LYNNABEL's CalorieKing blog

Thursday, Feb 9 2012

View LYNNABEL's food & exercise for this day

Its 1:30 am and I can't sleep. My thoughts are weighing on me.

I have a very unpleasant trait - and I'm wrestling with and suffering from its effects in two different areas of my life.

I have the tendency to take a situation that is generally good or positive or that I should be proud of, and turn it into something to that is none of those things.

I was offered a 50% scholarship to both the law schools I applied to inspite of what seemed to be a very mediocre LSAT score. These offers were for than I had originally allowed myself to even hope for. I was very happy for a while. Then I found out that someone I met through my LSAT prep class who has been kind of a buddy through this process was offered a 75% scholarship to one of the schools. Almost immediately, the two 50% offers became not good, not positive, and not a source of pride for me.

I had my annual review at work this week. All year long, I've received positive feedback from my VP, and this review was no different. She said I had done exceptionally well for my first year and that far more had been accomplished than she could have wished. She had two suggestions that were very mild and very constructive in nature and weren't even things I disagree with. Again, amost immediately, the review became a source of negative feelings for me, and I felt myself growing ashamed and embarassed.

The commonality of those two situations and my reactions to them are obvious to me. If my pride is even a little bruised or if I fail to compare favorably with either my own standards or the performance or expectations of others, I latch on to those feelings and reactions to the exclusion of whatever positives exist. I place far more weight on what others either think or do than I do on what I've done or what I think. This has been the story of my life forever, it seems, and I find it so discouraging to think that if I've been this way for so long, I may always be this way.

Separate from these two things, I've encountered a few things at work that are weighing on me. This was bound to happen sometime (I've been there a year almost exactly), and I only wince to recall how horribly I felt on a far more regular basis at my last job. There is an individual who I have to have more interaction with than I'd like who is just a bully. He used to be an airline pilot, which people tell me is a lot like being a doctor in the god-complex it tends to confer. There are some areas where I can't avoid working with him, much as I'd like to, and I'm feeling both discouraged and resentful about it. Many people dread interacting with him, so although I might consider tackling this in a direct and honest way with him, I sort of feel like, "Why should I have to be the one to do it?"

The other thing weighing on me is one that I was feeling a while back - my counterpart in another division at work is just doing SO well and admire her work SO much, and I feel SO ill equipped in certain overlapping areas to function effectively that I'm just very discouraged. Its not my job, in all honesty, to know these things that I don't know, but I would just feel so much better if I did. It will come with time and some effort on my part, but in the here and now its no fun.

Back to the scholarship because something just occurred to me that may be contributing to the feelings of underwhelmedness. I had resolved when I started the whole law school application process that I would approach it for what I could get out of it in a positive and constructive way that would benefit my career and provide intellectual stimulation and an automatic connection to other similarly situated adults. I resolved to not let the competitiveness of law school get to me. I was going to approach it all in healthy way because my goal with law school is NOT to join a huge high powered law firm, and so really, who cares how well I perform, and thus the pressure would be 'off'. Well, one of the scholarship offers, from the school I need to go to because of its schedule, is tied to maintaining a certain GPA. While understandable, this was immediately a downer. What a perfect way to KEEP me from approaching law school in a calm, non competitive, healthy manner than to say I have to maintain a certain GPA to keep my scholarship. All the pressure I had hoped to avoid is now inevitable. To keep my scholarship, I would need to perform in the top 50% of the class. At the other school, the scholarship renewal requires that you 'only' be in the top 75% of the class. Being in the top 50% is no slam dunk. Fully a 1/3 of individuals lose their scholarships, according to the admissions office. (Although they phrased it as "2/3 retain it!" as if that were a positive). (BTW, I have approached the first school about the difference in renewal requirements between the two offers and they are 'looking into it' - I can't say I have much hope of this because if they change it for me, they would probably need to change it for everyone and it seems too late for Fall 2012 to do this.)

It also occurs to me that I have had some feelings of frustration with my VP over job expectations either being unclear or changing without notice or not getting credit for stepping in/up to help in situations that aren't technically only mine to deal with.

So perhaps there are other factors influencing my feelings in these two areas and it took those two discreet events to create something I could actually react specifically to. Maybe it isn't only my flawed personality.

Lastly, S and I had a big misunderstanding the other night when we woke up to Will throwing up. It ended up getting somewhat clarified but it still is sitting heavily on my heart.

I'm going to try to go back to bed now.

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5 comments so far.


6 years ago

you are not successful despite yourself. :kiss:




6 years ago

What Jennie and Patti said. Especially the well constructed and "I love you long time" parts. :kiss:

by JAY



6 years ago

What she said :kiss:




6 years ago

What he said. Plus, we all know that you ARE your own worst critic, right? Sweetie, you are my hero in the "well-constructed woman" department (intellectually AND physically) and I love you long time. :kiss:




6 years ago

Coupla comments if I may (feel free to delete them if you wish). First, it's been documented in studies that negatives influence all of us more than positives do. Given objectively equal losses and gains we will feel the loss more than we feel the gain. Perhaps individually some more than others but this seems to be our nature.

Second, we often assume that someone else has a better grip on life than we do. Why? Because we can't see into that persons head or know all of what goes on in their life 24 by 7 like we can our own. Again, we tend to be wired that way.

The solution to the first is to objectively measure what's critical and avoid the trap of loss. The scholarship offer you got exceeded your expectations. Could it have been more? Sure but it exceeded your expectations and so you should celebrate that AND be happy your study buddy did well too. For the second it's just avoiding the trap as I'm certainly your admirable colleague has a whiny partner, screaming kids, bloating, cramps and gas. You just don't know it. :)

L. is a woman who I generally think has her act together and yet she's very sensitive to what others in her position make (even if it's none of her business). She recently got a decent raise of around 33%, her first in 9 years but because she saw the internal memo that listed all of what the contractors make globally and that one in Korea makes almost double she was a bit pissy. I said that first off she doesn't know what that person does at all and second that she agreed way back when to take this job for the money that was offered. If she wanted more she should've asked for it or taken one of the other opportunities she's passed up over the years. Yeah I'm just a wonderful supportive spouse I am. :D My point is that if you knew her you'd probably think she's got all her shit in one bucket but like all of us when you look under the hood it's messy.

Both insights above I gleaned from Barry Schwartz's "Paradox of Choice", which I read recently. It's a very good book.

Hugs to you darlin'

by JAY