Posts Tagged ‘progress not perfection’

Faster, Faster, Go, Go

October 21, 2016

Get it all done.

I was replacing the light bulbs in my overhead lamp and juggling laundry, messaging with a friend, peeling carrots for lunch tomorrow, packing my school bag and putting away the groceries.

Jesus H. Christ on a raft.

I’m a little busy.

I got up early today and wrote a paper before I went to work.

I also wrote my morning pages, because that’s where so much of the mind gets sorted out and it’s helpful to clean that out before I do my other stuff.

It really does help to set me straight.

I’m a bit bent.

I’m a bit crooked.

I need a little help.

From my friends.

My friends, pen and paper.

I picked up some of my favorite pens today at Walgreens, along with said light bulbs that I was just juggling in my hands, multi-task much Martines?

They always remind me of being in Paris and how devastated I was to not be able to have them when I was running low.

The funny thing is, they are just generic, cheap pens, but I’ve been using them for years and they just have the nicest flow to the ink.

Lovely, luscious, scrawls right out onto the page, easy, loose, and that is important to me, as I write a lot long hand and I want the pen to just be an extension of my hand.

I don’t scrimp on paper though.

Oh!

That is something I just realized!

I will be buying myself Claire Fontaine notebooks when I go to Paris.

I always buy a bunch.

There is a website, I suppose I could always order them, I am still stocked up at the moment, I’ll probably need to replenish sometime between Christmas and May, but I might make it.

Anyway.

That paper, so good, so dreamy, slick and cool and silky under my hand when I write.

I am such a sensory little beast.

I love how things feel, I’m all about the tactile.

The wind on my skin, the warmth of the sun, the touch of something soft.

And smells.

Flowers, my perfume.

“You smell like roses,” she exclaimed to me, “I couldn’t figure out who smelled so good Friday night, and it was you!”

I smiled.

Yes, that’s me.

“But not old lady roses, what is it?” She asked.

Rose Flash baby.

My new perfume.

Well.

I suppose it’s not so new at this point, I started wearing it back in March I think, after I broke my favorite bottle of scent in the bathroom sink, the scent that I have worn with a few exceptions (the Issey Miyake Feu D’Issey years before it went off the market, fuck I would kill for one more bottle of that) Egoiste Pour Homme, by Chanel.

Yes.

I know.

That’s a men’s scent.

But it works so fucking well with my chemistry.

I can only get it at Chanel down on Maiden Lane or when I travel.

Ooh.

I could get another bottle in Paris.

Of course I will.

How could I not?

French perfume, God, I love perfume.

So much.

And scented candles, I’m such a sucker for the good smells.

Wood smoke.

Nectarines.

Salt.

I put on my perfume before I go to bed because I like to smell it in my hair as I fall asleep.

I like clean, soft sheets and perfume.

I light up my candles when I get home.

I like my cozy.

I like my sensory things, I’m a little gluttonous when it comes to those things, but when I think about all the things I don’t imbibe in, well, fuck, bring on the perfume.

Hello, please.

I am pretty happy with the Rose Flash though, I get it at Tiger Lily a little perfumerie on Valencia Street in the Mission, I don’t know if it’s my forever scent, I vacillate about going back to the Egoiste, but it is such a lovely perfume, and I do feel special wearing it.

I want to turn heads.

What girl doesn’t?

I’ve had people stop me when I’ve worn it, as well as follow me to ask what it was.

“You smell so good,” he said to me, and kissed my neck when he stopped by Wednesday before I was heading into work.

Thanks I said and handed over his boots.

Bye bye boots.

Those boots were made for walking right out of my house and I don’t think they’ll be coming back, I didn’t invite the boot owner in and I don’t think I will be again.

But that’s another story.

Senses.

Sound.

Oh yes.

Music.

Right now I’m listening to the Spotify play list my dear French friend put together for me.

I get to see her tomorrow and I’m really happy about that.

In fact, I’m super happy to see a bunch of my cohort.

I have missed them.

