Friday, October 26, 2012

Great expectations

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before--more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
- Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

I haven't read Great Expectations since college, and this blog probably doesn't follow that quote...but who can't use some Dickens to brighten up their day? The other day I was talking to a friend and saying that I haven't been running as much this year as I have in previous years. I was complaining about my lack of motivation and how I just haven't been doing enough. Except three half marathons and training for a full marathon (and 15 miles of that race), and a mile a day run streak for six weeks and a 5k series...and then I realized how ridiculous I sounded.

I have extraordinarily high expectations of myself. Are they unreachable? Sometimes. But that doesn't stop me from going for it. I remember my mom telling me once in high school that she and my dad never had to pressure me to succeed in school or extracurricular activities or whatever I was doing because I already put so much pressure on myself.  Even in my moments of great achievement I'm still thinking of how I could've done better or how I could've done more.

I realize this all kind of sounds ridiculous, but as I've started a new position at work I've come to realize just how high those expectations are and that I need to learn to temper them in order to not go crazy.  The same goes with myself as a runner and in every other facet of my life. I'm human even though I don't want to think of myself that way. The world won't end if I don't break my PR in every race. I know...I talk a big game but that doesn't mean I won't be disappointed.

In Love in the Afternoon Lisa Kleypas writes: "You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you."

Preaching to the choir, sister.


  1. I'm a perfectionist and tend to get very hard on myself in a lot of my life aspects, so I understand this. :)

    Love that last quote!

  2. I love that last quote too. Now if I can just listen to it. :)