08 June 2011

Something's Gotta Give

Have you ever worked through one of those Belbin Team Role tests that puts you in categories such as Team-worker, Implementer, Co-ordinator, Completer-Finisher etc.

Although mine comes out across a few categories, by far my strongest trait is the Completer Finisher. Here’s a definition of this personality type:
The Completer Finisher is a perfectionist and will often go the extra mile to make sure everything is "just right," and the things he or she delivers can be trusted to have been double-checked and then checked again. The Completer Finisher has a strong inward sense of the need for accuracy, and sets his or her own high standards rather than working on the encouragement of others. They may frustrate their teammates by worrying excessively about minor details at the expense of meeting deadlines, and by refusing to delegate tasks that they do not trust anyone else to perform.
A lot of this rings very true, but definitely not the ‘not meeting deadlines’ bit as my next highest trait is the Implementer – who is ALWAYS trusted to meet a deadline.  In general, I HATE starting something that I’m not sure I can complete on time and to a really high standard, and this means I often won’t start something unless I’m sure I can give it my all AND deliver on time. I love ticking things off my to-do list and  my own personal feeling of satisfaction from ‘finishing’ a task always means more to me than any subsequent recognition for a job well done.  

Sadly though, what other people would accept as ‘good enough’ for my efforts at something is often still not ‘good enough’ for my own high standards. Case in point, I bet you didn’t realise that I read and re-read my blog posts about ten times before I ever push the button to ‘post’ them, tweaking here, adding there. I am my own worst enemy sometimes.

Where am I going with all this? Well a few weeks back I was talking about doing a photo book for Noah’s fifth birthday? Yeah, well, it’s not going so well.

Phew...it’s out there. I said it.

And I’m feeling like this huge disappointment of a mother who had promised to do something and is failing to deliver. Never mind that the only person I promised to do this before his birthday was myself, Noah doesn’t even know about it and I’m sure if he knew he would care even less. He’d much rather have an awesome Star Wars birthday party to remember, and well…I am also working on that!

So it’s only me who is beating me up and yet I AM beating myself up over it…and then when I realise I’m beating myself up about it, I beat myself up a bit more for being so silly for even thinking it’s worth beating myself up over in the first place. Seriously what’s up with that?!

It’s not as if I haven’t started the book. And I totally intend to finish it. But I’ve fast realised, it’s just not gonna happen between now and 2nd August. My biggest struggle is having to decide how to shape it. I mean how do you rank five years of amazing memories to decide what makes the cut?! I'm also struggling with the fact that all our early photos of Noah are from three cameras ago when I was completely clueless about taking good photos – so I've been very critical about finding any that measure up to today’s standards. And after completing a few chronological pages up to about 17 months in age, I realised it is near impossible to cram several months’ worth of life’s special moments into one 2-page spread. So I’m now thinking about changing to themed pages: grandparents, other family, his soft toy monkeys, his bikes, favourite spots around Welly, Star Wars, Punch Buggies, special friends, being a big brother, holiday highlights etc, but that in itself means major revisions.

So, though it pains me to say it, something’s gotta give. Being able to dedicate sufficient time and creative inspiration to doing this when my brain is already abuzz with party ideas and blog posts is impossible. There are already a very limited number of hours in the day and week once you knock out 40 hours for work, and then as many hours as we can pack in with family time with what’s left.

I am trying to accept the fact that - I JUST CAN’T DO IT ALL. Oh but that doesn't stop me from wanting to.You see, I’d also love to be doing the 30 Day Photography Challenge that a few other bloggy friends are doing during the month of June. Or write the Letter to My Self Aged 85 that others have recently done.  I find I have to talk myself out of doing more, committing to more than I can handle on a daily basis. 

So I’m still disappointed about the photo book.


And more disappointed for letting it get to me.

Somewhere along the way, I need to get a grip and get over it. And you know what, I might just have the perfect distraction ….. after all the next thing on the to-do list is to make a Death Star piƱata for Noah’s party from scratch …..um yeah... My. Own. Worst. Enemy.

Does anyone else struggle with this? Tell me I'm not alone here!


Nikki said...

I struggle with it to an extent, I'll plan all these fab things and either follow them all through or none. If it gets too hard I am often always tempted to give up but you're almost like wonder woman! I'm sure if you made Noahs book for Christmas or something then it could still be done? OR change it to a 6 year old thing, then that gives you a year to plan it out :) I'm know that if you do end up making a book it'll be so fantastic and special! xxx

Sammy said...

Hello you are living my life. I constantly struggle with trying to do it all and be it all. I want to be super-mom, wonder-wife and run a successful business.
It's humbling to realise I need help. To clean my house for example.
Thanks for this honest post- it makes me feel less alone!

Dee said...

Hahahaha! I'm not laughing at you but at how familiar your struggles sound to me...! I definitely relate! I also REALLY want to do a photo book for each birthday, and have started one, but phew it is a big job. I intended to fill a 10 page book but it has quickly turned into a giant 'coffee table book' of a thing. And I know it is going to take MONTHS to complete. I would rather not do it than do a poor job at it. I shake my head at myself daily also. You are SO not alone on that front.

I also LOVE that you are an INFJ too! I think we would make good IRL friends! :) INFJs unite!

Well, I would say, go and pour yourself a cuppa, sit down and have a break, but I know that is not going to happen! So good luck with the pinata! Which is going to be EPIC by the way! :)


Gail said...

I have to say that I used to struggle with this more than I do now. I got to the point where it just stressed me and stressed everyone with me... it just wasn't how I want life to look! There is always more to add to ones to-do list, just picking the ones that are the right fit and throwing in a touch of wisdom with it!

Alison said...

Oh, I struggle with it all the time, the wanting to make sure everything's perfect. I was going to do a video for my son's 1st birthday - that was more than 5 months ago! I wanted it to be perfect and the result? Nada. So I've recommitted myself to just getting it done, period. We are too hard on ourselves!

Jaz from Treacy Family said...

Oh this rings so true. Super mum syndrome is a terrible thing. I'm starting to appreciate so much more about my life and family this year. What I do know is this...if it is important and fueled by love it will get done. Imagine his face and yours when you finally get it done, when ever that might be.
Do less and do it well,,,,,,,,,they will love you for it xxx

remaliah said...

I just read your post now, Meg. I relate too! I'm terribly perfectionist, and I, too, have a list of things I'd like to do and/or be that I'm just not getting to. I realise that doing one or two things on my normal 'to-do' list for each day is barely attainable :)
I wanted to make the girls each a photo book for their first 3 months in neonatal, but it ended up being their first year. If you have a Mac, there's a cool, free, and really easy programme to make books on :)

Have fun pinata-making!! The party sounds like it will be a 5 year old's dream...can't wait to see it :)

Anonymous said...

Where is that elusive balance?! You know, the one between doing everything really well and doing nothing?! I often don't even start things because I'm overwhelmed and annoyed at all the daily things that vie for my attention... agh the motherload! Don't be hard on yourself! All the verses floating around in my head right now are about rhythms of grace and easy yokes and light burdens... you don't need to strive... He'll equip you...


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