I wrote another long entry about our relationship and marriage, etc., but I put it aside for later editing. The thing that always happens when I put something aside for later editing, happened. I never went back to it. Thatís why I rarely edit. If I always stopped for editing, nothing would ever get posted.

Today, Adam submitted the final grades for the semester to his students. Heís very concerned about them doing well. The median grade was an 87, but he spent an hour or so agonizing about the few kids that failed or got Dís. It didnít help that a handful emailed him to complain. He started feeling all bad about it, and talking about what he should do next semester to better prepare them.

Iíve been around all semester, I know that he did everything he could. His class emphasizes critical thinking, and when testing for that, reading comprehension is absolutely key. These are important skills to have, but theyíre also skills that are a bit of a stretch for some college students.

Among the kids who did badly, it probably breaks down into: Kids who didnít care enough to come to class or study, kids who experienced some kind of personal tragedy, causing them to do badly (if a student comes to him with a personal problem, he does his best to accommodate them), and kids who are just especially bad at that stuff. We have all have our strengths and weaknesses.

A teacher can only do so much for those students, and if everyone does well, then the class isnít sufficiently challenging enough.

We went back and forth about it. Finally, I said, ďYou just hate giving people bad news, donít you?Ē

He exclaimed, ďYes! Oh my god! Iíd be a terrible cancer doctor!Ē Then he calmed down and thought for a minute and said, ďI usually think of myself as being a tough, no-nonsense person, but now I realizeÖ Iím soft

I nodded knowingly, ďYes, yes, you are.Ē

Meanwhile, during our back-and-forth with me telling him to stop beating himself up about the fact that a small percentage of the class did badly and then complained about it, I thought to myself, ďSheesh! Whining about grades? Maybe some people could have used a crazy Japanese lady smacking them around when they wrote imperfect calligraphy, at the age of four.Ē

That thought was immediately followed by, ďMan, Amy, thatís some really messed up thinking.Ē

So, anyway, along the lines of figuring myself out; maybe what I consider to just a nutty, but biological perfectionism, that has nearly driven me off a very high cliff a few times, came from somewhere that isnít entirely locked in my genes.

And, while, I donít, and never have considered myself an over-achiever, I am definitely terrified of failure.

In that same vein, during the past week and a half or so, Iíve been in nervous-breakdown mode because things are shifting around at work. I was given a pile of work, that, after my first examination, I realized that unless I performed a miracle, it would not be done on time. I did what I could over the weekend, and worked on it most of Monday, until my computer crashed. Then, I went into a tizzy trying to get some IT support, which did not respond in a timely manner. I got it back up for Tuesday computer, but acting flaky. Tuesday evening, I realized how tense I was, and did my best to try to unclench my muscles.

Wednesday morning, the computer didnít boot up, at all. All week long, Iíd been e-stalking the IT guys like an annoying shadow, trying to avert such a situation. The clients did not take kindly to it.

I didnít have an anxiety attack or anything. Rather than feeling anxious, I ended up feeling rather depressed. Like, the bad luck won, and I was dead.

I was working from home on Wednesday, and I spent about 3 hours on the phone smoothing ruffled client-feathers, and talking to coworkers, trying to get help with deliverables. The rest of the time, I just stayed near my email, which I could access through my home computer, and hoped to hear from IT support.

This morning, I went into the office hoping something might change, nothing changed, I had to deal with the boss, the clients, the IT, blah, blah, blah, again. Our corporate office is halfway across the country, which is where my IT support is located, which means, my new computer is being overnighted, and I should have it tomorrow morning. Eventually, my boss sent me home.

Actually, I never meant to recount all this. Iím more just offering this up as an explanation for not leaving congratulatory, well-deserved, well-earned comments on some peopleĎs blogged good news.

The reason I originally brought up work is because I happen to work with a woman that I went to college with. I know, weird, and a long story. This morning, she showed me a picture of myself, from when I was about 18, with an old boyfriend of mine. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

You know, I remember thinking, and probably mentioning, that I was an ugly duckling, plus, Iíve never been photogenic (so, besides being approximately a million inches too short to have been model, thereís that whole the-camera-hates-me thing). Oh, and as an aside, I attended a fashion something-or-other about a month ago, and when I saw how horrendously those poor girls were treated, I was immediately grateful that I could have never modeled. That kind of treatment would never be tolerated in any other profession, and only works when youíre bossing around a bunch of frightened teenage girls.

Anyway, back to what I was saying before, I think I forgot that I was an ugly ducking. Well, maybe not so much forgot, but thought that my perception was skewed. My inner life was such a mess back then. I thought that my feelings about myself were so poor, that I had started to assume that I merely thought I was ugly. That wasnít the case, I just forgot that I truly was an ugly ducking. The odd thing is, technically speaking, I donít look a hell of a lot different. Sure, I had ridiculously over-sized chipmunk cheeks, which Iíve since grown out of, but other than that, I couldnít see any real structural difference.

To me, itís more that my self-hatred was actually seeping out, in a visible manner. It was evident in the way I carried myself, in how I dressed, how I did my hair, and it showed in my face.

After seeing the picture, first, I had to get over being horrified to be reminded of the young me, plus the boyfriend; heís one of those, Jesus-Christ-What-was-I-thinking?!?! guys, that we all have in our past. So, after I got over that, I started thinking about how far Iíve come.

I donít mean that I transformed into some great beauty, but Iíve gotten so much more figured out. Iím capable of feeling content. Iím capable of feeling good about myself. IĎm fairly emotionally stable. I can go a whole month without having some kind of meltdown or doing something really incredibly stupid. Considering what an unbridled mess I was at 18, Iíve made huge strides in a short amount of time.

Looks wise, Iíve peaked and Iím on my way down. Maybe Iíll have a resurgence, I donít know. Even though I keep whining about aging, compared to most other women in their mid-30s, Iím doing fine. If I can hang onto to this until my 40s, Iíll be crazy hot (for my age). But, you know, Iíve since realized that, to me, looking youthful and pretty has more to do with keeping my fear of death at bay, than anything else. Is that vanity? I donít know. I just donít like being reminded that Iím going to die, someday, every time I look in the mirror.

Speaking of resurgences, things went really off track exercise-wise, for a couple of weeks. I did manage to keep up with my push-ups and a few basic things. Iíve discovered that itís important to do a little, even if I canít do what I was able to do in the past.

I have to keep reminding myself that our bodies, especially female bodies, are in constant flux. Sometimes weíre stronger than others, and even after lots of exercise, will experience a set-back. The most important thing here is consistency. Not consistency of ability, but consistency in schedule. Non-attachment to results is the only way to keep it going and avoid getting discouraged during a down-turn in energy and ability.

Does that mean Iím not attached to results? Of course I am! I just try to not let it get to me.

I think itís been about a month and a half or two months since the calorie counting started. In that amount of time, the scale has budged. Iíve lost a whole 2.5 pounds. It seems to be gone for real, not just some fluctuation of water weight. Iím not breaking any records here. My weight tends to be stubbornly stable, and every ounce fights me. Considering that, itís kind of amazing that I managed to gain the weight in the first place, especially not even trying!

I know that if I wanted serious weight loss, then Iíd partake in some real deprivation, but thatís not my thing. Food is my friend, and chocolate, well, thatís my best friend.

Ok, if I just said that, I obviously need to think about packing it in, but I would like to mention that in the past week, I did weights twice, zumba twice, and I hiked twice (2 hours each go). My legs are sore, and I ate more than enough to make up for it.

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Thursday, May. 12, 2011 at 11:48 PM