Thursday, June 02, 2011

Amazing VS Actual

One of the blogs that I really enjoy reading is Made by Rae, and she had a lovely post about making bread that culminated in the question: "What's your Amazing Self like?"

This 'Amazing Self' is an idealized sort of being who accomplishes our more daydream-like fantasies of who we would like to be on a day-to-day basis, for instance, if you are not the sort of person who manages to make bread every day, but would very much like to be the sort of person who bakes delicious, perfect, fresh bread every day.

Not  Spic and Span
My Amazing Self is incredibly calm, cheerful, and efficient. She gets up early, runs 5k, prepares amazing and healthy meals that everyone enjoys, keeps the house continually spic and span, always has time for her kids when they want her, and plans amazing activities for them.

UFOs (UnFinished Objects)
My Amazing Self's memory is as good as it was before she had kids, and she never loses track of time, of appointments, laundry, or how much food is in the fridge. She is patient, and does not lose her temper. She does all manner of amazing crafts with amazing speed, clothing her family with numerous handmade items, feeding them food from her garden. She can plan an amazing party at the drop of a hat with no stress involved.
Oh look! A mending/project supply pile!

My Amazing Self finds time to blog about amazing things with amazing photos, and finds time to attend soccer and Gaelic football practices, where she can run non-stop without losing her breath. She keeps up with all the best in capital ell Literature, crosses off every item on her to-do list every day, and has well-regarded flower-beds and a lawn with almost no dandelions at all.
Just a small sample of the many dandelions

Clearly my Amazing Self has command over space and time rarely if ever granted to mere mortals.


My actual self does clean the house, but in such a gradual here-and-there sort of way that it's never even close to being clean all at once. My actual self feeds my family, and meals are often healthy, occasionally from the garden, and occasionally even eaten by the kids. My flowers and plants in my garden are lovely though, even if I do have way too many weeds.

My actual self doesn't seem to remember things as well as she used to, though sleep deprivation and continual distraction might have something to do with that. However, my actual self always lost track of time, and continues to do so, especially when interesting projects (regardless of their level of importance) present themselves. I think I'm OK with that happening sometimes, as the best projects are often the ones that come up when you have no time for them, so it's best to occasionally let them through. I may not be organized every minute of the day, but I can have people over for dinner or a party if I work hard enough to prepare it all, and I can now (after several years of practice) keep the stress levels low enough to enjoy it, which is low enough.

My actual self does do all manner of crafts, only in fits and starts rather than the prolific output of my amazing self. My actual self occasionally goes out for a quick run, but mostly, I'm just happy to get out to Gaelic Football practice, which I enjoy even if I am continually out of breath. I don't often come up with amazing activities for my kids (just once in a blue moon), but I do find that following their lead and enabling their own amazing activities seems to work pretty well now and again.

Her big sister occasionally asks for knitting time, so she wants to knit too. If poking a needle through yarn and counting constitutes knitting, then she's knitting. As long as the girls are happy and think crafts are great, then I'm happy too.

My actual self has amazing kids who will probably turn out just fine even without an Amazing Mom, and while I do like setting a few amazing goals for myself, I think I'm learning not to be too depressed if I can't reach them. After all, I don't have control over space and time, so I have to settle for maybe one or two amazing things in a day, or at least in a week. After all, most of those goals are in reach if I settle for one here and one there; all at once is what is unreasonable. Sometimes the gap between my actual and amazing selves is overwhelming. Sometimes the gap between the two is exactly what spurs me on to actual accomplish something, anything at all, on overwhelming days. Besides, my amazing husband always helps me out, and together we make sure that at least the things that actually really need to get done do get done.

Looking back to the post that inspired this, I think I might want to try making bread again; just not every day, and with permission to myself to return to my habitual quickbreads if it doesn't go well.

So, what's your Amazing Self like?


  1. Despite what you might say, the rest of us think your actual self is pretty amazing just as you are. :D