Ding, ding, ding! You don't win!!!
I’ve noticed this week that someone is checking up on me in one sphere of my life. There is a definite ‘enquiring’ presence hovering over me as I go about my business. Now that I think about it, this has been going on for quite a long time. When I finally realized what was happening I mentioned it to a friend – she was OUTRAGED! I didn’t really understand why so I asked my husband who again, was OUTRAGED. Typically he suggested going out of my way to provide apparent fodder for the Overseer - making deliberate mistakes, leaving jobs incomplete or badly done. Bless him! He actually thinks I would need to be slapdash on purpose!
Much as I appreciate my loved ones being so put-out at the perceived injustice, it’s really not necessary. And this is the gift my Overseer has given me - a wonderful thing – for the first time in 40ish years I can honestly say I’m living an authentic life. Everything I do is transparent, I don’t lie about anything, or seek to present myself in a favourable light, I don’t feel the need to embellish or craft a cunningly constructed façade. It’s the most astounding revelation to me – and a huge relief.
All my life I’ve felt incomplete, under par and deficient in every way. That awful phrase “if you can’t do something right, don’t do it at all” led me to understand that failing to achieve excellence meant utter inadequacy. Like those things at the fair that you hit with a hammer to try and ring the bell – if there’s no “ding” you are a loser and you don’t get a prize! I am now completely willing to hit the thing as hard as possible whilst wearing ear plugs – the “ding” is not the only way to measure success.
One of my favourite childhood novels was a book called “The Ordinary Princess”. The story is a twist on the traditional tale of the Sleeping Beauty but this time the baby Princess is “cursed” by a grumpy old fairy who bestows the attribute of mediocrity upon her. While her golden, raven or flame haired sisters grow willowy and beautiful, accomplished in the social arts and the subject of many adoring sonnets, written by worshipful Princes – she is consistently referred to in court conversation as “the other one”, if she is referred to at all that is. This always struck me as the most terrible slight – like referring to the ability of a Chef as “adequate”, or a Singer as “acceptable” and most certainly not something one says in polite company.
But oh the release and the joy of being nothing special! I am so happy to be commonplace and mainstream. Indeed I am so happy to be ordinary I must be careful not to seek to be extra-ordinary.