My grandma used to say, “Do your best and that’s all you can do.” It’s kind of a funny saying, but I repeat it to myself often, in particular because of the last part. Anyone who loves me and knows me, knows that I am my very own worst critic, and that I’m often hypersensitive to criticism only because whatever you were going to say to me, I’ve already berated myself about inside my head about 57 times. Sometimes I need to cut myself a break.
There’s a great book called the Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey (I actually read the also great book, The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green and Timothy Gallwey, based on the same ideas), and one of the founding principles is that in order to perform well, you need to find a way to shush those inner “you-can’t-do-it” voices, the “judges”, as he calls them. You have to find a way to take away their power to suck the very lifeblood out of you, because they will if given the chance.
I’m not a perfectionist, but I do have high expectations for myself, and the things I need to do, because often I am the only one to do them. If I can’t, it won’t get done, which can lead to more problems. But Grandma was exactly correct – if I’ve done my best (which is almost always the case) that’s all I can do!
After a full school day, starting at 7:30pm, getting out of my last school meeting at 5:00pm, talking to The Man on the brief ride home, having an hour to sit (whew!) and then heading out for another meeting that lasted a solid two hours, talking to The Man again on the brief ride home, and finally able to take my heels off at 9:30pm (after talking to Fantastic Babysitter, settling The Boy, and realizing I hadn’t eaten dinner), I realize I have done the best I can do today, and that’s all I can do. Working out will have to wait until tomorrow.