Wednesday, June 16, 2010


On Sunday night at dinner with the in laws, we had a discussion about nicknames. Particularly not so nice ones my husband and his siblings had given other children around the neighborhood growing up. :)

It got me thinking a lot about nicknames. Usually nicknames are given to you by someone else because they represent something about you. ie a hobby, skill, trait, quirk or physical characteristic. I have had a lot of nicknames in my life given to me by other people, probably at least one in every category. I have been given shorter versions of my name and longer versions of my name. I have been given names that rhyme with my name even.

But our conversation made me think about two names in particular that I have been given to me that like a lot of nicknames have "stuck" whether I like it or not.

The first, was given to me by my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Steele: I remember when she gave it to me, we were at parent teacher conferences, and she handed my mom the paper with the words on it "princess of perfection". Now to a 3rd grader THAT is a pretty cool title, and I remember at the time thinking I was pretty special. But now that I am an adult, I think my teacher was trying spell something out to me and my parents. That maybe ALWAYS having an organized and clean desk, (I remember kids in my class asking me to help them organize theirs like mine) immaculate pencil box, (my markers and crayons were ALWAYS color coordinated), and cursive exactly like the examples, WASN'T always a good thing.

But who is going to seek help for the daughter that never has a messy room?

Fast forward 9 years, and I am about to graduate high school. In all my life I have NEVER been more busy, more consumed and more stressed than I was my senior year. A lot of kids tend to go part time their senior year, do less, get a part time job, you know that sort of thing. NOT ME. I was on Dance Company, on Drill Team, the Social Representative on Dance company in charge of all the parties, on the year book staff, in advanced Multi-Media where we competed and did big projects, not to mention I had all my other classes too, where I was determined to get a 4.0. and then there was all the other aspects of my life, boys, friends, church (in no particular order of course.) By the time I graduated high school, I had been given 4 academic letters and 1 athletic letter, and I was to say the least BURNED OUT. Anyway, I had asked one of my teachers to write a letter of recommendation for me and I remember reading it and going through it and was pleased by all the things she had said about me, and then I came across the part where she said "Amy is a natural born WORRY WORM" And I remember thinking WHAT? What is that supposed to mean? I was ticked. But my teacher was right, I was and still am, and always have been.

Anyway, neither of my names were terribly rude names, as like lets say "Baboon face" but I think they do say something about me, where my own "Achilles heal" is.

So lets fast forward another 9 years, and am I doing any better? Have I overcome my over stressed, overworked, perfectionist self? No, not really. But I am trying to be better about letting things roll off my shoulders. Those who know me are probably thinking, really Amy? Are you REALLY doing better? And I would say, yes yes I am.

One of my sisters said to me the other day "If Amy says its too much, it IS too MUCH"

I know I am doing a lot this summer, I see that when I talk to people and their mouths drop, or they say things like "wow, I don't know how you do it." Sometimes I don't either, and sometimes I have those days were I want to run away. I think we all do. But this is who I am, I enjoy being busy, I enjoy helping others out, I enjoy using my talents to grow and learn new things.

But my point to all of this, something that I didn't learn in high school, that I am TRYING to learn now, is that it is IMPOSSIBLE to be perfect. It is IMPOSSIBLE to do everything that is asked of us, or everything we want to do, so why try right? Because, all we need to do is our best, and the Lord can help us where we fall short.

Even if we don't get everything we think we need to get done, we don't have too. It hasn't been an easy lesson to learn for me, as I am independent and stubborn, but I am trying to humble myself and apply the atonement here in my life so I and those around me can be happier.


KaSs MiLeS said...

i agree with the worry worm statement, but i also agree that you get a lot done and you do it well. Andersons tend to base their day's worth off of how much they got done that day. i didn't used to think this until Kim said it to me and i'm totally that way. i think that you are amazing and totally selfless. you do incredible things that i can only dream of attempting. :)

Kory said...

I did more my senior year too. Meaning I was on school property on an almost daily basis.

Kyle said...

That's interesting.

I was the opposite in elementary. I was the one with the worst kept desk in the room.

My 5th Grade teacher had a habit of giving every 5th grade kid a nickname... or two. The first one was "Ozone" because he said my head was "in the clouds" and I never paid attention.

The second was "Whirlwind" because my desk looked like it was hit by one. Man, I thought that nickname was sooo cool. I even signed my homework with that name.

Good post, I hadn't thought about those nicknames in a long time.

Kelli and/or Kyle said...

I refuse to name my nicknames, but for the record that girl's name was Cabbage Patch Face Baboon. I decided about two years ago to stop doing so much and start saying no to people and I feel so much better. I still help people out, but not if I can't and I feel much more balanced that way. But I understand the compulsion.

Shanna said...

We must be related! I'm a perfectionist too. Let me know if you figure out any good coping tactics:). It's a hard habit to break! Good luck!

rain said...

I've told you before that I am comfortable now with saying, "Sorry, I can't do it. I just can't". Jeff has actually helped me with that, a lot. But on the other hand, I'm still prone to feeling REALLY guilty about not being about to accomplish what others do. I like to ignore it, and pretend it doesn't exist. And my nicknames were "raindog", "rainey pit stainy", and Double stuff. None of which were nice or something I'd ever consider embroidering on a jacket. (Except for "Princess", which was what my brother called me...sadly it just didn't catch on like the others).

Kat Clark said...

I needed this post today. I've had some people questioning me and the way I am running my life lately. It hurts my feelings to think that some of the people closest to me don't believe I can make good decisions about how I spend my time. Sorry, I don't mean to vent here. What I am saying is, you are right about trying to do it all. It's okay to live that way. To always try to do more and do it all all the time. It's inevitable that we won't get it all done but it's sure fun to try. I think you're awesome. I envy your mad cleanliness, craftiness and organizing skills. You've got it all together woman! xoxo