The little wins in life

by chloepeh

Maybe it’s because I simply did not choose happiness. I chose to be right, I chose pride, ego, superficial success, the list goes on. I forgot what life is all about as I chose a million and one things that are beside the point of being happy.

I’m starting to see there is a fine line between long term gratification and unnecessary suffering. 

I have a perfectionistic tendancy. I would ‘prefer’ to have things exactly as what I envisioned, with preference being an understatement and more accurately as an obsession. Trying my best has never been good enough, it feels more like a sad consolation for some failure.

‘Good effort’ feels like an insult. 

It needs to be ‘hey, good work’. Right?

When something goes wrong, I ruminate, replaying it over and over, analysing what I could have done to prevent it. I wonder why hadn’t I been more careful, more thoughtful, more well-prepared. Because if I did, it wouldn’t even have happened in the first place. 

When something goes right, it means I have upheld my own expectations, give myself a small pat on the shoulder and move on to the next item on the list. 

Come said next item with something out of place, I go back to runimate once again, and all the feel good emotions vanishes. 

Turns out I beat myself up more than celebrating the little victories in life. Have I been taking myself and my good efforts for granted? 

So silly, but so real. I know, I know, that it’s only human to make mistakes, it’s part of life. It really does take some conscious effort to remember it. 

This post serves as a reminder, for myself or anyone reading, to stop allowing erroneous mindsets from robbing the hard earned happiness we deserve. 

Speaking of little victories..I have a nerdy one to share. 

Last month I visited the library and borrowed some books. 3 to be exact, 1 crime novel and 2 non-fiction on psychology. 2 weeks later, I found myself in a library again as I had some time to kill while my boyfriend had to attend a short weekend course. Instinctively, I browsed the shelves before anything else. Afterall, the fun part of being in a library is picking which book to read, which alternative reality to dive into. But I caught myself feeling restless while browsing, I knew I should finish what I had previously borrowed before borrowing new ones or else it’s pointless to be busy choosing what to read and not actually reading them. 

Hence I decided to read my existing book while waiting in the library instead of searching. I feel quite proud of myself actually, haha. Because I actually committed to those books that I chose 2 weeks ago, instead caving into the thrill of picking up new ones. 

I ended up finishing that crime novel, great read – Sight Unseen by Iris Johansen. It’s a book series of a girl who was blind since birth. Thanks to a reconstructive surgery, she gained her sight on top of her acute observation sense so she had an interesting way of cracking murder cases. Almost like a female Sherlock Holmes version. That was the third book in the series. 

Today, we went to library as my boyfriend needs to get some work done and I could use the chance to focus on reading. I picked up the fourth book of that blind girl series and another book on human cadaver (my book choices are slightly morbid this time). Did not bite off more than what I can chew! Tempted to borrow so so many more and managed to curb the temptation. I’ve successfully battled that common woe of ‘borrow so many but didn’t finish any’. 

As I mentioned, it’s nerdy, you had been warned.