I don’t want to brag or anything, it might make people jealous, but I am pretty bad at quite a few things. I don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable by my prowess in this area, but I think I have collected enough failures to make me a seasoned pro.
For instance, some tops in my hall of shame fame:
I tried out for the dance line in high school two times before I made the team on the third try. I think they felt sorry for me and needed a short person on the end of the line.
Even badder and something I don’t talk about much: The only school dances I went to in senior high were the ones I asked a boy to. I like to think it was because I am a little intimidating (ha!), or maybe because very few boys back then were savvy enough to be able to tell my twin sister and I apart (one of the downsides of being identical), or maybe it was because I was just bad at being a girl boys felt comfortable asking to a dance.
My husband says it wasn’t my looks, but I wondered. Plus, I knew him back then and was really hoping he would ask me. He didn’t. (But, dear reader, he married me.)
More recently, if I can boast a little more, I talk too much and am bad at listening. Sometimes even, I say something dumb and absolutely stop conversations in their tracks. The awkward silence that has followed such encounters, is well … awkward.
My kids get mad at me also, because I can never remember where two or three of their good friends live. Even though I have driven to their houses oh, a million times. I tell those friends that I just have too much on my mind and that I like them a lot, and the way I feel about them is no reflection of how I remember their houses. So yeah, it would be easy to see how good I am at being bad at that.
Also, last month I forgot to go to my youngest daughter’s elementary school conference. One I had signed up for and received a reminder about. I am so good at being bad that I never remembered, not until my sweet little girl called me as I was getting ready to run a 5K with some friends a couple of days later and said, “Oh, yeah, Mrs. K, wanted me to tell you that you missed your conference last Thursday.” Score!
My clothes aren’t always the coolest, sometimes my gray shows, and I still don’t have perfect skin. Also, against my better judgment, I am getting older.
I am bad at some really big things too, things that would probably make you pretty jealous. It’s probably best if I spare you the details. Let me know if you want my husband’s phone number – he has a pretty good list going.
It’s way more fun to be flippant about my shortcomings and truth be told, I don’t really want anyone to know all the things I am bad at.
None of us wants that.
As women, we spend a lot of time comparing ourselves to others. Sometimes, we compare to make ourselves feel less bad about being bad at something.
This might be rooted in the fact that we are the smallest bit afraid that if people were to look too closely they would see what don’t want them to see…stuff we are bad at. Critiquing the failures of another deflects attention from our own weaknesses.
This cycle doesn’t make anyone feel better.
It is a new year. A do-over, if you will.
Yeah, I know, most of the time New Year’s resolutions are just another thing to end up being bad at when we can’t stick to our goals. And that stinks. What we really need is an aim we can keep.
How about more grace for one another this year?
An attitude for others that says, “Hey, I know it’s rough in there, inside that head of yours with all the shoulds, and whys and dang-its-I-failed again.”
Don’t you wish someone would do that for you? Don’t you think it’s time you did that for someone else? Then maybe being bad wouldn’t feel so…bad.
We don’t need to highlight or draw attention to each other’s failures, I think we pretty much already know profoundly how far we have to go in the perfection department.
This year, determine to look at yourself and others with new eyes. Be humble. Be accepting.
Enjoy others: women who are different than you, and who—in spite of what they are bad at—can probably teach you something you couldn’t have learned on your own.
And while you’re at it (loving yourself and others!), enjoy the fact that even though you are bad at some things, you are willing to forgive yourself for what you can’t do because at least you are good at being bad.