You ever get to a point in life that you are forced to face a very ugly truth about yourself? Well, this semester, I find myself back in school and facing one booger of an ugly truth: I am a neurotic over-achiever.
Wait, stop laughing at me. I know, all of you that have been my friend for more than 5 minutes have probably already realized this and are laughing hysterically at the fact that this is some big realization on my part, but it is the truth. I never realized how ridiculous it was until this semester. I've always known I'm a bit fussy about the details at times, and that I like things a certain way, but I've had to face the ugly truth--I am a big ol' ball of OCD, with a cream filling of crazy, rolled in a crunchy coating of anal-retentive. Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
What brought on the realization, you ask? Well, here I am, in a new city, a new home, with 2 kids, trying to parent by myself while Brad is in school in KS, AND taking 2 classes at Dallas Theological Seminary. To say I am stretched thin right now is a bit of an understatement. I'm working on my homework and assignments for these classes after the kids go to bed, I'm exhausted, and I tell myself every time "Just do it well-enough to get a decent grade, then go to bed, don't kill yourself making it perfect." And what do I do? Kill myself making it perfect. We have to post our assignments in an online forum, and my OCD papers have become notorious among my peers--I think they are secretly plotting to either (a) kill me for screwing the curve or (b) kill me for forcing them to read my ridiculously detailed papers. And I know I'm being obsessive and crazy, but here's the kicker...I cannot let it go! I can't leave it half-done or not just right. It literally drives me crazy until I get back to my computer and fix it.
So, there is something definitely wrong with me, and I'm gonna have to figure out how to fix it, or else I might just drive myself, my kids and my husband mad. (I imagine Brad doing a happy dance somewhere in KS while he reads this, hoping and praying that this means an end to my detail-oriented obsessions about stacking towels in the cupboard a certain direction and putting the toilet paper on the roll the right way--FAT CHANCE, BUSTER!) But I do need to figure out how to approach my school work with balance, and perspective, so that I can be a sane parent to my kids and also, actually enjoy my seminary classes and not miss the point of the whole exercise--this is to bring me closer to God's word and His will for me, not be an excuse to wallow around in a mud-pit of "making myself look perfect." Pray I figure out how to let go of my self-aggrandizing need to make an A on every paper and test and just be a student of the Word out of joy.