My middle daughter decided she wanted to be a Confessor from Legend of the Seeker for Halloween. (Just picture a flowing white medieval dress, you get the idea). I picked out a pattern and bought the goods. "Wow, you pick the hard ones," said the man checking me out at the fabric store. "Better you than me," my mother in law said doubtfully. Even my husband looked mildly skeptical. My seven year old piped up, "Mom, that looks hard! Can you really sew that?" I just smiled and said "We'll see," because I was pretty sure I could sew that. I haven't sewed in a while but I know what to do, more or less. The dress is hanging up nearly complete downstairs. I was correct in my confidence, not that I wouldn't make mistakes, but that I understood the process well enough to retrieve the mistakes I did make (and there were at least three major ones). A real seamstress would smile at my ill-set sleeves and imperfect hemline, but my daughter looks great and is happy with it. I did what I set out to do.
What I wish is that I could apply that relaxed confidence to other areas of my life. I'm not sure where I got so tied up in knots. I wasn't raised with harsh criticism; my husband is the soul of tolerance. Somehow the need to be angry at myself for failing is so seductive. I only got my poor little daughter to ballet twice a week instead of three times; now she won't get cast in the Nutcracker, because she didn't go often enough. I've applied for a couple of jobs but haven't heard back. I have about a hundred irons in the fire but I have tremendous difficulty in putting forth that last 15% in order to get it done. I'm maintaining my weight and getting to my workouts three or four times a week, but I'm progressing so very slowly compared to my blog friends. Not sure what to do. The only mantra that seems to work is, "Yes, I am teeming colony of flaws, but my family's stuck with me. They just have to put up with my imperfections." Reassurances don't seem to help much, unfortunately. It's like trying to reassure an obsessive-compulsive that yes, they turned the stove off. I just have to work through it myself.
On a brighter note, I 5 factored today and yesterday, even though it was damned late (10 pm) and I didn't feel like it. Felt good both times so I get a gold star for that.
Maybe that's what I need... a star chart :) Or some cognitive behavioral therapy.