I was asked today what I’m good at – and I went blank. Completely empty-mided – all I could think of was what I wasn’t good at. What I’ve screwed up in the last little while. Where my failings lie, my vulnerabilities. The points at which my imperfections irk me: the irritating inconsistencies, the deep character flaws of which I’m quietly ashamed.
I did come up with something, after a few excruciating moments of frantic thought. I’m committed – I show up when I say I’ll show up, and if I’m doing something, I’ll put a hundred per cent of my effort and my emotional energy into it. I’ll do what I can to give back and to leave the world a better place than I found it. I was quite peased with being able to come up with that – I felt like that was a pretty alright thing to be good at, and I’m pretty sure that it’s not self-delusion – I actually am a person who commits herself to her values.
I’m not sure what it says about me that it took me so long to come up with that as the answer to the question though.
It was kind of good timing, that question, because I’ve struggled quite a bit lately – which means there have been times when I’ve dropped the ball. I’ve forgotten things; I’ve misplaced things. I’ve forgotten shifts when I’ve been doing the rostering at work; I even forgot to approve someone’s upcoming leave. I’ve mishandled sitations, and all I’ve been able to do is spread my hands and say, “My bad”.
Nothing’s exploded, it’s not a terrible thing anywhere other than in my head – I don’t cope with screwing up. It goes against who I feel I am; it goes against my values around my job, and around approaching everything I do as worthy of my full attention and skill: as a service, a sacrament. It also makes me realise how much I rely on my competence and skills, behind which I stand (behind which I hide?) when I’m not feeling great about myself.
That’s fine – I’ve got a week’s leave coming up, and I’ll return to work sparkly and rested and my usual proficient self. But I’m starting to think that I need to learn to cope with not being capable, and not hide behind that calm assertion of efficiency. Because whether I screw something up or not, I’m a human being, and I have worth regardless of how smoothly my staff rosters run.
Although life is damn sight easier when my rosters actually don’t have glaring clashes and unfilled shifts in them…