Living as a perfectionist

I have always liked to do everything to the best of my ability ever since I was young.  I would put in the most hours at work growing up, say yes to every opportunity that came my way and somehow, magically manage to fit it all in to my incredibly busy life.

I don’t like letting people down and will always help if I can.  Not the makings of a great self-employed person at all.  I give my time for free or undercharge – I’m not good enough in my own mind.

The past week went as follows…

Thursday – clean the house from top to bottom, update some websites for some small businesses, get an invitation for interview and check out the school that I was invited to, attend the running club committee meeting as website editor, set up a course on another runner’s Garmin, drive back to Norfolk and see my parents.

Friday – Take my parent’s dog out, meet up with my friend whose wedding I was bridesmaid at the following day, set up in the church, then the venue, pick up a late tea on the way home and write a blog post.

Saturday – At the wedding all day, returning home at 2am.

Zo's wedding party

Picture of the bride and groom with bridesmaids and their partners.

I’ll take the time now to show you the food from the wedding as it was delicious…

I had the prawn cocktail to start…

Prawn cocktail as Zo's wedding starter dish

Followed by a roast butternut squash risotto for main.

Butternut squash risotto as Zo's wedding main dish

I’m not a massive fan of risotto for lunch as I find it incredibly filling and I’d much prefer a plate filled with veg but the other choice was beef roast dinner which Dan had.

Roast beef as Zo's wedding main dish

I skipped the dessert as neither panna cotta or sticky toffee pudding appealed to me.

Sunday – Up bright and early again to run Mablethorpe marathon which I really enjoyed, dinner with my run club before home and a quick nap before taking a look at the lesson I needed to teach for my interview.

Monday – work all day from 7am-4:30pm in school and then home to make tea and teach myself the software I needed to teach the children in my interview on Wednesday.  This took until 10:30pm.

Tuesday – work all day from 7am-7:30pm in school and then home to perfect my lesson plan and resources.  I love the chance to be creative so always make my own resources for school.  I got to bed quite late in the end though.

Wednesday – up by 4am to ensure all was perfect for my lesson.  I was pretty tired by this point and so incredibly stressed out as I didn’t think I would be able to show my best in interview.  Dan and my Mum are the only people I ever let see me get stressed.  I am generally a pretty calm person if you were to ask any of my friends.  It was commented on my wedding morning by the photographer how I was the most laid back bride-to-be she had ever seen!  Although even if I had not been, no-one other than Dan or Mum would have known.  When life gets busy, as I so often let it, I struggle to fit everything in and then I panic that I’m letting people down or that I’m not showing myself in a very good light.  When I get stressed I go into complete melt down and will uncontrollably sob, pull at my hair, talk incredibly quickly and cannot concentrate on anything at all.  I’ll flit from one thing to the next and nothing will get done properly.  Dan has this magic knack of getting me to think rationally and return to normal again, lifting my workload or helping me to prioritise the events or workload I have taken on.  I don’t give up.  I still manage to somehow do it all but I keep a morning or few hours free at some point in the future where I can just relax, breathe and have a bit of space without having to please anyone again.  (That morning is today!)  I think part of the reason I love running so much is that it gives me plenty of head time to think things through and also that I don’t really have to be somewhere at a certain time or rush from one place to get there.  I can run anywhere.  Just step outside in my trainers whenever I feel like I need a break.

My interview went reasonably OK though, and in the phone call I received later that day I was told that I had delivered an outstanding lesson which the staff at the school were very impressed with.

Wednesday night – we went out to celebrate with a meal at Frankie & Benny’s, my favourite place to go!Wine at Frankie and Benny's

I had a salad for mains so that we could make room for dessert.  The Hot ‘n’ Spicy Chicken & Blue salad.  This is a new addition to the menu since the days where I worked at Frankies and it was definitely a good addition to make!  I asked for the hot sauce on the side and was glad I did as it was indeed rather hot!  Instead, I dipped odd forkfuls of my meal in the sauce as I went along.

Hot 'n' spicy chicken and blue salad at Frankie and Benny's

Of course, dessert had to be my old favourite East Coast Sundae.  There is something about having dessert in a sundae dish that I really enjoy.

East Coast Sundae at Frankie and Benny's

I haven’t run since the marathon as I’ve been letting my legs recover but I shall head out for an easy 5 miles this afternoon.  I’m itching to get back out there!

Do you cope well when your weeks get busy?  What strategies do you use to try and keep calm?
Which is your go-to restaurant to head to for celebrations?

