This week’s experiment on the road of mental well-being is the practical testing of the maxim, “The one you feed, grows.”
I tend to be a perfectionist. And I don’t mean this in the manner of providing a fake response to a “What is your weakness?” interview question. In fact, if the interviewer was me, I might see that response as more of a fatal flaw than a thinly veiled good quality.
It all started in third grade, I think, when I received a letter from my father that had this quote: “Good is not good when better is expected, and the best is known to be possible.” I am sure he had the best possible motives, and meant it to be inspirational. Instead, it turned into an obsession for me. I tend to pay a pathological degree of attention to all the things that I am not doing perfectly. No matter how much I do, I believe I can and should be achieving a whole lot more.
This week, I am instead practicing paying attention to all the things that I am doing well. Even the simplest things, like waking up and getting dressed. Like washing the dishes or doing the laundry. Like booking hotel rooms for a future trip. Like posting on this blog on schedule, even when I am reluctant to do so. Treating myself with kindness is the best practice for treating others with kindness. As the crowded holiday season comes upon us, and our days tend to become more rushed and harried, let us open our minds to the joy of the season. Let us look past what we cannot do with gentleness and acceptance. Let us pay attention to the little things we do right every day.