of smart, more than one kind of beautiful, and a million ways to be valuable to the people around us.
Do the good things that you like to do, and feel good about it. Don't feel bad about not having a meticulously clean house if you aren't the sort who likes to clean (there are people who like to clean, believe it or not). Don't feel bad about not being a fantastic cook if you don't like cooking. Don't feel bad about the things that don't matter much in the end. Feel good about the good that you do, and enjoy doing. Try to improve yourself in ways that you enjoy. As long as you are meeting the basic needs of yourself and the people who depend on you, there is no need to feel like a failure!
The idea of being a Rennaisance man or woman is great, and I'm all for well-roundedness. But nobody is good at everything, and so nobody needs to feel bad about not being good at everything. Yet I think deep inside we all do feel bad about not being good at everything.
It's time to stop being silly, don't you think?

2 comments:

Em said...

You do realize that you basically posted the same thing (about expectations) yesterday, right?
You're doing much better than you think you are.

-->jeff * said...

no,i didn't realize that.... : )
but it's nice to have a second witness with your style.