My friend Alli and I email pretty frequently. Sometimes 2-3 emails a day, if we're both in a slow period at work. Conversation topics range from relationships to work to family to gardening to travel, etc.
We often come back on a theme of "I need to do better at __________" or "I need to be better at ________" or "I really should make a a better effort to __________." Now not to get all Carrie Bradshaw on you, but when is just doing something, even if you're not doing it really well, enough?
For example: I would like to be better at communicating with my grandparents. Sporadic phone calls seem insufficient. I'd like to create pamphlets to mail them, with photos of the garden, the dog and things we've been up to. It seems like it'd be a nice way to communicate with them, especially if a picture is worth 1,000 words.
But that takes time and effort and damn I just feel so pressed for time lately.
Along those lines, I need to be better about watching my diet, especially during times of stress. I'm good at cooking (er, letting DJ cook for me) and eating pretty decently nutritious home-made meals usually. But when I get stressed and have to work late all nutrition goes to hell.
I feel like I need to be a better wife to DJ sometimes. Don't get me wrong; it's my understanding that he's perfectly satisfied. But, I'd like to cook once and a while. Something new and fancy, out of the Bon Appetit magazine we get. That would require a Sunday afternoon where I can focus on prepping and executing. I'd rather be outside doing something.
We need to do better about where we procure our food from too. I've mentioned before buying a freezer and purchasing half a beef or something. With all the information out there about American meat-handling practices, well, I'm really losing interest in steak pretty quickly.
I need to be better about being patient at work. The monotony and ineffectiveness and sense of stagnation which comes along with working in government frustrates me to no end. I'm a results person, and I get crabby and short tempered when I feel ineffective for reasons outside of my control. And then I take it out on other people, which is unfair. I need to be better about that.
Those are what, 5 paragraphs in which I emotionally punch myself for not being good enough at something? Shit that's a lot of baggage to hand myself. And I can guarantee you that my husband's list of things to be better at is pretty short.
As women, why do we beat ourselves up about things we should be better at, while we don't celebrate the qualities we excel at?
What am I good at?