This is a list of some of the things I am bad at. I’m not being down on myself today. And I’m not fishing for compliments. I have worked really hard over the last decade or so at recovering some self-esteem and I’ve been learning about all kinds of things I can do and that I’m good at, most of which were a huge surprise to me. But I think there is something to be said for acknowledging faults. These aren’t things I necessarily hate about myself, just like I don’t hate my friends’ flaws but view them as personality quirks or simply different from me and not bad in any way at all. This is a ‘bad’ list. But it’s a friendly bad list.
Also, it’s not a premeditated list and I have no plan. I’m just going to type for a while and see what comes up. Which brings me to flaw number one…
I am bad at…
- Thinking things through, paying attention to detail, and moving forward on a project with a solid plan. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. Sometimes it can be a good thing, but there have been times when I really could have done something better if I’d only given some diligence. Sometimes important things.
- Checking for grammar and spelling. I have all kinds of knowledge about grammar and spelling. Sometimes when I go back and read something I’ve read*, I am amazed at the glaring mistakes. But more often that not, I just shrug my shoulders and move on without caring to go back and fix it. And I’m horrible – horrible – at remembering to use spell-check on documents before I print or submit them. Something in my mind says ‘you’re a great speller. You don’t need to use spell check. Buzzzzzz. Wrong.
- Being super involved with my kids. I’m not saying I’m a bad Mom or anything. I think I have my merits and my skills. But compared to a lot of parents I know (that I admire) I really fail at the -hmmm- let’s call them the micro-managing aspects of parenting. This falls into so many categories really. Making sure they are reaching their full potential. Making sure they are fulfilled and happy. Making sure they are getting proper nutrition ( I used to be better at this one, I’m not sure what happened). Making sure they are being very good citizens. Making sure they get all their homework done. Making sure their activities are very well-rounded.
- Being content. I’m just not. Ever.
- Being non-judgmental. Despite my half-assed ways, I am actually way too idealistic. Sometimes I set standards for myself that I can barely live with. And then to top it off, I assume a smug kind of attitude towards others who don’t adhere to my own unachievable ideals. Usually, I give my head a shake and snap out of it and give people a break. But that is not my default setting. My default setting is thinking everyone could do better. Including me.
- Loving people up close. I love people! But I have a tendency to love them – over there – from afar. Here’s a scenario that could happen any day of the week. I will be thinking about a particular friend and about just how awesome I think they are. A little while later I will see them somewhere and think again about just how much I like them. I will look at their face and be overcome by the beauty in the flush of their cheek and and the sound of their voice when they laugh and touched by some small gesture that they do. And then they’ll say hi to me and we’ll make some small talk and maybe even get to the point where they compliment me or say they love me – and I just smile. I hold it all in! I just don’t know what to do.
- Beauty stuff. I really like makeup. And fancy hairdos. And fashion. And lately all my friends have these really fabulous nails because one of our girlfriends from church recently opened up her own nail salon. I’ve actually never been much of a nails girl – my youngest sister is – but this lady does the best nails I’ve ever seen. They have a particular quality. They are classy and she has a knack for doing really creative things with nails that perfectly suit the personality of the wearer. So I’ve been looking at all these fabulous nails and loving them. I wear the same barely-there makeup everyday. I wait as long as I possibly can between trips to the hair salon and it shows. I wear jeans and a tank top and a hoodie five days out of seven (Even though I’ve at least gotten better about purchasing more fashionable things. I just don’t wear them very often) (A month ago I bought two pairs of fabulous heels and finally I wore a pair out last night). The only time I have ever gotten my nails done was for my wedding. Eleven and a half years ago. I want to be better at this stuff. I really do.
- Sticking to healthiness. I’m really good at focusing on particular areas for set amounts of time – working out – trying new activities – eating more healthfully – cutting back sugar and alcohol – paying attention to my body function and giving things the attention they need – getting my mental stuff sorted. But I can’t seem to get a well-rounded, big-picture, overall healthy routine going on.
- Being faithful. I don’t mean in the relationally faithful- to- my- husband kind of way. I mean that I have a tendency to be kind of faithless. As soon as something begins to look sour, my tendency is to just walk away and give up on it. Especially if that thing, whatever it may be, depends on someone else. If its my own thing, I can usually trust myself to stick to it. I hate flaking out (sometimes I flake out, but not often, and I always feel terrible). But I don’t have a lot of trust in others for some reason. I don’t like trusting in others. I don’t have a lot of faith in others. This might be tied to #6.
- Doing my best. Oh we covered that already didn’t we.
- Humour. Most things that other people think are funny fall flat for me. My sister, who is a giant goof-ball, gave me a hard time about this all my life -not having a funny bone. We saw a comedian last night and the whole place was roaring and most of the time I didn’t understand why. Although he did make a few good jokes about menopause that I thought were hilarious mostly because my friend was sitting directly behind me and I know she’s been dealing with that lately (you know who you are 😉 so I was mostly laughing with her. Also. I make jokes daily and people don’t get them. I deliver a punch-line and … crickets. Yeah. I’m just not funny. I can talk to you about your existential crisis, but if you try and tell me a joke you’ll probably end up having to explain it.
- Popular culture. Especially stuff on the internet. I’m one of those old ladies who just seems to have missed everything that happened in the last three decades. But the thing is that I’m only thirty-one years old. So yeah. Did you hear that Whitney Houston died by the way?
- I’m really bad with money. I went to pick up a cheque from an employer yesterday and she asked me how much she pays me per hour because she got mixed up when she wrote the check. I didn’t know. Upon reflection, I don’t know what any of my jobs pay me per hour. Sometimes I make a family budget. And then it sits in a binder all lonely for a few months before I look at at again. Recently our friends told us about mint.com (which is awesome!) and my husband took the steering wheel of our finances (hallelujah!) which I gladly handed over (hallelujah!) and I’m hoping for progress. But on the other hand, whatever. We eat. You see what I mean? I’m financially purposeless.
Okay. This is clearly not an exhaustive list. But it’s enough for now. If you know me well, there are probably glaring personality flaws that you don’t see on the list because I’m just plain oblivious to them. I think that is fun. That others see things in us (for better or for worse) that we will always be blind to. I think that is so interesting about humans. But these are the things about me that bug me.
*case in point. I caught this after I posted it.