February 12, 2014


The up side of down

by admin
Categories: Feeding the Soul
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I like to understand how things work and I thrive on streamlining whatever the action is to the point that I can’t improve it any further.  I’m fairly sure this must be the very definition of anal.  My dad was the same way.  He was a boat designer/builder/commercial fisherman and the work he did was as close to perfect as it was possible for him to get.  He was always analyzing to improve so I must have inherited my anal gene from him.  I can’t count the number of times my husband has told me over the 40 years we’ve been married “it doesn’t have to float” though my father’s ideal is my unconscious standard of perfection.  Floating means we stay alive when the seas get rough.  Perfection means I’m finished and I can let it go because it’s as good as I can make it.  Efficient flow satisfies the inner me.  Yup, totally anal, that’s me.  I want perfect and I want my perfect to be replicable.

One of the CATO podcasts I listened to this morning was Caleb Brown’s interview of Megan McArtle, author of The Up Side of Down and Learning From Failure.  It was excellent, full of insight, the kind of stuff that advances my understanding of how I think.  It’s a bonus when the insightful stuff is also timely.

One of the activities I enjoy is World of Warcraft.  I’m fairly new to the game and my learning curve is finally starting to level just a bit.  I don’t feel nearly so overwhelmed which I see as improvement.  I still make mistakes and my characters die fairly regularly but each occurrence is a learning experience and I only kick myself when it’s a multiple repeat of stupid.  On the down side, the analysis of what happened appears to be driving those I’m associating with nuts and that’s been bothering me.  Feedback is part of learning and I’m not getting it.  If I suck, I want to know how to fix it.  Ignore isn’t the new neutral.  I need feedback to analyze.  I’ve been struggling with understanding this lack of feedback and generally being depressed.  I think McArtle’s interview provided a connection.

They say understanding is acceptance.