Friday, December 08, 2006


I have known for most of my life that one of my major flaws is a mean perfectionist streak. I hold myself (and sometimes others) to unreasonably high moral/ethical/performance standards, and I often become really morose or angry or both when I (and they) fail to meet those standards. Perfectionism is ridiculous, I know, but I also feel that it has helped me be successful in my academic work. It has also made me a damn good copy editor (aka nitpicker).

I had a head-on collision with my perfectionism this week after I got my grade for an exam I took in Microbiology. I did well (got an A) but it wasn't as high an A as I would have liked, and I am excoriating myself for making two stupid mistakes that would have given me three more points. I always recheck my answers to catch careless mistakes, but occasionally I don't notice the mistakes, or the way in which I thought about the question at first continues to color my reading of the answer on the second run through. I probably wouldn't even care so much about my score if a fellow student (a very lackadaisical, uninvested young student in fact), hadn't bettered me (by one point). It's so awful, but I have now spent two days second guessing myself and driving myself and the people around me absolutely nuts. I feel completely pathetic being so obsessed about such a small thing. I can come up with innumerable reasons that I should let go of this, but none of them are working at the moment. I guess I need to go on a good, long run or escape to the movies. All I know is that I'm going to KICK ASS on the take-home final. I am sooo fired up.

If I were a reasonable person, I would be focusing on my older son's downright beautiful blossoming in speech. For some reason, the floodgates have opened and he is a becoming a complete chatterbox. I really think that he will catch up verbally, or be close to catching up, by the time he starts Kindergarten. How exciting for him! I am also incredibly thrilled for him because his ability to speak is making so much difference in how he handles stress; now that he can explain what's going on for him and how he feels, he resorts less to physical violence directed at his brother or the poor (medicated) dog.

Another completely unexpected thing happened today. My husband mentioned that he'd been thinking about what it would be like to have a third child (rest assured, I will NOT allow this to happen). I have not entertained the thought of a third for more than a heartbeat because the prospect is so overwhelming that it makes me want to vomit, faint, then run away upon resuscitation. I am flabbergasted that my dear one would even verbalize this; as a friend said, his telling me this means that he's given it more than cursory thought. I am beyond shocked because I thought that if ever one of us would contemplate having a third, it would be me (after a cold day in hell). Well, people are surprising.

1 comment:

Jenn Siva said...

I agree no third child. You have nursing school to accomplish!

And I hate it when, I mean HATE HATE HATE it when someone I dont respect intellectually does better than me, no matter how miniscule the better may be.