Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cheap Therapy

Many years ago I had the opportunity to take the personality test from the book the Color Code by Taylor Hartman.  I went through taking the test with my rose colored glasses on and ended up squarely blue and white, which is always how I idealistically viewed myself.  Self-disciplined, perfectionistic, loyal, emotional.  And of course not a touch of red, although my family always begged to differ.

Problem is, while I do have all those character traits to some degree, that's not really what defines me.  When I look at myself honestly I have to admit that I am far more demanding, driven, competitive, critical, and hard-driving than I give myself credit for.  Red.  I have a blazing hot red personality and it's bothering me.  Not that having a red personality in itself is bad, but where I've taken the red streak is.

I'm beginning to realize that I've been spending the last 20 years or so of my life pressing the complete opposite of the figurative Staples Easy Button.

Instead of streamlining and prioritizing,  I hold myself and the people around me to impossibly high standards that can never be reached, then berate myself when invariably I don't.

After spending yesterday in a completely useless and discouraged state of mind I decided that it's high time I started looking for ways to throw that "Hard Button" out the window.  Here's what I've come up with so far:

1.  Stop writing personal notes in every single Christmas letter. While I like to do it, it's making the process impossibly slow for me, not to mention the fact that we rarely receive  personal ones in return. I think most people just don't care.

2.   Don't post any more recipes on the recipe blog until after Christmas (or whenever I feel like it will be fun).  I had this grand notion that I would post a cool Christmas recipe every day up until Christmas, but who the heck cares?   Certainly no one but myself.

3.  Stop waiting for everything in my house to be perfect to entertain.  I'm ashamed to say that I can't even remember the last time we had a non-family member over for dinner.  I always have an excuse.  Let's wait until we finish the bathrooms (3 years ago), let's wait until we decorate properly (never going to happen), let's wait until the basement's done (hopefully soon), let's wait until we remodel the kitchen/dining room (probably 3+ years in the future).  At this rate we'll be old and retired before everything's "good enough", but in the meantime I shudder to think of the friendships we're not developing and the people we're not getting to know.

4.  Stop thinking that approval from others is more valuable than my own.  If I do something that I've worked hard on and am proud of, why do I think I'm a complete and utter failure when people don't shower me with accolades?

5.  Stop being so "routine".  While my routines serve me well in a lot of ways (cooking dinner, getting the kids to bed, reading the scriptures, having FHE, blogging, etc), I also feel like they hold me  back as well. For instance, my exercising.  I've gotten out of the routine somehow and seem incapable of shaking my routine up enough to add it back in there on a regular basis.  I need to figure out ways to be flexible and to start looking outside of our own little box of life for ways to be more people oriented.

Sorry to burden you with way too much into my muddled mind on this fine day, but it has been a cathartic and healing post for me to write.    I'm ready to go forward with a new train of thought and hope that if you ever see me straying back to my "Hard Button" ways, that you will  feel free to remind me of my new path.  

PS   I've turned off the comments for this post.

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