Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

YESTERDAY...

I failed to add a single word to my novel. I didn't even write my morning pages. I missed posting to my blog - the first day I didn't post since January 1st. I added nothing to my Etsy store. Heck, I didn't even cook dinner.

But you know what? The sun came up this morning. Right on schedule.

***

TODAY...

I promised my critique partners I would bring homemade, whole wheat muffins to our ten o'clock meeting.

I got up at 5:15, helped Nathan with some homework, saw him off to school, and put 24 muffins in the oven. Failing to allow for dark muffin tins and an oven that runs hot, I burned the muffins. Ever so slightly.

Since it is almost an hour drive to my critique group meeting, I didn't have time to bake more muffins. So I selected the six least-burned muffins and took them to the meeting. My friends loved them. They said their children loved the leftovers, too.

***

Christina Aguilera has received a lot of flack for flubbing the lyrics of our National Anthem at the Super Bowl. Yes, I recognize that she is a professional, and there are certain expectations around being a professional. But I also recognize that she is human and therefore, outside the recording studio, subject to imperfection.

Her performance Sunday evening was nothing if not heartfelt. I might prefer a more straightforward rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner, but I wouldn't expect that from Christina. And despite my preference, like many of the players panned by the cameras during her performance, I was moved to tears by the raw emotion of her presentation. As a matter of fact, even though I know the words to the song by heart - and many of our nation's young people do not - I failed to even notice her slip-up, as caught up in the moment as I was. But, as my boys say, haters gonna hate.

***

TOMORROW...

Perfection is overrated. Period. Give yourself permission to fail - to fall short of your goals once in a while, to burn the muffins, and to utterly miss the mark in your attempts at creativity. The sun will come up tomorrow, anyway. And then you can try, try again.

6 comments:

Lindy said...

My dear, wise friend. You are correct. The sun will rise once again despite all of our perceived failures. I find giving myself the chance to ask, "What could I learn from this?" instead of "How could I have done more?" opens my mind up to reprioritizing, making a few shifts in direction, and taking good care of me. I am so glad you gave yourself permission to take the day off. You @#$%^ deserve it! The Unstoppable Ms. Start

Julee said...

I can't tell you how many years of stress-induced illness and mental angst I had to live through before I realized that. For me, it's the whole adult child of alcoholics thing, where sometimes I won't even start a project because I stress I won't be able to do it perfectly. It's liberating to know the people who matter will still love you and if you make a mistake or don't get something done, you can do better next time with what you've learned. Cut yourself some slack. The world needs more slack. Praise Bob. Love ya, J

Walt Mussell said...

I've had days like this. Most of them this week in my writing life.

Pam said...

Asking "what could I learn from this?" instead of beating myself up - what a great suggestion. I'm going to try that next time!

Pam said...

"The World Needs More Slack." That would be a great slogan on a t-shirt. I'm definitely going to keep that in mind. Thanks for your encouragement, Julee.

Pam said...

Oh, I'm sorry you're having a bad week, Walt! Here's hoping next week runs a bit more smoothly for all of us!