Isn’t it interesting how we’re never satisfied? I should speak for myself, yet I think it’s how many of us are wired.
For example, when I was in grade school, I was very tall for my age. I’m not sure why, but my 5th grade teacher liked us to line up by height. I was always last. That might be why I wanted to be petite.
My hair has always been poker straight. I wanted curls. In ballet class, I wanted to be as graceful as a ballerina. I was clumsy. In piano lessons, I wanted to be a concert pianist, but I couldn’t coordinate my left hand with my right. It was never going to happen.
Dad wanted us kids to strive for the best we could give to something. When I’d bring home a test paper, proudly displaying my 96%, he’d say, “Why didn’t you get 100?” I hated that. Nonetheless, I wasn’t singled out. He said the same thing to my brothers and sister. They didn’t like it either.
Dad’s words still echo in my mind. It frustrates me to no end if I find a pesky typo in my published manuscript. How did I miss that? When I go back to read something I’ve written, I’m never satisfied. Could I have done that better?
I’m actually proud that I’m never satisfied, at least with the things that matter. I can let go of the trivial stuff. Who cares that my hair’s not curly or I can’t do an Arabesque? But I can strive for the best in my writing, even if it means lots of revising. I’m not giving up.
Dad didn’t like a quitter.