I – Idealism

Posted: 4 December 2007 in A-Z, bitter old woman, therapy

I*Idealism.  It’s going to kill me. I can see you laughing.  Or maybe that’s just a pained look of misunderstanding.  But I’m happy to explain.  You see, I’m not one of those people who wanders around saying “Well, because that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”  Examples:”But the wedding day is supposed to be the most special day in a bride’s life!  Everything has to be perfect!” – my sister.   “Well, you can’t do it that way.  It’s just not the way it’s done.” – my boss.”Bangs!  Minis! Size zeros!  Platforms! Eighties!  Seventies!  Mod! Punk! Top ten things every girl should know!” – cosmo, etc.In general, I’m not overly concerned with how other folks think things should be done.  This isn’t to say I’m contrarian, just not concerned with how it “should” be done.  Except when it comes to my own expectations.  I have such lofty standards, I might die trying to meet them.  Example:It doesn’t matter that my final projects aren’t due until Friday.  I should have had them done yesterday.  All A quality work.  And effortlessly.  In fact, today I should be preparing for next semester.  I should have bought my books last month.  It doesn’t matter that the professors haven’t posted those book assignments yet, or that my current grades are more than enough to see me through. I set impossibly high standards and then routinely meet them.  See that wrinkle on my forehead?  Thanks, high standards.And stress isn’t just showing in my face.  It’s showing everywhere (amply, I might add.)  I’m afraid sometimes it leaks into my relationship and onto my conversations and into my self esteem.  Cause while most of the time I can meet those ideal conditions, some of the time I can’t. And when I fail, I do so spectacularly.  My mother (and she’s another post) insisted, rather demanded, that ideal conditions were possible realities and that I was failing myself if I stopped short. Yeah, thanks mom.So I do it.  And it isn’t that hard.  I picture the best possible scenario and then do everything and then some to anticipate and resolve any possible problem.  I don’t fail professionally or academically.  If the ideal changes, and it does, off I go with it.  But personally, I can see I’m not even trying to meet the ideal. I’m purposely pushing it away.   Ideal?  Size 6.  Highlights. Laughter. Free time.  Fit.  Creative genius.   You see how this is going?  Instead of anticipating and resolving, I seem to be along for the ride.Most of you have already seen where I’m going with this. I’d like to change my notion of ideal. Or rather, how I respond to it. I’d like to stop reaching for perfect. Let’s face it, it’s getting ridiculous.Examples:As if I didn’t have enough to do in November I hopped on the nablopomo wagon. And because you were doing it, I joined the holidailies party. And ideally, I intend to post everyday. And if I don’t. It. is. not. okay. But you’d forgive me (I know you would) and there isn’t a consequence, just my ideals. Sitting. Waiting.As discussed, size 6 and fit. I don’t even know if it’s possible. I mean, I’m not 16. But I joined a gym with a pool, my favorite place of idealism. D. warns me, don’t expect to go in there and expect to do everything you did when you were a size 6 and fit (well, she doesn’t quite say it like that).   She’s right of course, but I seem to be unable to accept that I can’t meet my ideal.   I’m afraid I’ll go, get in the water, realize I’m not 16 anymore and spectacularly fail.Yes, I’m idealistic.  I hope you aren’t the same. *If you’re new to A-Z, check out the category.  I’m working my way through.  Apparently, very very slowly.

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