Seen on Whenever (and a Little Quality Control)

Last time I blogged, I posted a picture of my half-eaten dinner.  It’s gross.

So why did I do it?  Clearly the beauty of a personal blog is that you are sole content editor.  You chose the subject matter, when to post it, whether to allow comments on it (By the way, it would have been fine to tell me my picture was disgusting.  It was quite polite of you not to mention it).  So why?  In a word: obligation.  The worst kind of obligation, in fact; Self-imposed Obligation.  It has an alias: Perfectionism.

I had this idea to post a picture once a week on Saturdays.  This Seen on Saturday was my way of blogging more than once a week without committing to two longer form posts.  It worked for a while.  Then it started to slip into Seen on Sunday.  Then it totally devolved into “It’s 9:00 on Sunday and I haven’t posted anything.  Hey look, there’s my half-eaten steak and mashed potatoes – perfect!”  And gross.

The crazy thing is I saw lots of great things on Saturday.  The people I usually see at the gym around 5:30am gathered around a table for brunch at the civilized hour of 9:00am.  The Christmas parade.  Pretty jewelry.  My married into family around a birthday table.  A holiday party full of wine and laughter.  It’s just that I never remember to take pictures.  I am in awe of folks who can and do.  The ones who can capture just the right moment, expression or gleam of the eye.

It’s not that I don’t see those moments.  It’s just that I’m more likely to fish around  in my purse for the small writer’s notebook I always carry.  Film is not my medium and therefore the worst thing to impose some crazy non-necessary deadline on.  So I’m changing it.  Because (ah ha!) I can.  Once a week, when I see something (other than my masticated food) I will take a picture and post it here when I have a moment.

Welcome to one small step to keeping my inner perfectionist in check.  Welcome to Seen This Week!

kitten

A couple times a week this little guy greets me on my walk to work.  I love cats, but am allergic to them.  So he’s my cat.  I haven’t named him yet, but trust that I will.

Stumbling

Transitions; from high school to college, college to first job, single to married, married to single, small town to big city and vice versa.  They’re everywhere.  Often quite desirable.  Sometimes not so much.  But always inevitable.  Whether fully embraced or fought kicking and screaming, change happens.

I recently experienced the really good kind of transition as I moved into a new job.  It was the right step for my career at exactly the right moment in the environment I most wanted.  I could not be happier.  And yet it was still a transition.  There was still stress.  I still wanted to finish it all at my old job as my inner perfectionist continued to try to cajole me into a full-blown ball of stress.  And while I wish I could say I took a deep breath and talked her down, I can’t.

At least not for the better part of my two weeks.  I tried to be the picture of calm, cool, collected and do what I can by 3:00pm on Friday, but instead I stumbled through it with unrealistic expectations and ill-though out timelines.  All the while, trying as hard as I could to talk myself back to normal.

It was an e-mail from a wise sage (aka, my mom) that finally helped me round that corner.  Here’s what she said:

“You are conscientious and kind and you want to leave things so that others will not be left with more to do, which is going to be the case anyway.”

And there it was.  There was nothing I could do.  Leaving always creates a hole.  There is no way to fill that hole until someone new is hired.  No amount of work I could do would ever fill it.  Walking away does not change who I fundamentally am.  It does not make me less kind.

Just as stumbling through this transition didn’t make me any less excited about the new opportunities on the horizon.  It just simply made me grateful that I am able to recognize the things that make me lose my solid footing and that I’ve got those sages standing by to steady me.