I didn’t get it all done, all my homework, I didn’t manage to get all my reading done, but all the papers I have due, four, are finished.

And I’m not going to sweat the reading, I did enough.

I am enough.

And I don’t have to be perfect.

I do need to write my little blog, because it feels so good to write it, all the frustrations and thoughts, it takes away my pain.

Not that I’m saying I’ve been in excruciating pain.

Just a little agony.

You know, no biggie.

Agony.

Ha.

Where was I with my senses?

Oh taste.

Salt.

Cinnamon.

Nutmeg.

The taste of an apple with the above spices liberally sprinkled on them.

Fizzy water in black cherry.

Persimmons!

And oh are they in season, it looks like a persimmon orchard on my kitchen counter.

Sight.

Let me not forget you, and I am scantily covering these senses, there is so much more that I haven’t even had the opportunity to share, write about, ponder.

I don’t have that much time tonight, I’m already up past my bedtime considering that I need to get up and go to school tomorrow.

But.

Let me finish.

I love pretty things, color, my home is full of light and every where I look,  a piece of art, a photograph, something to rest my eyes on, some sort of beauty to see.

Art.

I want to live my life as an artist.

I might even call myself one once in a while.

Writers are artists, no?

Not that I believe tonight’s blog is art, it’s just a scattering of words on a page, a nest of luminous possibility, the thoughts that tumble, the words that I do not write, the ones still trapped in between the skin my heart and the skein of my soul.

But that too.

Is another blog.

And this lady still needs to finish her laundry.

Good night love.

Sweet dreams.

For tomorrow beckons with all its busy.

Rest now.

Rest my heart.

Rest.

 

 

 

Nice Vespa!

April 25, 2014

What year is it?

1965.

Fucking awesome!

Thanks!

Then, kerchunk.

I killed it on the hill turning onto Fell Street.

Ha.

That’s what you get for flirting with the guy on the corner.

Well, I might have killed it anyway, it’s my newest challenge, going up a hill in gear, first mind you, while using the rear brake to stabilize me and then easing off said brake, letting out the clutch and giving it a little gas.

Not too much.

Not too little.

Just the right mix.

I have it down when I am in the flats and am getting proficient enough with it that I can smoothly slow down, down shift, stop, and ease it right back out after the stop and keep moving forward.

Most of the time.

I still have my moments.

Then, I have to think about the fact that today was time number seven, of being out on my Vespa riding, and three of those rides were short with someone else with me.

I took it up to Church and Market today to do a meet up at Crepevine and then head over to Our Lady of Safeway, except that I didn’t.

After my meeting at Crepevine it started to rain.

Not a lot.

But enough.

Enough that my companion urged me to skip where I was going and head home before it did start to really come down.

The rain wasn’t supposed to start until tomorrow, but that’s what happens in San Francisco.

The weather can be a little tricky and I did not want to push my luck with it.

As it happened, I made it back without getting more than just a little sprinkled on.

And I can say that I am getting the hang of it more and more.

I still have what I call my pre-game warm up.

I get nerves.

I get anxious.

I have to breathe through it, roll my shoulders a little, loosen up my body, say a word to the powers that be and give myself more than adequate time to get where ever I am going.

There is a ritual involved to rolling it out and starting it up and I am getting a small routine, but it’s going to be a little longer before I just hop on and cruise off.

Granted, it’s getting easier to will my way into riding.

I expressed tonight at the restaurant that I am more scared than I would like to let on, but then, I have had moments of unadulterated fun, the moving through the park, on John F. Kennedy, has really helped, the green, the lushness, the Chain of Lakes, the Bison in the paddock.

Even, yes, the frisbee golfer warming up tonight as I headed home in the dusk trying to beat out the rain fall.

There’s another thing I can get myself into, frisbee golf.

Free.

Yeah.

I like those sorts of activities.

It would require a small investment to buy a couple of discs and I could hop my scooter and be over to the course in ten or fifteen minutes.

