Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Exploring mediocrity and thinking aloud.

I think maybe my sentiment didn't quite get through on my last post...  ;).    What I was saying is that my perfectionism is sometimes a little crippling and gets in the way of even doing things I love, like writing.  I enjoy blogging, but when I get good responses, I feel pressure to make the next entry awesomer and awesomer.  I've got a real hang up with performance.  

I tend to think if I can't do something all the way, I shouldn't do it at all.  Mediocre isn't meant to be self-deprecating but freedom from comparing myself, freedom from performance anxiety, freedom from perfectionism.  To experience the extraordinary, one must be familiar with the ordinary.  Practice is mundane.  To be better and have a chance at some epic posts, I need more time producing work, period.  

Learning the violin is fabulous for me.  I treasure the fact I've started as a mom of four in my late thirties.  Why?  Because the chances of my becoming a virtuoso is pretty much non-existent.  I can play and enjoy it and share my progress with others without ever feeling the pressure to have it become more than a joy for me.  

There was so much "I can't wait to read your first book" early in my life that the pressure took the wind out of my desire to write.     Even my successes were evidence I had only gotten older and had not yet written my first book.  

With Mary's comment today, I realized my writing could be like playing my violin.  It doesn't have to be virtuosic.  If a book gets written, woohoo, retirement money!  If not, I won't be a failure, and I will have had the joy of the process.  

I can use my writing to extend myself and share in a dialogue and connection with others.   I think believing I can be extraordinary while giving myself permission to be mediocre, means I can focus more on the task at hand, than on some extrinsic trophy.   I can hone my craft, rather than serve my critics.

I know the word mediocre is a challenge for many.  It was intended to be provocative.  It means it's ok to say I had a day that wasn't good or bad.  Nothing remarkable happened except that I am still alive, which is, in fact, as remarkable as the sun rising each morning.  I love and have been loved.  It is well with my soul.  

No comments: