Sunday, July 22, 2007

Breaking the Pattern

There are a lot of things I think of writing that I don't post here (or anywhere else). Not because they're shocking, or private, or boring, but because they don't fit the mold of my blog. They don't have that calm, pastoral quality and/or I can't think of a concluding insightful comment with which to end the post.

All this results in me not blogging very often. Have I mentioned that I'm kind of obsessive about systems? When I was applying for firms, I developed this system: start going through the list of firms interviewing on grounds in alphabetical order. For each firm, check to see if it's just IP/patent stuff they're interviewing for; if not, check the Vault "best firms in [whatever city]" guide and read the blurb if it's there; if it isn't, go to the firm's website and read its "careers" section; if I'm still interested, check the law school's GPA spreadsheet to see if I have a chance of getting an interview; if so, apply; if not, move on. Because I had this system in place, deciding what firms to apply for took me an entire weekend. Even after I realized that maybe I didn't need to be quite so rigorous about my choices, I couldn't stop until I'd gone through the whole list using my system.

Sometimes this obsessiveness is a really bad thing. I used to keep an online journal, six or seven years ago, in which I wrote very nearly every day for over a year. It was a great outlet for me. Then I quit writing every day, and was so upset with myself for breaking my streak that I never started up again.

At church today we got a great homily about how perfectionism is destructive. Our priest (whom I just love) shuffled over to the lectern, put on his reading glasses, got out the Bible and turned to Genesis. "If this doesn't cure your perfectionism," he said, "nothing ever will. We have this whole story about the six days of creation" (forgive me—I'm paraphrasing) "where God creates everything: the sky, the earth, the plants and animals, and finally, he creates mankind. And then we come to the part at the end of the sixth day, and it says, 'God looked at all that he had made, and he saw that it was very good.' Not perfect, mind you—good! And that's why our weather isn't perfect, it's why our plants and animals aren't perfect, it's why we're not perfect. In our lives, we must not strive for perfection: we must strive for goodness."

Anyway, if things seem a little more frivolous and less capital-D Deep around these parts, that's why.


Blogger Stormy said...

Father Dennis is pretty good, isn't he? And Father Fogarty rocks when he sets out his three points like it's a lecture in one of his classes.

7/23/07, 9:16 AM  

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