25 June 2010


New Shirt
I am a very critical person. Overly critical, in fact. Look at this picture: it is me in my normal state, trying to look normal, but, as you might tell, I look like I'm judging something. And that's probably right. I am probably judging something. Being overly critical is, in my line of work, quite useful. You need to be able to criticise and be criticised if you want to survive in academia. You have to be your own harshest critic.

In holy matrimony and paternity, however, these skills of criticism are not that helpful. In fact, they can destroy your relationships if you're not careful. And if you're really not careful, they can destroy your relationships and leave you thinking that it doesn't matter, you were right all along. I need to not fall into this trap.

Part of this, I decided last year, was just about choosing to be happy rather than depressed. I think I've improved a bit at being happier and not letting myself drag myself down when I get upset. But I'm still pretty critical of everything.

That was a long introduction to get to this story: so for the last couple of weeks, I've been coming home and finding my toothbrush in different places in the house. The living room, the floor of the bathroom, my office. Now, I know that the toothbrush is up too high for the kids to get without some aid, but I have done my best not to say anything about it: just dutifully putting it back in its place.

Today, however, I came down for breakfast and there was my toothbrush on the kitchen counter. In an effort to deduce what had happened, I asked Yoko, prefacing my question with the caveat 'this is just a question' (rather than an accusation). Apparently, the kids like playing with my toothbrush (which I, to my credit, had already figured out).

Anyway, I threw it away and gave myself passing mark on not getting as frustrated as I normally would. This almost certainly doesn't solve the problem, but it was a small victory.
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