I walk a tightrope between perfect performance pressure and lackadaisical who cares it's no big deal.
When doing something expected by others, it takes almost no pressure for me to freak out and think I'm the wrong person for the job, I can't do it well enough, and everyone is going to be disappointed in me. If I have something for myself, it's not too terribly hard to think eh, whatever, it'll get done when it does. And of course there's the bleed-over mixing depending on each individual situation and my assumed expectations of others' expectations.
It's enough to make one's head whirl like a carousel.
This Thanksgiving week as I face off with food preparations (and the hardest part is done, but now I stress out because that makes a whole lot of sense. not.) I need to remember perspective. Sometimes it's a relief to remember that I am to the universe what an ant is to me. Small, insignificant, and not likely to screw up the world if people happen to not favor my dishes in two days. And likewise, it's a relief to know that I am loved on a grand scale no matter what. Funny how both are true at exactly the same time.
I am very very small, and God is very, VERY big.
I have tons of things to be thankful for, not least of which is that I get to eat at all. So what if it's not amazing? And bonus if it is.
I recently had tea with some very dear friends and periodically we said things that we were thankful for. The things that came to my mind were many. Here are a few. I was recently given opportunities to
1) Travel, specifically by flying in 3 airplanes. Something I've wanted to do for years I got to do three times in just over a week, twice in one day (takeoff and landing are awesome).
2) Be empowered to know that I can handle wood-cutting power tools (Rosie the Riveter I'm not...but I could be!), adjust to another family's culture and the local climate (well, kinda with the climate. with more time, I could), venture out on my own in unfamiliar territory and have a great time, and even make new friends (the secret is opening a conversation with "What's your favorite Disney movie?" --Now I know!) .
3) Gain employment in a dream job, surrounded by wonderful people and books galore!
4) Be responsible for two sweet, little dogs for one glorious and short week, cuddling, playing, treating, and getting licked--oh it was a piece of heaven.
And through these and other changes in my life and in the lives of those I love, I have enjoyed the return of hope and eager anticipation within the realms of this life. I know I no longer have to feel stuck and trapped, and for this I'm deeply grateful. I'm more ready than ever to make and seek out dreams, knowing some may happen and some won't, but I intend to live boldly (well, it's a goal anyway) and love the life I have been given, through the easier times and the harder times. (I'm not naive enough to think there will never be hard times again, but I know they don't have to destroy me or my dreams for an even better life.) I will fail all the time (hello, Thanksgiving prep emotional turmoil :P ), but I know I'll get righted again; all I need is a little perspective reminder.
I wish I was unflappable like Phil Coulson when I go through the soul stretcher, but since I'm not, I get to practice remembering the perspective of grace that I have been given, resuming my balance on that funny tightrope.
Feel free to say hi and let me know if you relate and how you handle it. Maybe we can encourage each other.
And with that, have a lovely Thanksgiving Day and rest of the week (and
month; I may not be back before then [but I'll still see your comments].