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Saturday, October 25, 2008


I have never been one for mediocrity in the past but now I am trying to make peace with just that. My sister suggested that the key to contentment might be lowering one's standards as far as one can and still feeling ok about it. I suspect that this attitude might help my overall outlook on life. Although I have backed off on the number of things I am doing in general, I have still been getting most of my boost from my little achievements. Now I think I need to find my boost elsewhere.

Yesterday I got an evaluation from a Thursday walk through of my classroom. Things actually went well during the walk through and I expected some decent feedback but when I read my review, it was poorer than what I had hoped for. I really took it to heart. For nearly 24 hours I wracked my brain for how to do better. I was angry at myself for not doing more. I was also guilty that I don't even want to try making any major changes to my modus operandi at work. As I thought more about work, I did think of little ways to do things better but I also concluded that if what I am dishing out is mediocre, I must learn to accept this too. I know how many hours I put in after work and at home. I know how hard I have been trying to give the kids and my lessons the best of myself. I also know just how exhausting it is to get one kid to focus and take care of business, let alone 20. While I never want to be mediocre, I realize that I also need to be less hard on myself or I am going to drive myself nuts.

Sometimes it seems that my job is all-consuming. Even when I am not doing it, work is all I think about. I realize I really need to find balance, not work more or try harder. Perhaps if I can connect with what I really want, what gives me joy, what really makes life worthwhile, I can stop stressing so much about my job. I am tired of being angry at myself and of judging myself. I am tired of being tired all the time and feeling bad because when the day ends, all I really want is to sit at home and do nothing. I want to look forward to things again, not just make it through the day. I want to feel good about what I have done and not the things I have not done.

There is often great pleasure in a single moment but I am often too busy thinking about tomorrow to enjoy now. I want to learn to enjoy now again. I remember what it felt like to take a high dose of steroids. I dream of feeling more like that naturally. I felt so sharp, capable, focused and present. Things took as long as they took and I didn't worry about how I should be doing something else at any given moment. It can be a big challenge but that is how I want to feel. That feeling, of course, was not mediocre but I wonder if I could be mediocre and still find a way to feel like that.


pat said...

Oh how hard it is to be misunderstood. Try not to let another's judgement be the final word in your head at night.You are by no means mediocre-trust yourself. Your path is strewn with obstacles, but it is paved with an effort not always obvious to others. Take heart and honor your own understanding.

Joan said...

First, it was NICE to chat with you on Friday night, as always!

Second, I will offer no advice for you because I share these feelings and this angst, and have not found an answer. But I do know that being on steroids gave me a high and lots of energy which made me feel like I could fullfill everyone's expectations. But was that the real me? Or an artificially pumped up me? Is the mediocre me of today the real me or a suppressed me? I don't know.

I'm on a journey to find the 'real me' now that I no longer have a job to give me an artificial identity. It's another path and I'm trying to be patient and open.

I look forward to seeing you along the path. Hang in there! Namaste!

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Pat :)

Denver Refashionista said...

Well Joan, on the upside, I guess we both know there is something more. We are not ready to believe that this is all there is or that our activities define us. I know that you're right about the steroids but it did feel good to believe that I could do anything and that everything was effortless. For a little while I believed that I could make all my dreams and all the dreams of those I loved come true. Now I find myself just struggling to plan ahead or to make it through the day. I think I need to find the in between.

Diane J Standiford said...

Oh, gosh, where to begin? First: Your posts are good, they reach us and are well written and far from mediocre. Your job: I got my first evaluatin in 1986 and was average on all scores. I was devasated because I did more work, faster and better than those I saw and even had people tell me so. So I orked harder, came in early/left late the next year, got all average scores. Then co-workers told me my boss just grades hard. Next year I got MS, never issed a day, worked my rear off---score:average. So I finally confronted my boss, her response? "Diane, you are so good if I graded you the highest score, what motivation would you have?" She was my boss for 18 years and scored me higher ever after. Denver, MS forces us to reinvent ourselves, change ou goals and dreams---look at it as a fun thing, a new adventure. Do I look at old photos of me acting and cry sometimes? Sure. But I have new dreams and fun stuff to do now, like blogging, writing, learnng chess---read my post tomorrow; I had a blast writing it. (PS--do you drink coffee? It always give me a mini steroid kick!)

Lanette said...

Ditto for what Diane said below. I could not have worded it any better. Now if I can follow this advice as well. I also feel my life has become mediocre in some ways. Or I feel stuck trying to figure out what to do next, follow my heart, while using my head to not forget about the adjustments needed for those two little letters...MS.

Great Post! :)

Denver Refashionista said...

Thanks Diane. Your points are well-taken. When I showed my friend in a supervisory role my eval she said it was one of the better ones she had seen. It did give me a much-needed kick in the pants to improve on little things within reaon.

Denver Refashionista said...

Lanette, you're right. My mother said that I need to remember those letters when I start faulting myself about not doing everything I did before.

miz astrid said...

You, my dear, will never be mediocre, try as you might. For realz.