Saturday, January 15, 2011

doing the best i can

I made some New Years resolutions.  I'm generally failing.


I resolved to get up early and write, and then to write a bit more after the kids go to bed.
I did this for exactly three days, and I was so tired and cranky that I quit.  Would I get used to lack of sleep if I had to?

I resolved to get up early and exercise.
I walked with Jillian for four days two weeks ago, but then this week was so freakin' cold that we didn't walk.  I resolved that I would get up and exercise anyway.  But I didn't.  My excuse is that I didn't want to wake the puppy.  Um...........yeah.  I really do well with accountability, and when my friend wasn't waiting for me at the literal crack of dawn, I couldn't pull it off.  This frustrates me.  I want to be more self-motivated.

This is really off-topic, but I do really, really well if I have a syllabus.  When I was in school, I vacillated between being totally overwhelmed and totally fascinated with my syllabi.  I studied my syllabi.  I loved copying due dates into my planner.  I would feel freaked out and overwhelmed yet somehow also in control.

I need syllabi for my life, I think.
A syllabus for cleaning my house.
A syllabus for homeschool.  (I have this, I guess, and it is controlling my life in a not-so-positive way.)
A syllabus for writing.
A syllabus for exercising.
A syllabus for sex.  (well, it's true!)
A syllabus for fun.  (kinda sad.  i know. i know. i know.)

ANYWAY, I am actually succeeding in one resolution.  I have been reading for pleasure.  I cannot abandon reading for learning entirely, because my brain craves it and thrives on it, but I also crave reading for pleasure.  I get so incredibly overwhelmed with the NUMBER OF AMAZING BOOKS IN THE UNIVERSE.  There are many of them.  How will I get to them all?  Where do I start?  Well, I won't get to them all, but I decided to start with Pulitzer Prize winners, so that is what I am doing (except that I have had a lovely email exchange with a friend over some other books that have now sneaked onto the list, which IS OK, because (please remind me of this) it is OK to stray out of the lines.).  I just finished Shakespeare's Kitchen, and now I am reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which I can't decide whether I like or not.  Have any of you read it?  If so, what did you think?  Should I keep reading, because there are a lot of books out there, and I don't want to waste my time.  :)  It's a really odd book, and after the first ten pages I was ready to abandon it, but I kept reading, and now I'm kind of fascinated and kind of turned off all at the same time.  I'll keep at it. 

I also resolved to eat X number of fruits and vegetables a day.  I'm not telling you how many I said I would eat, because you will laugh at me, but really...........I thought it was possible.  I had this theory that if I ate an inordinate amount of fruits and vegetables I would just automatically lose weight, kinda like magic, kinda like I would hardly have room for anything else.  I'm thinking about making a checklist for this one.
And a syllabus.  :)

So, I'm not doing so great.  But I have a new mantra for 2011.  Want to hear it?
It's this:
I will just do the best I can.

Here's the thing:
I probably will not end this year as skinny as I would like to be.
I probably won't eat as many vegetables as I should.
I probably won't tick as many Pulitzer Prize winners off of my list as I wanted to.
I probably won't write as much as my soul longs to write.
I probably won't spend as much time playing with my kids as I should.
I will probably make some major homeschooling error that will cost Amélie her first college choice.
I will probably not have sex as much as Matt would like.
I will probably spend my days more overwhelmed than is healthy.
I will probably not take some risks that would be life-changing.

But I will do some of those things.
I will hopefully get into a good exercise routine.
I will hopefully eat more veggies.
I will hopefully read more good books.
I will hopefully write.
I will hopefully play.
I will hopefully have some pretty good sex.
I will hopefully learn to cope a bit better.
I will hopefully take some fantastic risks.

And in the meantime, I'm going to do the best I can.  I'm going to be just, plain good enough
Because perfect is impossible.  And paralyzing.  And it ruins my life. 

I'm not about mediocre.  I hate mediocre.
But I have to embrace good enough.
Tomorrow starts a new week.
And next week,
I will exercise.
I will eat vegetables.
I will read.
I will write. 
I will play.
I will have sex.
I will claw my way out of feeling overwhelmed.
I will take a risk that will leave me stronger than I am tonight.

It's all good.
I'm going to do the best I can.
And then take a really deep breath and be OK with that.


  1. Are you sure you didn't plagiarize this from my journals?????? Love you so much.

  2. You are more beautiful than mess.

  3. 'm not about mediocre. I hate mediocre.
    But I have to embrace good enough.
    Tomorrow starts a new week.
    And next week,
    "I will exercise.
    I will eat vegetables.
    I will read.
    I will write.
    I will play.
    I will have sex.
    I will claw my way out of feeling overwhelmed.
    I will take a risk that will leave me stronger than I am tonight."

    Thank you for this Jill. I needed this today. It's funny, because as I was reading this, I was thinking, wow, Jill sure puts a lot of pressure on herself. Then I had a "duh" moment and realized I do the exact same thing!

  4. Shoot. The visit from my children may have totally sabotaged the sex goal for the next few weeks. But at least you have someone else to point the finger at. Next week, I shall come bearing broccoli to make up for it. xoxox
    Sometimes, good enough IS. And you are MORE than good enough to me.

  5. Wow! I REALLY enjoyed reading this. Your transparency is just amazing, encouraging, and just awesome! You echo so much that is within my own heart. (I love your page background, btw. Random, I know.)

    You have SUCH a gift for writing! I'm jealous ;) I am so not good at putting my thoughts into words & I'm a perfectonistic procrastinator so any writing that I would love to do usually doesn't happen. lol! If it does happen, I look back on it with regret that I couldn't just slice open my head & pour the words onto the paper. haha! :P Love ya!!!