Posts Tagged With: Character flaw

Consistency redefined.

A few days ago I blogged about being the most inconsistent person in the universe.

I said I was okay with that….  but I’m reconsidering.

I think that I have always seen the word “consistent” to mean something good, but always as something that I couldn’t achieve.  I happen to be, for better or worse, a person of extremes.  I go all in, then I lose interest and drop completely out.  I have done this with fitness, with hobbies, with topics that interest me, with TV shows… you name it.  However, I have always seen consistency as meaning that once you decide to do something you just do it.  And you don’t stop.

I have a good friend whom I have always considered to be the most consistent person I have ever met.  She decides she is going to do something, and she just does it.  And I watch in awe.  I’ve seen her do this with running, with education, with photography…

Project 365, if you aren’t aware of it, is a photography project where you take a photo a day for a year.  She started this project with me a while back, I dropped out after a few months, and she’s finishing up her THIRD YEAR!!!  She took one look at that concept and said, “Project 365?  Ha!!  Try project 1095!!  Bwahahaha!!”.

I’m not kidding when I say that I am absolutely in awe of this type of consistency.  She’s amazing.

However, I think that I have always seen this as THE definition of consistency.  And I have always paled in comparison.  And since I see consistency as good, and I see this as the definition of consistency, I see my approach towards things as a failure.  I failed at Project 365, just like I fail at other things in my life.  Like I failed at fitness, because as soon as my schedule wouldn’t allow for my current level of activity, I used it as an excuse to give up altogether.  Because when I attempted to document my year by taking a photo a day, I got angry and gave up when I missed just one photo.

I’m okay with being inconsistent when consistency has such a strict definition.  That’s just not me.  It’s not how I operate.  And it’s okay to admit your weaknesses, so I’m cool with that.  But I don’t think consistency necessarily has to have such a strict definition.

Instead of just accepting that I am “inconsistent”, I think I’m going to try and redefine the word “consistent”.  I’m going to start viewing the term in a much broader context.

Instead of believing that I am a failure at photographically documenting my year by taking “a photo a day”, I’m going to accept that documenting my year might not require exactly 365 photos.  If I end the year with 200 that give a clear and honest picture of my year…  well…  that’s good enough.

I don’t normally make New Years Resolutions, but I think this year I am going to try and be more “consistent”…  just using the new definition, that’s all.

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The most inconsistent person in the universe.

It has been over a year since I have posted on this blog.

It has been a year and a half since I mentioned that others expected me to give up on blogging, and I vowed to continue.  Though, to my credit, I did end the blog by clarifying that there was no guarantee that I actually would…

It has also been a year and a half since I posted about how determined I was to work my way through the “Simple Living Manifesto”.  The 72 steps to a simpler life.  I completed step one: Create a list of the 4-5 things that are most important to you.  Not only have I made no progress on the rest of the manifesto’s 72 steps, but I have actually moved backwards on a few of the 4-5 important things I listed.

My health and fitness goals have resulted in a sixty pound weight gain.

I have taken less pictures of my family, a lot less, even though I stated I would be taking more.

Blogging??  I said that I would keep up with this blog?!?!  Ha!

Lately I have been struggling with the conflict between the person I am and the person I want to be.  Figuring out which qualities are ones that can be lived with vs. ones that really need to be changed isn’t easy.  I’ll probably have more on that later, but for now I have decided that being the most inconsistent person in the universe…

I’m okay with that.

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Googling an old friend

I wasn’t feeling well for most of the day today.  So when I arrived home from work, I made myself a quick sandwich and headed straight for bed.

I read for a few minutes, then I fell asleep.

Woke up and read for a few minutes more, and fell asleep again…

Then I woke up again… and grabbed my laptop.

I did all my normal laptopy stuff, checked my email, checked my Facebook, commented on a few things, had a quick chat with my kid (yes, I Facebook chat with my kid from the next room)… then I just sat here in bed, still groggy and tired, feeling icky, and realized I just didn’t know what to do next.

Didn’t feel like checking the news.  Didn’t feel like blogging (at least at THAT moment I didn’t).

What to do… what to do…

So I looked up an old friend.  I don’t know what prompted me to do this, it was sort of a spur of the moment decision.  The friendship didn’t end well at all, she was particularly nasty to me, leaving me feeling used and abused, worthless, small.  And as much as I would like to be able to say that I am strong enough to just move on and not let it bother me, the truth is that it really does still bother me.

So I Googled her, and I found her blog.  And I read a few entries.  And what I found was what appeared to be a happy, confident, amazingly intelligent (to the point of being obviously somewhat arrogant), self-assured person with big dreams.

And as much as I would like to be able to say that I’m thrilled to find, through her online presence, that she is happy and doing well, that she is engaged and has had another child, that she is still in school and working on a graduate degree… the truth is, I’m ashamed to admit… part of me was hoping I would find a miserable wretch.

Why would I want that?  It’s a horrible thing to wish on another human being.  And I don’t really wish that, but in a way it would be nice.  Maybe I wish others had as hard of a time letting go of friendships as I do.  Maybe, just maybe, I was hoping that I would find some indication, however small, of the tiniest bit of guilt over what she did to me, even though I realize, of course, that if any such guilt exists, and it probably doesn’t, it would not be evident on her blog, especially not a few years later. Maybe I had hoped that her ability to so easily and cruelly dump on a supposed friend was a character flaw that would come back to haunt her down the road.

Actually, I think that’s it.  After she was so horrible to me I think I was hoping Karma would have bitten her in the behind.  There is a little voice in my head telling me that someone like that doesn’t deserve to be that happy, that successful.

So now I sit here, still not feeling well, still sleepy and in need of massive amounts of rest, but instead of sleeping I’m thinking of her.  I’m wishing ill on her while simultaneously kicking myself for thinking such horrible thoughts about a person who, despite how badly she may have treated me, deserves every bit of happiness and success she can find in this life.

I admire her for her strength and for her perseverance through the difficulties life has thrown at her.  Through young motherhood and a failed marriage, the adversity she faces in her communities for being an atheist in the bible belt, the stresses of trying to earn a graduate degree while caring for young children…  she is still plugging away and looking at the bright side of life.  She still has these big dreams and she’s going for it; I have a feeling she will let nothing get in her way.

Yet I am also very much aware that a quick Google search of a person isn’t going to give me the full story, and a person who seems, in their blog, to be happy, successful, driven, and optimistic, may actually be watching his or her life fall apart around them in reality.  Most people aren’t quite as honest online as I am.  So my looking to her blog for insight into her life is really quite ridiculous, and I am fully cognizant of that, so why do I let it bother me so?

I think I need to admit that I have identified in myself a character flaw.  Something that I need to work on.  An inability to move on when someone has treated me badly, an expectation that those who have hurt me so terribly will suffer themselves at some point for the pain they have inflicted, and a tendency to obsess over the past, to keep thinking back to those people and situations that have hurt me, and to try and make sense of them, make them *right* in some way, or find a way to feel vindicated.

We all have people in our past who have hurt us; I tend to have more than most, unfortunately.  Sometimes I think I would like to reach out to these people, see if a connection can be reestablished, heal those old wounds.  But I’m always met with fear that those wounds will be torn open again, rather than healed, and I’m not sure I can handle that.

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