Monday, August 16, 2010

Will I Ever Shine?

Yesterday was a nice, relaxing Sunday. My husband just returned from a High Sierra adventure with our oldest; 50 miles backpacking. He was gone, unreachable at a time when I needed him most. But I hung in there and the sweetness of his return allowed me to fully breathe again enveloped in a blanket of security and safety.

We immediately fell into our routines and that meant a quick round of golf, this time taking the two youngest. Golf is so frustrating even though I love it. Sick sense of humor? The need to torture myself? I don't know what keeps drawing me back to that game, but I go every time.

On one particular horrible shot I cried out, "why can't I ever be good at anything?!". And my husband was great, attempting to provide consolation with the gentle reminder that we hadn't played in over a month. While he did have a point, I still sulked. The horrible shot was a sharp slap in the face about how I'm simply not "great" at anything.

My life of mediocrity is so glaring I found myself stewing, dwelling and keeping me awake last night. It is particularly frustrating for me because I have this sense about myself that I am destined to do something great, to shine at something and yet there is nothing.

Growing up I was always in the shadow of my sister - prettier, more petite, better at every sport, a natural ear for music...blah, blah, blah. Whatever it was, she was better. The only thing I excelled at was school. I could get good grades, and even that started to pale when I moved on to high school with a larger set of folks to compare myself against. Still, high school and college were easy. I didn't have to try to get good grades, but they weren't great either.

And, that's pretty much where I stand in my adult life too. Good, but not great. And there definitely is no shine.

I'm okay as a parent - I wouldn't even say good. I have times like this and this. Clearly I don't shine there.

I'm not the primary breadwinner in my family. As a consequence, I'm the one with primary childcare duties so I am not great at my job. Constantly interrupted and distracted, my working world is often rocked by flaky babysitters, routine doctors' appointments and the not-so-occasional emergencies. I frequently wonder how other women manage in an environment much less flexible than my own. I'm sure they're just better at it than me.

For awhile I wanted to be a great pool player. I'm good, but not great. Our team often finishes in first or second place, but the fact is, I'm more of the weak link than an asset. Out of our five man team, three are in spots one, two and three on the top shooter list. But not me.

It makes me wonder, why do I even try? All I end up with is disappointment. I am never as good as I want to be. I am tired of trying and not getting great, of not shining in ONE single thing. There are so many things that I have and want to do, that I wonder if it isn't an impossible objective. But still, I just want to shine at something, one thing, anything.
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