10.07.2012

mediocre


Mediocre mother.
Mediocre wife.
Mediocre photographer.
Mediocre Christian.
Mediocre cook.
Mediocre artist.
Mediocre runner.
Mediocre house keeper.
Too introverted.
Uneducated.
Not that talented.
Too broke.
Pretty lazy.

Mediocre.

For every few days I feel able, I have days when I feel completely and embarrassingly and reluctantly

.mediocre.

I tell myself all the mistakes I made in my life, and what I should have done differently.
I married too young. Had children too young. Should have finished college.
Should have gotten my degree. Should have worked harder. Should have tried harder.
Should have had more confidence in my abilities.
I tell myself over and over
and over.

Where progress is made, it seems to trudge through the unorganized, unmotivated pieces
I leave scattered all over, the things that must be kicked out of the way.
Molasses. Uncomfortable.
Like waves, but without rhythm.

One week I have homemade dinners waiting for my husband
when he walks through the door
(complete with a table set by a three year old I consciously involved)
and the next, River is eating peanut butter and jelly or Cheerios
for the third night in a row
and I ask my husband, Do you want to just stop for something at McDonald's?
And I am very aware of the friends of mine who prepare
warm, organic, balanced meals
for their families every evening.

One week I am patient with my children,
and I actually think, Am I becoming a better mother?
Have I actually got this thing?
And I pat myself on the back.
But then the next week I spend almost every day yelling
and huffing and puffing
because apparently I didn't learn when I was a child
that that's not how we get people to cooperate.
Especially little people who are learning by my example
to yell and huff and puff right back.

One week the kitchen and living room stay clean all week long,
but somehow I choose to stay blind to the diapers piling up in the bathroom
and the mountain of laundry we kick off the bed to the floor every night
(Oh yeah, I'm going to get to that tomorrow)
as my husband suggests that maybe I should clean up a little
before taking the kids to Barnes & Noble in the morning.

One week I am proud of myself because I almost ran three and a half miles
(a new record),
and proud of myself because I realized I can run fast
(even if only for a tenth of a mile)
and the next I can barely make it to two
without feeling like I've left my shoulders dragging on the ground ten feet behind.
And meanwhile, a friend who began running three months after I started
is blazing a six mile path at an eight and a half minute pace,
and is signed up for her first half-marathon next month.
Suddenly my record of almost three and a half miles
is not so impressive.

The past few days my spirit has been aching a little.
And then my stomach hurts.
And then I can't sleep.
And then I'm incredibly rude to my family.
Some days I think it's selfish,
and some days I think it's remnants of my depression & anxiety from years ago.
And some days I hope to God it's not my new normal.

It's called being human, right?
I am feeling painfully human lately.
I feel like everything I try to accomplish, everything I do fairly well,

...isn't good enough.

Sometimes I feel strong and capable,
and then sometimes I just feel weak and tired and failing.

Believe me, I know nothing good will come
from thinking of how things are not. 
I know nothing changes until I make the decision to change.
I'm not dwelling in this feeling of mediocrity.
I only think of it in the quiet moments.
Like now.

And you know, in a week, my house will be clean
and I'll have dinner ready,
and my children will be behaving nicely.
And hopefully I will have confidence again in my ability to simply run.
Even if I can't run six miles.
Even if I can't run fast.

I am really trying to remember that I am an example to my daughter,
And to be the kind of woman I want her to be.
God, that's hard.

And I am really trying to tell myself the things
I would say to a friend if a friend felt like this.
I know we all have seasons like this.
It's okay to have a human moment now and then.

7 comments:

  1. Yes, we DO all have seasons like this and thankfully they are usually short and quickly forgotten. I remember hearing a quote about how we all feel so insecure because we compare our "behind the scenes" with other peoples "highlight reel". It reminded me that struggling in life is....well...life! What other path would teach us the proper lessons and bring us to where we are supposed to be? I just got out of a hard time like you described so I know just how you feel. Hang in there!

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  2. I don't know you -- this page came up as the result of a random google search.

    However, I fight the same fight you're describing here (or rather, lament the fight I often fail to fight). I often pinpoint introspection as the key to this way of thinking. Many people work inefficiently, struggle with instinctive decisions, kick the debri of the past aside clumsily, parent badly, and engage in wild bouts of laziness -- and never pause to consider themselves in the process of these activities, except perhaps in passing. Most of the world is opaque to itself. This doesn't hold true for introverts, but our sense of ourselves is distorted, untrustworthy.

    So don't trust your sense of mediocrity: I see very little on your blog to suggest it is warranted =) That is all!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You don't know me, but I want you to know that you changed my life...or at least my perspective on labor and birth (and my labor and birth experience has *definitely* changed my life!). When I was about six months pregnant, my doula showed me the video of the fast, empowering, joyful birth of your daughter. I had no idea labor could look like that. You were so strong and beautiful and FUNNY, and I began to hope that I could be the same way during my labor. My labor turned out to be very different from yours--32 hours of long, close, intense contractions and back labor (my girl was posterior and stubborn). It was agonizing and excruciating, but so, so joyful. Because of your lovely example, I was careful to be kind to my birth attendants, to make jokes, to loosen up and be silly, and to savor every moment of the process. I say all this because who we are in labor is who we truly are--raw, exposed, vulnerable. And in your most vulnerable moments, you were kind, funny, and downright inspirational. You are *not* mediocre. You have touched lives and hearts without even meaning to, just by being who you are. Keep at it and stay strong. And thank you.

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  4. Really love this post. Feeling quite the same today as crayon murals remain unwashed on the wall and crumbs accumulate under the table. And I haven't even tried running in so long. Thanks for your honesty!

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  5. You are beautiful, brave and stronger than you know! Your writing is evocative and lovely. And one day, in the near and far, you will see God face to face and be perfect. Until then, He loves all of us in our mediocracy ;-)

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  6. Well! There's nothing like two kids and a husband to truly bring out the best and the worse in us! it's a hard road and we've been told before that it's difficult to raise a family, take care of our men, and we agree and recite platitudes, however - maybe we don't realize the ways in which the difficult is delivered. Only the great mothers and wives really worry and lament about being better mothers, wives, women. i think we all feel like this sometimes. and i think it's okay. Do the best you can, give yourself credit, and lift up your burdens to god. he'll take care of the rest. (imho)Love you! Sarah

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  7. Love this. Found the blog thru mysubplot. Believe me, from one who lives inside his head and struggles at 47 with the constant ache of 'jack of all trades, master of none', we are better than we think. Of course I say that on faith. To you. To me. When I saw some of the photos on your site, I thought about emailing to ask how you were getting such fantastic shots - gear, settings, post, etc. I consider myself mediocre in that discipline, and you're way better than I am. Great typography with your layout.

    So, believe in yourself. Enjoy yourself. He does. Your husband does. Your kids do. Without the sinful, destructive kind of pride, see what a miracle your life is and the gift you are to the world.

    ReplyDelete

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