Monday, June 18, 2007

Makeover Monday: the big impossible, and other myths

I finally finished reading Raising Cain. (I also finally got a photo of Oliver sleeping...) I bought the book almost a year ago. One of the ideas that kept resurfacing was "the big impossible" and it's horrific effect on adolescent boys. But "the big impossible" actually nags at all of us. It's the idea that we are failing because we haven't reached some herculean ideal that we feel (for whatever reason, some say it's a societal pressure) we are supposed to have reached. The funny thing is that we tend to feel like a failure for not reaching an ideal that nobody has reached. Doesn't that seem silly?
We really ought to be a little kinder to ourselves. There's more than one kind of smart, more than one kind of beautiful, and a million ways to be valuable to the people around us.
Do the good things that you like to do, and feel good about it. Don't feel bad about not having a meticulously clean house if you aren't the sort who likes to clean (there are people who like to clean, believe it or not). Don't feel bad about not being a fantastic cook if you don't like cooking. Don't feel bad about the things that don't matter much in the end. Feel good about the good that you do, and enjoy doing. Try to improve yourself in ways that you enjoy. As long as you are meeting the basic needs of yourself and the people who depend on you, there is no need to feel like a failure!
The idea of being a Rennaisance man or woman is great, and I'm all for well-roundedness. But nobody is good at everything, and so nobody needs to feel bad about not being good at everything. Yet I think deep inside we all do feel bad about not being good at everything.
It's time to stop being silly, don't you think?


Brittany said...

So true, amen and amen! Thanks Em! Your Makeover Mondays sure pump me up for the week, and this one especially hit home. Thanks a million!

Deena said...

Definitely what I need to hear right now. Thank you.

hairyshoefairy said...

Definitely needing to work on that. Sounds like a good book. I'll have to pick it up. You're so inspirational Em. Thanks!

--jeff * said...

wow, em. thank you.
thank you very much.

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