Monday, 17 May 2010
What are you good at? What are you terrible at? How do you manage the intersection of the two?
Now that I am a student again this year, I have been thinking a lot about the question. For example, I'm a firstborn who always succeeded at school. Just as firstborns do in life in the home, I figured out the system at school and how to thrive in it. You know where I am failing? Housework. I am finally willing to admit that I suck at it. There is no place in my life for it, no desire to do it, and I have come to the conclusion this year that if a) I had the money and b) I didn't feel bad about spending it this way, two investments that might really enhance my life would be a housekeeper and a personal assistant (for all those errands I hate to do).
I constantly wrestle with myself about my failure. I've learned enough about myself to know that it's not healthy to only lean into success. For one, the laundry must get done from time to time. Secondly, building my identity on something I am good at is not helpful for understanding grace. I know it's irresponsible to just ignore/cut out areas of my life just because I am terrible at them, but then again, there is some wisdom in letting go of the guilt of something you consistently fail at that is, at least in the grand scheme of things, not that important.
So how do you manage? Is there something that you are not good at, that you wish you were, but no matter how much you try, it's just not your thing? Do you force yourself to do it the way you think it should look in your head? Have you found a way to give yourself some grace?
I know I am capable of doing housework. I know I theoretically could rearrange my life to make it a priority. It's not a 12 step program I need. It's some advice for my internal world in how to manage success and failure simultaneously in the healthiest way possible.