Tuesday, November 12, 2013
So the past several months have been ones where I've felt like the proverbial old dog, learning many, many new tricks. In our previous hometown I was a complete introvert. I kept to my garden and homestead, occasionally attended things for the kids' school, but rarely socialized with anyone other than a couple of neighbors and family.
The reasoning behind that was logical -- there just weren't too many people in the town I resonated with and felt the urge to chat up, socially. Then we moved here, and from the get-go it seemed like a place I was going to reinvent myself, put myself out there and make new friends. And I have. I even re-entered the away-from-home workforce with a job at a local winery, and before I knew it, my learning curve became quite steep as I attempted some of the more complex points in the point-of-sale system, inventory, customer relations and all the craziness that happens during tourist season and harvest.
The people skills were easy; socializing with people (including customers at the winery) was like riding a bike; I jumped into the job and it became easy immediately. But being brand-new to the industry has also meant assimilating a large amount of information over a relatively short period of time, and that's been a challenge.
And I'll be honest; some of my mistakes, though not large, have been ones I beat myself up over, specifically because I had an idea that someone younger than me could probably learn it all faster and do it all better. "Oops, I hit the wrong button on the register. Oops, I transferred that phone call to the wrong extension." That kind of thing. Yet, in speaking to the more experienced tasting room attendants at the winery, I've learned this is not true. Most of them said they weren't comfortable with all the ins and outs of the job until they'd been doing it a year or two. And it hit me. I was making things hard on myself by being waaay too much of a perfectionist. Not because anyone else saw me as something "less" because I was older -- because I did.
Why are we so hard on ourselves when we should be the ones most in our corner? Why do we expect more from ourselves than we would from anyone else? These are questions I've been asking myself ever since I became an adult, and while I catch myself in the act of this kind of self sabotage a lot faster these days than I used to, it's still something I shouldn't be doing at all.
Do we ever learn to have our own backs and become our greatest cheerleader instead of our greatest critic? And if so, when? Obviously I'm not as old as I think, because I like to believe that if I was old enough, I would be wiser about this.
This old dog has still got most of her wits about her, but she does need to appreciate that fact more, and maybe pat herself gently on the head instead of hitting herself upside it when she make an occasional and totally human mistake.
Someday, I'll learn.