Saturday, July 21, 2012

excellence

I really do better in the morning. I mean, aside from the fact that I have to pry my eyes open and set several alarms in multiple places to get myself awake. Aside from the fact that I might still be trying to keep my eyes open two hours later. Some of it could be not getting enough sleep. I would like to blame some of it on medication side effects, because I think that has made it worse. But regardless of all that, I still tend to have a better mood in the morning.

By 9:30 at night when we finish rehearsing for the musical? The better mood may well have slipped away. Then there is the awkward "goodbye hug" that seems to be quite cultural with the teenagers in this theater program (at least here). Though I think hugs can be a good thing, they can stress me out - I'm talking about the everyday, ordinary hug. I wonder, did I do it right? What did the other person think? Blah, blah, blah. Oh, well, there's only so much time I want to spend lamenting this particular area of social anxiety. I managed - though I obviously still don't know what the other person thought. And then I did my version of a friendly but anxious good-bye, the "I guess I'll see you tomorrow" (or whenever it is). Note the word "guess." This ensures that if I don't make it, I haven't lied. Don't ask me how long I felt guilty for telling someone I'd "see them next Wednesday" at a dance class when I was a kid, only to break my toe that week, which left me out of dance for several weeks. I had lied. Somehow, I don't think anyone else saw it that way.

Anyway, the hardest thing last night at rehearsals was the "I'm disappointed in you [plural], you should know this better by now, my good mood is going away" speech. It's not the first general rebuke that I've taken personally and then gotten all upset about. Well, let's just say it might inspire me to practice more, but it definitely faded my good mood really fast. I could have practiced more. But on the other hand, I was doing my best at the time. And apparently, my best wasn't good enough (this all concluded from a statement to everybody in general and not me specifically). Oh, well. I got over it some time today after practicing that "disappointing" song and some others for a little while. But I will probably be more careful to practice on my own before hand.

Let's just say that my earlier "I wish this group effort of making a musical never ends" has vanished. I'm glad it's only a few more weeks. It is stressful, and me and stress don't have the best relationship. And I still struggle with perfectionism.

And that one pastor said, be content with the excellent and don't even try for perfection. But here is a problem; what is excellent and where does excellence end and perfection begin? I bet he would look at me like, "Really, lady? Excellence is very good and perfection is impossibly perfect. Duh!" Only he was a polite pastor, so I don't think he would have said, "duh!" Or maybe he would have said some sentence that used to drive me crazy like, "Your best is good enough." Yes, but my "best" can never be reached because I always "could" do more. Let's just say that my Mom's response to that was along the lines of people's responses to other OCD thoughts. The, "that's just not it, your explanation is incorrect, and I don't know why you would even think that, and I don't know how to explain the obvious that you are missing, and I'm just a bit frustrated by your not understanding this" look. My counselor might use some other phrase that I find acceptable, like, "That's your OCD." (That answer makes sense to me and let's me out of trying to find the answer.) Or someone could say, "You think too much." That one still makes me at least a little angry. What do they want me to do, turn my brain off? (I know, I know, the more knowledgeable about OCD would mean to think about something else, not just stop thinking.) So, let me let this mystery go and try to aim for excellence, not OCD perfection. By the way, there's a lot of memorizing to do to sing a very quickly worded song and dance and harmonize at the same time. My brain is not remembering everything fast enough. Hopefully practice will make ... excellence.

Anyway, today was better and no terribly discouraging (to me) criticism was given. And now, I have a few days before next rehearsal. Yay!

6 comments:

  1. Oh Gosh, Hugs make me SO uncomfortable! Espically when they are from people I don't know well...nix that, from almost everyone! I wish I had an on/off switch for my brain! ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've wished for an off button for my brain many times... :)

      Delete
  2. I have a hard time, too, knowing when the striving for perfection begins--when does "trying your best" end and "trying for perfection" begin. Sometimes I think of a saying I heard years ago--practice makes better. That helps me sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. practice is definitely helping me. Thanks

      Delete
  3. Ah yes, excellence vs. perfection. It has been a long time puzzle for me.

    You know, the group criticism thing, sometimes I think they just say that stuff to motivate the cast members to work harder. I will bet it had absolutely nothing to do with you and your efforts. I suspect you are doing just fine. Remember a while back when you talked about giving like 80% effort to something? I think that's a really good rule that you could use here.

    I know this theater stuff is hard for you, but I'm really proud of you for doing this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I've been thinking about that 80%. Unfortunately, I'm enough of a perfectionist that I still want things more like over 90%. But I'm trying to think of the 80%, even if I can't convince myself to aim quite that low, it still get's my focus off of 100%. Thanks for the reminder.

      Thanks also for reminding me that just because the "theater stuff is hard for" me doesn't mean it was the wrong choice. I'll keep trying! :)

      Delete