14 thoughts on “Living as a perfectionist

  1. I hate it when I let things get on top of me. Last week was incredibly busy but luckily it coincided with a cut back week with regards to running. If I was scheduled to run 40 miles that week I’m not sure if I’d have coped! Sometimes I feel guilty for running so much when I have lots of other things on my ‘to do’ list, but like you I really value that time when I can go out and ‘just run’. No laptops, no phones, no spreadsheets, no writing. Just one foot in front of the other. Not sure I could cope with your schedule though!! Hope the legs are recovering nicely after Mablethorpe :-)
    Autumn recently posted…On Fire!!My Profile

    1. I know that guilty feeling. But yes, it is totally required time otherwise I would just go crazy!
      Legs recovered fine after Mablethorpe thanks. Just in time to get a few more miles in before Dusk ’til Dawn… :S

  2. Congratulations on your interview! To be honest, I’m pooped out reading what you’ve been up to! I’m currently on a week off, as I needed to squeeze a week in before the end of the month as my colleague leaves and my workload will increase significantly in the short term.

    I am very good at dealing with stress until a certain point, and will say yes to most things. I am a list maker and post-it note stickerer generally. However, when I tip over into the unhealthy stress, I am incredibly poor at dealing with anything and tend to implode. I’m a natural introvert and prefer the quiet to recharge my batteries.

    Frankies and Bennies for the win! I love their food (and cocktails). We don’t get to go too often, as there isn’t one local to us (which is probably a good thing!).
    Steph recently posted…Feeling brighter and breaking tasks downMy Profile

    1. Thank you. It all happened so suddenly, but I’m looking forward to taking on a new challenge after half term.
      Hope you enjoyed your week off. I think our bodies definitely know when it is time for us to take a break and recharge.
      Oh yes, Frankies cocktails are the best. I love that they do different ones as well as the standard Cosmo, Sex on the Beach, etc.

  3. Nice work on the interview! Clearly all the hard work paid off. Sometimes keeping stress hidden from people is worse than just showing it. We had a guy at work who was literally the calmest person I have ever met…then the project we were on got really stressful and difficult and he quit because his doctor said he was having a nervous breakdown with all the stress. Apparently he’d been internalising all his stress and he just couldn’t cope in the end. It was mad, no one would have guessed! Not that I’m saying this will happen to you!!! But sometimes just letting things “go” helps.
    I tend to cope with stress by rushing around like a mad thing and getting a bit snappy, or tearful if it’s really bad. But Ben soon sorts me out.
    Hmmm…probably a nice pub is where we’d go to celebrate. I haven’t been to Frankie and Benny’s in ages, I must go sometime.

    1. Thanks! :) That’s a crazy story about the guy at your work. Fingers crossed it won’t happen to me! 😛 I think partners are great at calming us down. Everyone I know seems to have a polar opposite to them when it comes to events they find stressful, which makes for good calming!

    1. I’m learning more and more about how important sleep is in the whole equation!
      My vitals are exercise, food and sleep too. Just keep going until I see the end in sight!

  4. Well done on the lesson!
    I think we sound pretty similar – I get stressed easily (or maybe just being a teacher is stressful!) but at work people think I am really calm- I have been described as a swan before- looking calm but beneath the surface frantically paddling away. I would love to work part time as I feel at the moment a full time job is pretty much all week- I have to work all Saturday if I want my Sunday free, and most nights I am working until 9 or 10pm. But like you I like to get things done so I think if I could have Fridays off then I could get work done then, and not have to work at the weekends!
    I must say that F&B’s is a place I would avoid- I have had two bad experiences there, then we were sent vouchers, and then we were treated even worse when we had the vouchers, plus I am not a huge fan of all the fried stuff. I prefer breakfast/ brunch for a meal out (good old Waffle house- you should go to the Norwich one if you like them as it is very very nice) , or tea and cake is my favourite!
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Activity latelyMy Profile

    1. I do love that swan reference. I think teaching is quite a stressful job anyway although many people looking from the outside in don’t seem to think so. Maybe we’re all good at being swans?!
      Although I am contracted to three days a week at the moment I have the workload for five days, and I usually spend a sixth day tidying things up and perfecting them ready for the following week. Realistically, although I do have other forms of income, they do not equal the amount I would be earning teaching full time so Dan and I made the decision that I should return to full time teaching again. I tend to work until late too, although I find I have to take a bit of time out between the end of the teaching day and starting prep work in the evening otherwise it takes so much longer and I can’t concentrate. This is usually when I fit a run and dinner in.
      I really need to go to the Waffle house. You’ve mentioned it several times now and I’ve still never been! Next time I’m in Norwich I shall make a point of heading that way. I’m sure I shall be back over half term.

  5. I think I tend to internalize it a lot too, and I do not cope well with being super busy, hence why I’ve felt a bit crap lately with trying to balance work, nutrition course, and house stuff and a life! I need to get back into meditation or yoga as I just find it helps me to calm down and take the edge off, running is a big help as I feel like I can just escape everything when I’m outside!
    Lauren (@poweredbypb) recently posted…Vegan in BerlinMy Profile

    1. You’ve been super busy with your house move – loads going on! I think this tends to be the busiest time of year for a lot of people. Hope you manage to balance everything.

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