My friend’s partner, said friend who sold me the scooter,  got really excited for me when she saw me last, giving me a big hug she said, “it’s going to open up the city to you in ways you cannot imagine.”

I knew she was right when she said it, but I think I am just starting to get an inkling of what that might look like.

I am a bit bummed that there’s rain forecasted for tomorrow, I know, I know, we need the rain, but I would have like to have ridden the Vespa into the Castro tomorrow, met with my friends, then headed over to the End Up for some dancing.

I am not willing to take her out yet in the rain.

I will, I am sure, at some point take a ride in the rain, but unless it’s absolutely necessary, I don’t see the point.  I can take MUNI, not worry about my burgeoning scooter skills, and stay dry.

I had visions of perhaps going to Kabuki before heading out, but perhaps I will save that for the weekend instead.

Dancing is the only thing on the menu, so far.

I had my half day.

It definitely threw me for a loop, getting out of my routine, going in early, leaving early.

I did not care for it and I did not know what to do with myself, but I just told myself, next little action in front of you and see where it leads.

Lead me home, but not quite to the house, I buzzed by, on my bicycle, earlier, I am still riding my bike into my nanny gigs, and hit the Noriega Produce Market for groceries and supplies to get me through the weekend.

I knew the forecast called for rain, so I figured, get the shopping for food out-of-the-way.  Then back to the house, chop up some raw veggies, eat some hummus, have a bowl of homemade soup and do my “morning” pages, which were clarifying and helped me resolve to continue taking next action, which, yes, led to me meditating.

I can stand that.

The quieting of my mind.

Getting into my body.

“You are so hard on yourself,” she said to me tonight, leaning over the table, “you really don’t have to be.”

I don’t even know it.

I don’t see it.

I don’t feel it.

Once in a while I can see I am learning to ease up.

But most times not.

It’s rather like learning to ride this vintage Vespa, it’s a practice, an easing up, a letting out the clutch and an easing off the throttle.

I am so used to going full throttle and riding the clutch with a death grip.

Ease up.

Slow down.

Mellow out.

Be nice to the scooter.

Fuck.

Be nice to me.

I may not have gotten as much done today as I would like (laundry, cooked food for the weekend–black-eyed peas with kale and broccoli, laced with browned organic ground pork and onions and garlic, pot of savory brown rice–turmeric, garlic, black pepper, ginger, adobo, wrote four pages long hand–I had the time, rode my scooter, met up for tea with someone who has a better perspective on my life than I do, worked a half day, finished my library book–Telegraph Avenue, Michael Chabon) but I did do a lot more than I let myself acknowledge.

For today, for at least this moment.

I acknowledge I do a good job.

The best I can.

And that is pretty damn good.

 

Perfection

April 14, 2014

You are not my friend.

“I just realized, I mean, truly, deeply, madly, how insane my need for perfection is,” I said to my friend on the phone today.

I mean I am off my rocker with needing it.

It could just be that I am über aware of it.

I see it’s roots so deep in my psyche and I wonder will I ever extract it.

“Gratitude, you get be grateful about this, and laugh, have fun with it,” she said to me yesterday as I was letting it go and surrendering again.

Surrendering this old, old as the hills, old as the age spots on the back of a bent old man pate, old as the sun, old as the rain, old, old, old, idea that I am unlovable unless I am perfect.

And in the pursuit of that perfection I isolate myself, not the perfect body, not the perfect job, not the perfect outfit, certainly, not the perfect hair, no matter how many different filters I use on Instagram, it’s still just hair, it could use a trim too, and I will continue to be on my own until I let myself get vulnerable enough to not be perfect.

To let go my pride, my vanity, which is ultimately some warped kind of self-loathing, that too, does not serve me.

Whew.

Where did all this come from?

I am not a great scooter rider yet.

Bwahahahahaha.

That’s my brain.

I can’t get it down, I am not smooth off the start,  I am still awkward with the brake, I had to re-start it twice, I had to let people pass me at intersections, I am just so not good enough, why did I ever bother?

Oh.

