How's your self-esteem? It has come to my attention recently that mine is not especially great. I do have days where I like myself; where I've managed to put together a reasonably flattering outfit, kept control of the daily toy explosion in the house, have said something vaguely intelligent or have earned an B+ or above at parenting.
Then there are the days where I feel USELESS. Stupid, incompetent, forgetful, socially awkward and clutzy. Fat, frumpy and old. On an OK day, I'll forget what it feels like to have a self-esteem slump. I'll laugh at my crisis over a thoughtlessly missed birthday the week before. Catch me in a crap mood though, particularly during a hormone storm or after drinking gin or wine, and the slightest little thing can make me dissolve into a frothing pool of self-loathing.
Holidays seem to bring out the worst of my self-confidence issues, probably because of the heady mix of alcohol-induced emotional hangovers and the need to wear revealing swimwear. And Drake's requirement that we play crazy golf. I am not good at crazy golf. And I am not good at not being good at things. It was the crazy golf ("Not CRAZY golf; MINI golf" Drake would be huffing were he to read this) on our current holiday that started my latest bout of hand-wringing. Objectively, I'm probably not terrible. But out there, facing down the mini windmills, little orange club in hand, I feel like an uncoordinated chimpanzee. So I just whack the ball willy nilly, figuring I'll be less disappointed in myself if I don't even try. And lo, I go ten over par every time. Or whatever the correct terminology is. Drake thinks my subsequent strops are funny at first. Then he gets annoyed because I'm sucking all the fun out of a game he loves. Which just makes me feel worse because I'm ruining it for him and making everyone else feel uncomfortable and why can't I just a) laugh it off or b) just be bloody better??? Drake is of course very good at mini golf so has no idea why I hate it. But then he doesn't understand why I beat myself up about anything really. Like map reading. Or social interaction with vineyard owners. Or map reading. Or tumble drying plastic undersheets (turns out you really shouldn't). Or buying dinner in sufficient quantities (more chicken needed! Why didn't I trust my instinct and buy more chicken?!). Or map reading. Have I mentioned the map reading?
To be honest, I've kind of had enough of feeling like a failure, because I know I'm not. I have a masters degree, a good job, two lovely kids, a great husband and an understanding if occasionally disfunctional family. I'm a great swimmer and singer and a reasonable dancer, writer, public speaker, cook and runner. I think I'm doing OK at the Mum thing. I speak French and some Spanish. I can still touch my toes. Heck, I could definitely be fatter and uglier - but I also know looks should not define a woman's worth so I actively strive not to care. And given the state of my nails and eyebrows I'm doing pretty well at that.
The fact is, I'm just fine and my occasional faux pas do not define me. I forget this for many reasons (comparison to my very competent, self-assured and even-keeled husband; a history with bitchy classmates and university friends; a sensitive personality and tendency to dwell on the negative; a personal expectation of perfection left over from my over-achieving school days; sleep deprivation; time deprevation; the discovery that I own the same coat as my mother-in-law; poor short term memory; a tendency to leave the car keys on the roof of the car overnight etc. etc...). But I am fine. One might even say, hopefully, maybe, quite nice and sort of funny. But shh, don't tell anyone I said that. I don't want to sound big-headed. Oh God, do I sound big-headed?! Noooo!