Tag Archives: Perseverance

Perseverance and Procrastination (Or Their Exact Opposites) #AtoZChallenge

Welcome to my belated letter P post in the #AtoZChallenge of random reflections. I was rather uninspired yesterday. I also wanted to spend my time upping my activity as tracked by my Fitbit, so that hopefully I’d reach my 10K steps a day – which I almost did. Today too, I wasn’t feeling very inspired. I didn’t know any words with the letter P to write on. Yes, “Preemie”, but I’ve shared my birth story a dozen times already. Or “Psych”, but I didn’t know what to write about then. My husband came up with two this evening that are rather fitting: “Perseverance” and “procrastination”.

I am both quite perseverant and a terrible procrastinator. How can this be? I guess because, though I tend to take frequent breaks in my activities, I almost always manage to carry on after all. This blog post is living proof of that.

Then again, this combination of perseverance and procrastination can also backfire, as I tend to have rather rigid rules about when I can and can’t keep up with some work. For example, if I haven’t posted on a blog for an entire month, I say I have to give up on the blog. This has gotten me to abandon and restart my Dutch blog at least half a dozen times within the past four years. Thankfully, I still manage to keep up with this English blog.

Like I said in my letter N post, I like my perseverance when I’m passionate about something. This perseverance however can backfire too, as I get too obsessed and then am left with lots of stuff and lots of money gone for my special interest when I lose interest again. For example, I probably spent 500 to 1000 euros (closer to 1000 probably) on cardmaking supplies in the year that I was obsessing over cardmaking in 2012. I want to think I didn’t spend as much on soaping supplies in 2016 and I want to think I’ll still pick up that craft. I’m so glad blogging, at least in my style, isn’t as expensive.

As I look back over my post though, I realize maybe here I described the exact opposite of perseverance and procrastination. After all, I jump head first into an interest without procrastination, but once I lose the interest, I don’t really persevere. Sometimes I do, but, except with blogging, I sooner or later always give up.

Three Things I Like About Myself

Day three of the recovery challenge is a hard one, because it is about listing three things you like about yourself. I can think of things I maybe, in a way, sort of, kind of like about myself, but most come with a huge “but”. Then again, this post is good for examining why I can’t really like positive characteristics of mine.

I had to do this once before during counseling at blindness rheab, and I also had to ask my parents and sister to name three qualities about me. They didn’t need to be positive per se, but it would be nice if they were. The first thing my father came up with was my intelligence, and I bet my mother had a hard time thinking of something other than that to come up with first. I realize I am intelligent, and in a way, I like it. I used to like being seen as a “walking encyclopedia”. At family get-togethers, I was usually popular for my calendar calculation abilities and knowledge of politics. For clarity’s sake: I actually know the mechanism behind calendar calculation and don’t have the huge memory that savants do have, so I’m generally a lot slower than savant people. Now, I still feel good when I debate a topic I know a lot about and I can show my knowledge.

The reason intelligence has a bad connotation to me is because of the expectations that go with it. Because I am intelligent, I am supposed to function well in a lot of other areas. This is not true – conditions like autism, which I have, have little to do with intelligence and can affect intelligent people significantly. But this myth has still been perpetuated throughout my life.

Another quality I mentioned to the blindness rehabilitation psychologist is my strong-willedness. If I want something, I’m determined to get my way. This may be annoying to others, but most people appreciate it in me. I also don’t usually truly give up easily. I may say that I will give up, but in the edn, I persevere.

Then there is the one quality I truly like about myself: my creativity. I don’t necessarily mean that I make good crafts, although I’m quite happy with many recent projects. I also mean my writing skill and my generally open-minded thinking style. “Openness” is the one thing on the five-factor personality test that I score high on (except for “neuroticism”, but I mean the positive qualities), although I must say I am pretty conscientious too.

To end this post, I’m stealing an idea from Confessions of a Single Parent Pessimist and listing three things I did well this week:

  1. Have not binged during the week and have not self-harmed in seven weeks.

  2. Kept my temper in check.

  3. Wrote a lot of blog posts that I like.