Good fucking times.

Ha.

I had gone out and practiced today, and it’s a practice, let me remind myself.

Practice, not perfection.

A slow, gradual, sustainable learning.

I don’t need to be whipping across town on my scooter, yet.

I can take it slow.

I have options.

There wasn’t even anywhere for me to go.

I had an idea I might, might try to head over to Stonestown.

I wanted to see how close the YMCA was to me and I am interested in getting a membership there.

They have a pool.

I like to swim.

I made it to Kirkham and knew that I was not going to go to Stonestown.

I live between Irving and Judah.

If you’re not familiar with this part of San Francisco, the streets run alphabetical.

So, ugh, yeah, not even a couple of blocks and that goal shattered.

However, I did get it into gear and I did ride and though I did kill it, I also was out on my longest solo ride to date.

And remember, I have only taken out the scooter, including today, five times.

I was out on my own for an hour.

I did swing back by the house and grab a quick snack and throw a Japanese sweet potato in the oven to roast for lunch while I was out making the neighborhood rounds.

I rode up Lincoln to 41st, turned left, rode past Chain of Lakes in the Golden Gate Park, so pretty, so pretty, so pretty, and then wound my way through to the other side, the Richmond side of the park, then dropped down and rode to La Playa and down and back a few more times.

I went around my block a bunch, up the hills a bit on Irving, down to the beach and just around and about.

I got pretty good at the shifting between second and third and a few times dropped into fourth as well.

But, like when I was learning as a kid, the lowest gear, 1st, is my nemesis.

And not an evil bad nemesis, but a kind I don’t quiet understand yet.

That’s all.

I wasn’t sure if I was not letting out the clutch well, or if it was sticky, a couple of times it seemed that I was struggling turning the clutch to 1st gear.

I am actually going to ask my friend to come out and do another ride with me this week.

And I found out I won’t be working this Friday again, so I am going to practice that day as well.

“Before you know it, you will be zooming around town and it will be old hat, and you’ll be a natural,” my friend gave me a little pep talk as I down loaded my experience as well as my insight around my crazy pursuit of perfection.

Which, thankfully, is not so bad that I didn’t go for it, ie, didn’t try to learn how, didn’t bother to get my motorcycle license or try to learn something new because, unless I can do it perfect, why try at all?

This attitude used to stop me.

I wouldn’t even get out the gate.

The old idea is still there, but I can see it.

I am aware of it.

I have to accept it.

Ah, acceptance, there you are again.

Because it’s not about self-improvement, it’s about self-acceptance.

And allowing myself to fail at stuff, get up, try again.

Roll the scooter through the intersection, pull it up on the kickstand and kick-start it again, wait for the old lady to cross the street, roll the throttle, squeeze, slowly let out the clutch, let off the foot brake and scooter on.

I spent an hour practicing.

Then I took a walk to, well, walk it off.

Walk off the attitude, the adrenalin, and to laugh at myself a little.

I came home, had a great lunch, then made some homemade soup.

This weeks flavor?

Split pea soup with brown rice and organic chicken, broccoli, zucchini, carrots, celery, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, Spike, and onion.

It is sooo tasty.

I had some for dinner when I got back from my later afternoon adventures, which included a successful trip to buy a few new things for my wardrobe and going to see a friend who was celebrating a big anniversary in the Mission.

I rode my bike there.

But I can see riding my Vespa there soon.

With a little more practice and a lot less perfection than I might want.

But with the perfect spice.

Humility.

With a dash of acceptance.

And a big pinch of self-love.

Recipe for a successful day, month, year.

Hell, probably my whole life.

 

Respond, Damn It

February 28, 2014

Not react.

Oh, lord.

The price of perfection.

I responded to a work request this afternoon, ignoring the faint alarm bells of doom going off in my head, with an affirmative, I can do that and awesome, how great.

Except.

Well, uh.

I can’t actually do it.

When I realized, quickly, oh so quickly after I had sent off the text that I could not do what had been requested, in fact, I had to put in a request to be done early on the day in question, I was horrified.

