Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Positive Perceptions

My blog makes it more than apparent that I have an overwhelming tendency towards negativity... I am quite often down on myself, and on my achivements - quite frequently without even realising that this is what I am doing. To be negative is as much a sin towards oneself as hubris, and Miss M's little pep talk on yesterday's post has got me all fired up today to be more positive, or at least have a damn good try. In the end, it's all too easy to tie oneself down and that is as detrimental to one's health as a poor diet. So, I need to make a real effort to stop judging myself so harshly and, more importantly, stop comparing myself to everyone around me!

Things I can genuinely be proud of (excuse me for a moment):

I am intelligent and creative. I have two degrees, one with distinction, and I got two years into a PhD before being pole-axed by foodie problems and then distracted by an ill-advised and ill-starred relationship in another country. There is no reason why I could not have worked through the former and gotten my doctorate, but because I did not, I am not a failure. It just wasn't the right time and, if I am honest with myself, it wasn't the right subject. There was a damn good reason why no one has published papers on the area I had chosen to base my thesis around and it is because there really is nothing there (even though there should be). ("Images and perceptions of kingship in Caroline Drama", in case anyone is wondering. I am much better on the Elizabethans and Jacobeans.)

I have leapt without looking and survived.

I have managed to acquire and keep a techy job without any formal training. Ok, so I hate it, and sometimes I drive myself almost mad with the frustration of it being so alien to my mindset, but I can do it; I meet deadlines, I have satisfied clients who believe I do a good job. It is an achievement.

I have an incredibly healthy lifestyle (for the most part!) which I enjoy maintaining. Yes, I probably drink more than I should but I continue to make real efforts to cut this down; yes, I eat out more often than I should for optimal nutritional health but when part of the week one is in transit and living out of a rucksack, this really is unavoidable - still, I make real efforts to make this balance and work with my CRON. (Yes, I read April's recent post and immediately thought I am a failure for not making the decision to avoid eating out for the sake of my CR - that's my negativity directing itself towards myself again; nothing whatsoever to do with April's post which is, of course, perfectly valid in its content and I am in no way criticizing).

I have a large and varied set of wonderful friends, friendships that I have worked hard at creating and keeping. I hope I am good at being a friend. I certainly try to be. I am including this little CRON community in that, because it counts.

I am a damn good cook with enough imagination and creativity to envision this being a viable part of my future.

I made the decision to live apart from my lover in a beautiful place where I knew no one, and I have made a life here. See friends above! And we survived. And we are going to have a fantastic wedding party which will be all our own work.

Obviously there are things in my life that I am not proud of, and things I am not entirely happy with - but the existence of these things do not make me a failure in any respect. I need to remember this and stop tying myself down.

The sun today is wonderful. It is even starting to feel like spring. :-)

So, tell me at least one thing about yourselves that you are proud about at the moment.


April said...

Sara, I apologize if my post made you feel bad!!! I EAT OUT! And I'm not about to give it up! No way, no how, no chance whatsoever. It's fun, it's a part of my life I enjoy, it's a quality of life thing. I'm willing to sacrifice a bit in other areas to make it possible -- though I have had too much experience with the overeat then undereat cycle to ever go there again. That just doesn't work... but a consistent healthy low cal diet punctuated with occasional wonderful meals out is just fine for me!

If you think reading my posts makes you feel bad... imagine living with the paragon of CR perfection. That's who I compare myself to, and it can get a bit frustrating at times. I remind myself: he and I are different. He never liked eating out in the first place! He doesn't even particularly like the taste of wine! I don't want to be exactly like him, even though I love him deeply and respect him tremendously. It's all about making your life work with your own priorities and goals... or at least that's my philosophy.

I think it's wonderful that you're working on being positive about yourself and your achievements. It's so hard for us women, isn't it? And the minute we start feeling openly proud of ourselves, we get called vain. So freakin annoying. I hope we can be a supportive community to each other.

How's your kitty cat?


Sara said...

Tigsy is just fine and sitting on the floor by me as I type. She's eating less and less every day but she is an old girl, and I guess she is saving herself for the doses of tuna and prawns I hide her pills in!

I was trying to say that it wasn't your post, but me that was / is making me feel bad. I want to be brilliant at CR, perfect at it. Get it nailed. Live to 120 or beyond. LOL, don't we all? But all I can do with it is the best that I can do, which I am doing, and try not to think that I am failing when I eat that piece of homemade bread still warm and scented from the oven.

As for living with the CR paragon, I guess it's the same as P and I working within the same industry. P is hugely talented and it all makes perfect and innate sense to him. I am forever scampering behind and whimpering about illogical constructs and concepts. I'll never be at his level. But that's ok. I'm not him.

Not liking the taste of wine though! Oh, poor MR! :-)

Deborah said...

Nice post Sara, very nice. I loved (and am impressed your affirmations of a good life well lived, with many more wonderful things ahead of you.


Anonymous said...

I think it's great that you took the time to write all this out :) it's far too easy to overlook the things we have done well, the ways in which we are talented and capable. You've earned the right to feel good about the age and place you are at now.

Hopefully, that is what we are all working towards. Giving ourselves the gift of more life, and the means by which to enjoy it.

I, personally, am proud of my ability to walk in high heels. Especially today as I didn't realise a meeting was across town instead of the other side of the hospital until fifteen mintues beforehand!