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Feb 08 2012

The full brain and perfectionism

I feel this way more often than not. So much information coming in it’s like drinking from a fire hose. You lean down to take a sip, and BLAM! A face full of water…erm…information. This is one of my favorite Far Side comics; I especially love that his brain is full at 10 am. My brain is also usually full by 10 am. Full brain, empty coffeepot.

I say all of this as introduction and as a way of begging pardon that I completely and entirely spaced doing the drawing for Christine’s novella, Dies Irae on Sunday night. That little fact smacked me upside the head at the library last night as I was working and I may or may not have stage-whispered some very choice words. A full brain is a dangerous thing indeed. So…commenter Becky G! As part of the miscellaneous portion of our homeschool day, my son picked your name and you get a digital download of Dies Irae, complements of the author. Enjoy!

It’s times like these when my perfectionism cracks open an eye, lumbers up, and smacks me over the nose with the rolled up treatise of all things I should be doing and doing better than I am currently. Then it returns to its highly-alert slumber, ready to jump up at any given moment. It kinda looks like a cross between a Shel Silverstein pencil drawing and a Dr. Seuss paint-by-number filled in by a cracked-out squirrel. But perfectly done, of course.

Perfectionism is what feeds the nasty little gremlins, but only I feed the perfectionism. And lately I’ve been making a concerted effort to starve it. God knows there’s enough around here to feed it. From the house that needs so much work that I don’t know where to start to homeschooling to working from home to writing my book, I could have one obese perfectionism complex on my hands if I didn’t stay on top of it. I don’t need it or the gremlins around; if anyone spoke to me the way my perfectionism does, we’d have a lot of unconscious bodies ’round these parts.

So I try to let things go a little more. Sure, homeschooling is going well…but I haven’t really started to push anything resembling curriculum. We’re studying what sounds good when it sounds good and a lot of learning is going on (yes, I realize that’s unschooling, but I really don’t think I can go that route with him permanently). I ignore the fact that this house very likely needs a complete electrical update and pray we don’t electrocute ourselves. And I juggle writing and working and blogging and what passes for a social life as best I can. The universe isn’t perfect, neither am I.

Just hard to remember that when my brain is so full.

 

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  1. Nucking Futs Mama

    Girl, I hear ya loud & clear about the full brain. Mine is ready to explode lately & I feel like I’m falling short on nearly every aspect in my life. I say we either lock ourselves in the basement or run away & join the circus — you with me? And, by the way, kudos to you on the homeschooling — that is truly admirable. I don’t think I could do it.

    Hang in there!
    xo 🙂

    1. Jen

      Totally with you. I can be out the door in ten seconds flat, my shoes are right.here. Certainly there’s a dive bar nearby where we can hide. 😉
      And if you had told me six months ago I’d be homeschooling I woulda told you to up your meds. But things at school were so bad that homeschooling was the easier, less stressful option. So far, so good…

  2. Missy | The Literal Mom

    Perfectionism is, indeed, quite painful. I understand, my friend.

  3. Siggi

    Yeah, the downside of the responsible/planful/creative trifecta is a gotta do list about a mile long.

    I’m using Tadalist.com to remind me of random bits of stuff that need doing, fwiw.

    Congrats to the lucky commenter! I’m sure the wait was worth it!

  4. quirkyandlaughing

    Ha! I love that comic. I imagine your brain is VERY full as you adjust to homeschooling. I’m constantly struggling with the decision of whether or not to homeschool. I can scarcely keep up as it is. I admire you for taking the plunge.

    1. Jen

      Homeschooling was the sane path. The entire family would have gone over the cliff if we’d kept him in school. It’s a very good school, our other son is doing well there, but for A it just wasn’t working.

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