I am an impatient person. Ok, that might be a slight understatement. Maybe a little more than understatement. Depends on who you ask… don’t ask my kids though. They exaggerate.
I have had learning the Ukrainian language on my bucket list for a while. My Dad’s side of the family is Ukrainian and I love listening to them talk to one another. I also love listening to people talking in their native tongue. Makes me think of a secret society and only they have the keys to communicate. So I finally bite the bullet and signed up for lessons. Every Wednesday evening, for 2 hours, I sit in a church and am learning the Ukrainian language. I nerded out last week and made myself some flash cards! It is moving slowly, but I almost have the entire alphabet memorized! Yah me. Soon I will be blogging in Ukrainian! You can all ready Ukrainian, right?? I am also kidding on this… maybe!
I also started a new job. Still in my chosen career path of marketing but in a brand spanking new industry for me. I have been at it for just over a week now, and WOW is the learning curve steep. Marketing is pretty much the same wherever you go; the trick is to entice your target audience to want something from you. We marketers have been doing it forever! But learning the industry acronyms and terms has been interesting. (I think they may stop laughing at me any day now as I stumble my way through).
I have also noticed a pattern in relationships. I am either all in or not in at all. If I consider you my friend, well you are kinda stuck with me. I am really bad at making a judgement right away about people. I go with my gut feelings. So I either like you or I don’t. There really is no trial period with me. And I seem to have that effect on others as well. You either ‘get’ me or you just stand on the sidelines shaking your head at me. Not much gray area where I am concerned.
This brings me to my point. Yesterday, I sat stumbling over a way to bring information out to our customers, as my boss was trying to explain something to me YET AGAIN… I grew frustrated that I wasn’t ‘getting it’. I wasn’t frustrated with him or how he was trying to teach it to me. I was frustrated over not getting it. The frustration was obviously written all over my face as the boss stopped talking, sat back in his chair, looked at my with a soft smile and asked “how long you been here now?”. I was a little concerned he was gonna say that I should really understand this by now, but he did not. He said I should stop beating myself up and trust the process. I was not meant to learn everything in the first week.
Wait a minute on this one! Just what do you mean this is going to take time?? But I decided that I was going to take this job so it should all just sink in! I have sat at my desk now for over a week pouring over files and going thru my desk… I should KNOW this by now! Then the same thing happened at Ukrainian lessons last night. The teacher said to all us students that we are learning so well! That we are ticking along just fine. I personally think they both may be a little on the crazy side. I don’t feel like I’ve moved from the start position at all!
On my drive into the office today (I have a loooooong drive, so lots of windshield time) I got to thinking about this. I honestly feel like I should know more than I do in BOTH my Ukrainian and work situation. I have made up a time line in my own mind that I feel I should be following. Apparently that is not the case. Apparently I am being unrealistic in my expectations of myself (so I am being told). This is not the first time I have heard the term, trust the process. It’s also not the first time I have questioned the process. It seems to me (as I drove and thought) that I have an issue with trusting the process. It seems that I expect a lot of myself. Of course that thought then trickled over to the fact I expect a lot from others as well. I’d like to think I don’t, but all signs are pointing to the fact that I do.
That’s when thoughts about my 3rd born popped into my head. Now, don’t get me wrong, all my kids have that uncanny ability to get frustrated with themselves when they don’t catch onto something right away (I wonder where they learned that from???) But Mr Mason is probably the most obvious in showing this trait. Of all my kids he drives me the most insane when he beats himself up. He thinks that once he has made up his mind he is going to do something, it should just come naturally. The current issue is football. He has his mind made up that he should be better than what he is. That the minute he puts on the football equipment and steps onto that field, that all the plays, being in the right place at the right time, should all just come to him. DRIVES ME INSANE! I have told him that he is just learning. That if he was a ‘pro’, he would not be playing on the Jr Football team. All the big teams would be scouting him by now if he was an expert. We go back and forth with this… me telling him to listen to his coach. Him telling me he should know more.
HEY, WAIT A MINUTE HERE!!! That’s me! That is exactly how my brain works too! Ok, I am be foolin with ya a bit because this is not a new idea to me. Not at all. Yes, I realised that I was like this a long time ago. Yes, I realise I am the one that ‘taught’ my kids this trait. Yes, I realize that my kids will not listen to me when I say “do as I say and not as I do”, no matter how many times I try to TELL them I know better (oh my god… I think I just heard my mother’s voice coming out my mouth!)
So just how do you trust the process? How do I stop expecting so much of myself? How do I take a step back and celebrate the accomplishments I have achieved without thinking about how much further I have to go? I mean, this is a lot of years of training I have invested into these expectations! But in order to not drive myself batty, I have to learn to slow down. Look at what I have accomplished. Be proud. Pat myself on the back. And realise that maybe the process is ok. I also know that this is going to take some time to get used to. Some time to take a step back and look at just how far I have come. And there is nothing wrong with glancing back to learn.
So, trust the process, hey? Just be patient with myself? Well that is a novel idea. Now, can I actual put it into practice??