Home > Balance, Cocktails, Confessions, Working > Treading Wine

Treading Wine

I know what you’re thinking – “Paige, don’t you mean treading water?”

Do I ever mean water over wine? Not unless we’re talking about laundry and I rarely talk about laundry.

For the last several weeks I have been struggling to tread wine.  You see, if I was struggling to tread water, I would have simply gotten out of the pool (or lake, or ocean).  But wine is complex, sometimes surprising, occasionally corked, but usually delightful, just like life.  So therefore, treading wine is worth the struggle.

So what I have been struggling with that has kept me off-balance (and writing very little) for the last few weeks?  I think I have it mostly figured out (how’s that for confidence and conviction?).  I have shared on occasion that I haven’t always been happy in my job.  The thing is, I love what I do and I am good great at it.  But I am a perfectionist and it had gotten out of hand.  I had gotten to a point where nothing felt good enough.  My confidence was slipping and my self-critical side needed a beat-down.  It had started to spill in to my personal life.  Everything felt hollow and I had stopped trusting my own instincts.  Very few people knew how it was affecting me, because, like my dramatic diva of a three-year old, I can put on a show.  The irony is during this time, I received a promotion, a raise and several accolades and still didn’t feel like my work was good enough.

But I am very fortunate, I am surrounded by smart, caring people (and a few paid professionals) who have helped me get things under control.  By examining my perfectionist tendencies, I realized that perhaps I am a wee bit… off-balance, unrealistic and um… crazy.  As I thought about the standard I was holding strangling myself to, I had to laugh.  It was absurd and not the level I hold others to.  My higher self-bar was not because I thought I was better than the average person and could deliver more, it was because of that pesky perfectionism.  This may confuse you since I talk about mold in my shower and all of my follies, but there are parts of life where I feel safe being “normal” and parts where I wasn’t giving myself that same luxury.  (Trust me, the mold is still in the shower and I think the whole house needs dusting).

So I have perfectly cured myself in about two weeks.  (When you’re done laughing, feel free to continue reading).

Welcome back, need some water or a kleenex?

In lieu of an instant cure, which I was dismayed to discover does not exist, I am being more thoughtful about my goals, my decisions and my feelings.  I am letting myself off the hook a bit.  I am taking risks again and know that sometimes I will… eek… fail, and gulp… that’s good for me.   I am also reminding myself that my job is only one facet of my rich, tannin filled life.  I am treating myself the way I would treat any of my precious friends and family members: with support and encouragement.

I know that I will have to keep an eye on that bothersome perfectionist side and I may have to occasionally smack her around, but just being aware makes me feel so much better!

So I am again successfully treading wine and enjoying it.  Not to mention that cabernet-colored skin is more attractive than some of my spray tan debacles in an effort to avoid my natural pasty white color!

Thanks to a Mad Women who inspired me to share the hard, not always funny, parts of life.

  1. lauren
    January 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

    best post yet Paige. xoxolbp

  2. January 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

    I think some of us feel this way some point. Its a climax…and a reminder that we are not perfect and should not expect perfectionism at every stage in our life. I got promoted three weeks ago, and i felt lousy. Its not that I didnt deserve it, its that somehow, I expected to wake up feeling different and excited about work. Instead, the next day I woke up feeling nothing.

    So, I have decided to just roll with life. Take lead, take action when needed – focus on good experiences rather than perfectionism.

    • January 31, 2011 at 4:22 pm

      Blessing, I always want to bottle everything you say and you are so right! I will focus on the good expereinces too (and the 3 parts rum in balance!)

  3. January 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

    One, I take no credit here folks. Paige is a strong resourceful (and gorgeous, dammit) woman. Glad to be an inspiration but even more thrilled to see my friend find a little more balance.
    Two, when you said you were perfectly cured I can’t help but think you turned yourself into a ham. The edible kind.
    Three, yes, I’ve been there, receiving credit from others when I don’t believe they are due (like bloggy love, I don’t always understand why someone would love this mess I spit out). Reminds me of being told with kindness and a little disgust that I needed to learn how to take a compliment. That person, that boss, the commenter saw something I didn’t. It’s a reflection of their impression of me. Accept it….then move on to fixing me.
    Sounds like you’re on the right track my friend.
    Now where did I leave my red bikini? Treading wine sounds fabulous!

    • January 31, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      However much I am paying you in friendship dues, remind me to give you a raise! Cured ham, that just about sums me up! LOL!!! Maybe we need start a red bikini club!

  4. oc
    January 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Ok let me know if she need cookies of any kind. My husband can make a mean Chocolate Chip cookie. xoxo love you sweetie

  5. Shan
    January 28, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Ahhh, thanks for this post. I needed it more now than ever before. Like you mentioned to me before Paige, this part-time work, part-time stay-at-home balancing act is kicking my bootie. I need to just lower my expectations and try not to rate myself on every single little detail of the day. And, of course, consume more adult beverages. That always helps. My husband and I have started Martini Mondays, just to make Mondays not so sucky anymore. XO

    • January 31, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      Sent you an email, I am your biggest cheerleader and know that you could lower your expectations and be amazing!!!

  6. January 28, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    My only issue with treading wine is that I’m not 100% sure I’d want to drink the wine I’d been swimming in. I know where I’ve been :-p

    Love the post – I recently took a new job, and it’s a job that wasn’t really defined, so the job is growing with me as I grow with the job . . . in other words, I have no expectations, save for the expectations that I place on myself and some measure of the unknown. The perfectionist in me goes a bit crazy.

    • January 31, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      LOL! I can’t say I would drink my swimming wine either! Ah – a new job is a perfect precipitous for a perfectionist binge – be careful and be kind to yourself!

  7. January 28, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    As a perfectionist personality myself I get it. It is absolutely exhausting and something I work on and struggle with daily. Always here to offer you support and encouragement. Hugs, Diane

    • January 31, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks Diane! I think the writing and our online community really is the best remedy!

  8. January 29, 2011 at 7:55 am

    Thats wierd, some of this is EXACTLY how I feel. Esp how I feel at work. I love my job too…but sometimes it is so hard. AND I can beat myself up into a pulp. I do that with everything. Good post 🙂

    • January 31, 2011 at 4:16 pm

      Thank you! I wish all of us do-gooders could just work together! We could support each other and protects us from ourselves!

  9. Lori
    January 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm


    And was worrying a bit.

    You’ll keep me posted next time, right?

    Excellent. Glad we understand each other.

    • January 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      Never fear lovely! When I go into hibernation, regardless of reason, it involves wine, sweets and all things delicious. You should be chiding me for not taking me with you! It was only a side effect that I came out a little wiser, I usually just come out fat and happy! 😉

  10. January 30, 2011 at 9:05 am

    So glad to be here reading your words again. Still shocked as to how well I relate to you (mold aand perfectionism co-existing? totally get it).

    I am, in some ways, an absolute mess (losing my purse, forgetting kids’ dental appointments, wearing outdated clothes – backwards) but in other ways, I want to be the PARAGON of Bestness (I know it’s not a word, but it kind of works for these purposes).

    In any case, sometimes we all have to take a deep breath, pour a glass of wine, and say enough. Enough stress. Enough chaos. Enough self-doubt. We are good.


    And then, maybe, pour another glass of wine. Just in case…

    • January 31, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      Julie – “the Paragon of Bestness” Amen! Love it!

      I just took my first shower of the day and put on clean pajamas. Another treat to myself. Maybe we need to tell each other enough every day. IT’s an easy message to forget.

  1. February 8, 2011 at 5:17 pm

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