Oh dear it's been a month since my last blog. I feel it too! Like a weight of thoughts and feelings all trying to rush out at once. No wait, it's two months! Now I just feel like a bum! There is no excuse or reason other than I just didn't. Steve out of school, was around the apartment all the time, the pool is open, lots and lots of work and maybe I just needed a break. Some family stuff, daughter getting divorced, custody battle and next thing you know, life is flying by and I feel like I'm hanging on to a moving train by fingertips sporting white knuckles. Like John Lennon said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans".
This brings me to today and I love to be sitting here writing, sharing, hoping someone out there in cyberland still follows people that slack off for TWO MONTHS!
So, as is fitting, I want to write one of those open letters to myself today, to kick things off and kick me in the butt. And it is all about pursuing excellence.
I don't know about other states but in Arkansas in the public school system they have "gifted and talented" programs. Now I'm not sure it is totally gifted and talented students, as in the highest IQ and the work comes easy. I'm betting that a good percentage of those kids are more the "perfectionist and overachiever" group that works their butts off but hey that's just their norm and they don't know any better.
Take my daughter for example. I never had to tell her to study. First born, overachiever, teachers pet, she would tell you she hardly studied and made A's but I know for a fact she did a lot more studying than her siblings who were mostly average students who excelled in the classes they liked but not enough to be considered GT. Personally, I fear that as a very young mother, I had the same pressure a lot of young mothers have, the need to make their child perfect and I pushed her into some kind of overzealous state of needing to achieve. Although honestly, I can't take credit for it even as a flaw. She is just a driven person. Much like I was at her age and I still see it around the edges of the mature me.
I wish I saw it more. In me that is. Because it occurs to me that weight loss (or reaching any big, tough goal) requires the pursuit of excellence. I will not lose a pound without hard work and sacrifice and I sure won't loose the big numbers. I really need to be firing on all pistons and totally given over to this goal. I need to be an overachiever to even begin to achieve what I have in mind, which is a body transformation. I'm talking Joan of Arc here.
So what's the problem? Well Excellence is not the easiest thing to achieve.
Excellence takes work, Excellence takes sustained work. Excellence takes a commitment of time and energy and giving even when you think you ain't got it to give. Excellence takes sacrifice, sacrifice of immediate gratification, sacrifice of some long tern gratification, sacrifice of many, many ideals and events. Excellence takes tenacity, fighting and fighting and fighting some more. Never giving up. And maybe the hardest for me, and most other people pleasers, Excellence invites criticism.
I saw a controversial post on Facebook the other day. here is the link>
A young woman writes about the dangers of dating guys who work at these particular jobs and she goes into detail to stereo type all of them. I thought it was thin and kind of sad. She felt less than them and their ivy league educations so she criticized them and either their enthusiasm for their work or whatever she perceived that their excellence cost her. And I thought, and posted something to the effect, on my friends facebook, that maybe she prefers the wandering Taco Bell employee instead of a driven, hardworking man who has a plan.
I have seen it myself. Sometimes, oftentimes within woman world, to try too hard, to be too good, to want to contribute and actually have something to contribute will get you 40-to-Life in the woman world lock-out. As in, no overachieving, smart people wanted in this club, keep on moving biotch. We want only dumb, stab you in the back kind of girls in our club, girls who need a lot but don't expect much. You lose weight, we hate you. You have a nice home, we despise you. You show confidence and self reliance, we wonder what's wrong with you. You threaten us. You scare us.
The only way I know to avoid the jealously and mistrust that comes from haters of excellence, is to only hang out with other achievers. Those who aren't afraid of other peoples' success. I don't know how to play the games so when the games start I just bow out. It's all I know to do.
Eleanor Roosevelt said it sooo well, I could never say it better.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
If you are an achiever or pursuer of excellence, you will draw criticism. You just will. All I can say is just keep your head up and spend time with people who have more to talk about than other people. Its the only recipe I know. And by the way, if you are in the habit of talking smack about others, consider regrouping. It is a lot of energy that could be used for more productive things like achieving goals!! It is so easy to fall into this trap but there are better things in life to focus on than what everyone else is doing.
That's why for me, I choose excellence. I want to be the best I can be. There I said it and you know what, it felt good to get it out. If you hate me trying or hate me failing, I don't care. I'm gonna do me and let you do you. There is no room for game playing in the pursuit of excellence. Just hard work and tenacity.
That's all ~ Thanks y'all!