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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mercy- or Not

I’ve touched on this subject before, but every time I have a particularly struggle-some day, it resurfaces: I’m always uncertain of the boundary between having mercy on my shortcomings and pushing myself to work harder. Now, the intellectual in me will counter that the two need not be mutually exclusive. Smart as that sounds, it’s difficult to internalize. The writers I admire have each written about the need for both: self-forgiveness and self-discipline. As a perfectionist, as someone who wants to do it right right away, and who is never satisfied until I do all the things the cool, older kids are doing, I don’t have the patience to wait around and let experience guide me. I want to know now. I want the never-fail litmus test. I want to know when to forgive and when to push through so I can work smarter, achieve more, be content. That’s not too much to ask, is it??

Days like yesterday also make me take quite the longview on my struggling. And let me be clear: my struggles are, in the historic sense, piddling. However, I persist in naming them so, mostly for the verb: struggle. I feel like I am locked in continual struggle: to carve out a profession, to live more sustainably, to achieve my goals, to be my best self. While I feel this struggle at all times, it probably isn’t as epic as I paint it. Sometimes, I even win a struggle or two.

The good news (in this instance) is that my moods are so variable, my perspective is always changing. Today- same level of productivity, much less angst.