Wednesday, March 28, 2012

When my best is just not good enough...

"Sometimes doing your best is not good enough.  Sometimes you must do what is required." ~Winston Churchill

This month has been a tough one on me.  There's a lot going on and never enough time to get it done.  As I've mentioned before, I tend to take on too much and expect even more out of myself.  It usually isn't pretty when it's all said and done.

My mom job has been crazy.  The girls are in a musical and the practices pay off in the end.  Add those to the already busy karate, choir, band, Awana, Cub Scout and getting ready for Middle School meetings and it is a recipe for disaster all by itself.  And just as Tech Week begins (4-5 hour practices every day for a week), the soccer coaches call for practices.  Really?  They couldn't wait just one more week?

So, I'm not acing the mom thing this month.  The laundry is multiplying by the minute.  The dishes have been kept from climbing out of the sink.  The fridge and cupboards are looking lonely.  My kids are surviving but I just feel like I could do better.

And then there is work.  This is the busiest I have been in 14 years.  How can I pinpoint it that close?  I mean - I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday (if I had time to eat it - it was probably the crust off of Jacob's PB&J sandwich for lunch).  How can I remember back that far?  Well, 14 years ago - give or take a month - I was 1) launching my first full Honda program, 2) final exams for school since I was working full time and going to school full time and 3) getting married.  I had scheduled myself a half a day off on Friday to give me a few minutes to get the last minute details ready for the wedding.

I planned as well as I could.  Tried not to procrastinate on anything.  I had my nails done the weekend before.  Needless to say, by Thursday I had bitten the nails completely off.  My nerves were shot.  I squeaked by on the launch.  I guess I passed my exams since they gave me my degree and at least showed up at the church before my mom did (inside joke but mom knows what I'm talking about).  Nothing went as well as it should and I'm sure I took a few years off of my life that week.

This entire month seems like that week.  I have three major tools launching at work.  I was told "this is the most important program we have launching in the next five years."  No pressure or anything.  I feel like I have pulled and dragged two of the three tools through the program.  No amount of lists or meetings or planning could make this a smooth transition.  I've prayed.  I've cried (a lot).  I've cursed and begged and worked 18 hour days to no avail.  When Chrysler got here, I felt like we had the Three Stooges running the show.  I take that back - they probably would have done a better job.  At least everyone would have been laughing at the end.

No laughing here.  Just those looks.  You know - the "I'm sorry you failed and didn't do a better job for us" looks.  Like my boyfriend just dumped me or something.  "Poor, pitiful Michele.  It's too bad she didn't do more."

Well, unfortunately I feel like I did the best I could.  This time it just wasn't good enough.  And it's making me feel like I'm not very good at this.  20 years of experience and I couldn't pull it off.  We didn't fail.  But we didn't pass either.  They were disappointed.  My boss was disappointed.  The CEO was disappointed.  And I feel like crap.  And it sucks - big time.  I've gone over and over in my head what else I could have done and I've got nothin'.

So, does that mean I'm not enough?  I don't know the answer to that right now.  No - I'm not downing myself.  I know I'm capable.  But am I as good as I've built myself up to be in my mind?  Am I deceiving myself that I have the skills and gifts to do this?  I know God wouldn't put more on me than I can handle.  For the moment, I just don't know what my next step will be so as usual I will persevere.  Besides, there's laundry waiting...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


"Coherence and closure are deep human desires that are presently unfashionable.  But they are always both frightening and enchantingly desirable.  Falling in love, characteristically, combs the appearances of the world, and of the particular lover's history, out of a random tangle and into a coherent plot." ~A.S Byatt

Closing a task is not something I was born with.  Actually, you could say that I have anti-closure.  I am great out of the gates but I have a very difficult time completing anything. I'm serious - I really have a problem with it!

This is why I sucked at selling cars.  The month after I left, six people bought cars from the new salesman.  I was great at pitching but couldn't round home plate.  I'm the same with home projects.  I have so many crafts that I have started and sit in boxes unfinished.

My life has kinda been the same way.  I always seem to sabotage myself so I can't do well no matter what.  Dr. Lehman says that it's the 'defeated perfectionist' in me.  I set myself up for failure.  I take on so many things that there is no possibility to ever succeed, proving to myself that I can't do it all.

Don't get me wrong - I'm capable.  I have been given gifts that allow me to do almost anything.  If I don't know how I'm a quick learner.  But it's like I slow way down as I see that finish line.

Well, God has other plans for me apparently.  Take being a homeowner.  My goal for the past two years has been to use my 401k money to pay cash for a home.  House after house fell through.  My money dwindled.  The outlook was not good.  Not good at all.  Then came this house in another city.  There's a hundred reasons to buy it and half as many not to.  It was a great deal.  Not too much money to fix up - just a lot of time and elbow grease.

But it was taking a long time to come to a decision.  Some delays on the owner's end, more on mine.  I hemmed and hawed at making a final decision.  I prayed.  I finally gave it up to Him and asked Him to run with it.

So, despite my best efforts to undermine myself, as of last week,  I am officially a homeowner.  Lock, stock and barrel.  Paid for completely.  Mine and my three beautiful children.  As usual, it's not where I would have picked and we'll still live in an apartment for a while longer, but I own a home.  He is stronger than I am and has plans for me despite my best (or worst efforts).  Thank you God for taking care of me and loving me no matter what.  And thanks to all of you for your support through my journey.  I can't wait to drag me feet for what is around the next corner...