On Day 122 of This Year of Living Non-Judgmentally, I did my first official progress report of the year. (By “official”, I mean I named the post “Progress Report.”) (I think, in some way, every post I write here is a progress report.)
Today, I am going to do the 2nd Official Progress Report of The Year.
Why am I doing this today? Because (a) I am in the middle of my second-year review at work and (b) I’m noticing some real progress lately.
Here are some areas where I’m noticing progress:
- I’m giving myself more compliments and credit, without the automatic responses of shame and catastrophizing. For example, when I just re-read that previous progress report, in order to prepare for writing this one, I thought, “Hey! That was pretty good! I liked that post!” And so far (15 minutes later) …. (let me check) … Yay! No shame or fear. Here’s hoping those don’t show up, at all. (Fingers crossed.)
- I am NOT waking up feeling uneasy. (See here for my first blog post about that.) Now, chances are that the whole waking-up-uneasy/waking-up-easy thing is a cycle; that is, I probably will wake up uneasy at some point in the future, but this is still progress. (See here for a blog post about how we often cycle around — and up! — as we make progress through life.)
- I have realized some truths about myself, that sometimes are directly opposite to fears I have about myself. For example, I fear that I have a bad memory (which I mentioned, here, in my most popular blog post). Well, guess what? It turns out I have an excellent memory, according to people who know me AND Lumosity (which tells me I am in the — get this — 99.9% percentile for memory for people in my age group). That doesn’t mean I have a perfect memory. I still forget things, especially when I’m anxious and/or don’t get enough sleep or food. But I have been considering NEVER saying the following about myself again, “I have a bad memory.” That would be nice. (Fingers crossed.)
- I am getting better at recognizing and dealing with my limits. I can NOT be good at everything, nor do I need to be. For example, that great memory I just cited above? I am not so hot at remembering details. So, when I can, I write details down. And if I don’t write down details and forget some things, I’m realizing that it’s not the end of the world. People will forgive me. Plus, I’m learning to forgive myself.
- I’m getting better at setting limits. I’m remembering to say things like this, more often: “I can do this, but I can not do that.” For example, I can write a blog post every day, but I can’t get back to every person who e-mails me or writes me within one day. (That felt good to write, I must say.)
- I am allowing myself to have more fun in different areas of my life. For example, I find it fun to post pictures here.
I took this photo last Sunday, when I was allowing myself to have fun by spending the afternoon with people I love, on a beach near where I grew up.
(That photo reminds me of one of my favorite Droodles when I was growing up: “Fish Committing Suicide.”) (I can’t find a picture of that particular droodle right now, but just picture a fish, tied to a helium balloon, floating above the water.)
Before I conclude today’s blog post, I will name a couple of areas where I would I like to make more progress:
- Letting go of judgment about numbers (or other data) that tell me “You are not doing enough.” As I’ve mentioned before, periodically I have these unhelpful thoughts, “Not enough people are reading my blog” or “Not enough people are coming to the groups I’m doing at work.” It helps to think the following thoughts, in response: “The right amount of people are reading this blog and doing the groups.” “Everything is exactly where it’s supposed to be, including you, the groups, and the blog.” And, to (mis-)quote a movie (another way I have fun), “If you build it, they will come.”
- Letting go of judgment about everything else.
- Remembering that letting go doesn’t mean being perfect, or even stopping something completely. It just means doing the best you can, to do something less, and to recover more quickly when/if you do it again.
That concludes today’s blog post. Thanks for witnessing my progress, whenever you do.
Hi Ms. Koplow, I was very flattered that you posted my drawing,with the comment that it was art that you love, on your blog. It was nice to see the piece again, from so long ago, and that it inspired other thoughts and images from you. Sincerely, Elisa Tenenbaum