Thursday, August 4, 2011

Is self-awareness a good or a bad thing?

I consider myself to be extremely self-aware. It is more than that really; unfortunately, I just don't know the correct, most applicable adjective to describe how obvious all my short-comings are to me.

I am long-winded. Obviously, I ramble on and on (and on and on) in most posts on this blog. I have little doubt that most of you who read my blog skim it, rather than reading every single word. It's tiring just writing the posts! And I know that I talk too much (and sometimes interrupt people as a result of my talking so much). However, when I am around people whom I don't know well, I am actually pretty good at letting others take over the conversation. At a neighbor's party two weeks ago, I spent about one and a half hours talking to a woman I had just met. Actually, I talked about 15 minutes; my "new friend" pretty much monopolized the rest of the conversation, which was fine by me.

I get bent out of shape about things I probably should not. Last week, my little brother and his family were at my mother's for an extended visit. I found myself getting supremely annoyed by how late the kids stayed up. In this household, Jordan is in bed around 9 p.m. during the summer. I don't mind her staying up past that when she and I visit my mom. But when my kid is still up at 11 p.m., I get really irritated, rather than tell myself it is just for a couple of nights (in my defense, it it were only one night, I would be fine with it).

I am messy. I am rarely bothered by accumulating dust. I see the top of my bedroom dresser only about two or three times a year. And I can walk by the various pieces of dirt the dog tracks in for over a week before dragging out the vacuum. I cannot, however, stand a messy sink or a dirty bathtub.

I am cheap. And I am quite certain my friends and family don't want to hear about the little money I have or why I can't do this or that, but it is what it is, and I am who I am. The upside of my being cheap and having lived beneath our means for so long has put us in a better position than others in our situation. Cutting things out is not a huge deal to me, and the money we have saved over the years will help pay the bills. This is what I tell myself, anyway, when I feel sorry for myself for not spending the money when I had it...

I obsess about silly things. As Brian often points out, I can spend 30 minutes on hold trying to get a $1 credit on my phone bill, but I won't take 10 minutes to clean out my car. I like to think of as more like my being highly principled. If I think I have been ripped off, I will fight for it.

Finally, one of my biggest issues right now is my parenting. I am so aware of all the things I am doing wrong (unlike so many parents) yet I keep doing them. Last week I started reading Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child. I can see myself in most of the pages, and fortunately, I have gotten a better as far as saying exactly what I expect from Jordan and what will happen if she does not follow through. Unfortunately, I need to follow through myself every single time. Which I don't. Yeah, I really need to fix this one.

My list of faults goes on and on as have my ramblings, so I will stop now before I put all of you to sleep. I guess being self-aware is a bad thing when you don't try to fix all your short-comings. Sigh.

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