When I was at primary school I was at the top end of my class, I was quite happy with that and I worked hard to stay at the top. Then I went to secondary school, it was a grammar school, and suddenly I found myself towards the bottom. I didn’t like it, but I wasn’t willing to put in the effort, because I knew that no matter how much I did, I wouldn’t be as good as others in my class/year group. This happened so much as I was growing up, wether it was swimming/dancing/music – I had skills in all, but I had to really work at it, and even then I wasn’t as naturally amazing as others, so I didn’t put in the effort.
Over the last couple of years I’ve started to put effort into things, and I’ve seen the results that has bought. Whether it was weight loss, speaking and leading at church, running, changing/adapting lessons, marking, the list goes on… I’ve amazed myself. But I now find I’m putting so much extra on myself, because although it’s great what I’ve done, I know I can do more…
As a teacher there have been many occasions when I’ve had to speak to pupils who have been disappointed with their results, and (obviously dependent on the child) I will often say, you did your best, you’ve got the grade you need, it may not be the best grade, but it is good etc etc etc… They are still not happy, and I just want to shake them and congratulate them because it’s possibly better than we thought they would get, and we know how much they have had to work to do that.
As usual I can say it to the kids, but can’t listen to it myself. I am in a state at the moment when I can only see everything that needs to be done, how everything can be improved. This is mainly at school, but also in terms of weight loss and running as well. It’s not perfect, it’s not the best. The secondary school me, and if I’m honest the 30 year old me, would just think “it’s never going to be perfect, so may as well just leave it as it is, and not bother to put in the effort”. I can’t do that now, my brain won’t allow me, I want to make it better (I probably secretly want to be the best) but it’s killing me, I’m an emotional, worn out wreck. I need to recognise that what I CAN do is ‘good enough’ – there will always be improvements to make, but as long as I am doing ALL I CAN, then that is ‘good enough’! Maybe if I write it enough times I will actually believe it?
I am getting there slowly, I’ve had a few stern words from friends, and much needed hugs from others. What I do know is I am no use to anyone at all, if I work myself to the bone! It is good enough – no, really, it is!