I mean, horrified.

Then I saw it.

Perfection, rearing its ugly head.

It had a great hair day, but it was still perfection.

Followed closely on the heels of that cock tease, people pleasing.

God damn.

How long does this go on for?

The wiring in my brain is so off.

I am so good at taking care of everybody else.

Me, not so much.

Although, I can and do recognize, when I am not hyperventilating into a plate of salad and scrambled eggs at Crepevine, that I have made strides, tremendous strides really in my self-care.

But sometimes, well, I back slide.

I don’t listen to that quiet inner voice, the one that says, uh you have something else going on, perhaps a pause here is called for.

I ignore it, because I really want to be helpful and accommodating and I want to please my employers.

As though the awesome care I provide is not enough.

It’s not even that I wouldn’t have done what was asked for, I am happy to be of service in the way the mom requested, I just forgot about the court date for my bicycle ticket.

March 7th.

Which is next Friday.

How the hell is that possible?

It’s the 27th of February.

February.

You cold whore you.

You short month of doom.

Already filled with unexpected bills and now short notice on my time too.

Add Valentines Day to the mix and just combust the entire month.

Ah.

It’s not the bad, I just got caught short.  I had intended to tell my employer about the date as well too, but had not.  I am human.

I forgot.

I hate that I did.

I hate that I am human and not perfect and not on top of it all.

I mean, I could cut myself some slack here, I am on top of a lot of other things.

But sometimes the stress of juggling three different nanny gigs per week really gets to me.  The continuity that I develop in one home is completely tossed out the window after mid-week and I have to think of my schedule, their schedule, what home am I in, do I need to bring lunch, dinner, snacks, etc.

It gets overwhelming.

My solution?

I was going to get up early tomorrow and ride my bicycle in the forecasted rain to 850 Bryant and stand in line at Room 145 and beg for a forbearance on the case–to push it forward instead of having to attend court next Friday.

I was until I found out that it being so close to the day of the case I may not be able to do so unless it’s an emergency in nature.

I can miss two hours of work on a Friday.

It’s not an emergency, except in my head.

I mean, the thought of getting up early to ride 30-35 minutes downtown during rush hour traffic on my bicycle in the rain so that I would be able to cover two hours of work next week is idiotic.

I would be breaking traffic laws to get there on time.

Now, wouldn’t that be ironic?

Getting a another ticket on my way to arrange a postponement on my ticket.

No thanks.

Then I thought, I will take MUNI.

Oh, like, that’s a good guarantee I will get there and then to work on time.

Then I thought, well, I will just suck it up and take a cab.

That is even sillier.

The cost of taking a cab from my house in the Outer Sunset to 850 Bryant would be astronomical and would cancel out whatever small revenue I would bring in next Friday with the 2 and a half hours I need to leave early.

So the pain of people pleasing and perfection had to be negated and fast.

I sat and talked it out with someone and asked her for suggestions and how to let go of it and what to do and I got some suggestions.

None of which I wanted to hear.

But all of which rang true.

The difference between feeling good, hiding in bed watching 7 hours of Netflix House of Cards, and taking care of myself, are two entirely different things.

I really want to do the thing that feels good, not the thing that is good self-care.

Perfection, but at what cost?

Not a cost I am willing to pay anymore.

I have to admit it.

I am human, I make mistakes, I am allowed, further, to do so.

Despite what I tell myself, contrary to all the “training” I received when I was younger and did not know better than to question the sacrifices I was giving to take care of everybody other than myself.

I got home tonight, after talking it over with another and vowing to write the e-mail and say that I could not work more than a half day next Friday, and I wrote the e-mail.

I did not want to.

It did not feel good.

But I did it anyway.

Because I am allowed to care for myself.

No one else has this job but me.

And according to the memo I got from the big boss, I am ok to be human and fall down once in awhile.

Humanity is endearing.

Perfection is debilitiating.

Imperfectly, perfectly human.

Sigh.


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