Striving, and Feeling Alone Doing It


Today – again! – I feel as if I’m the only one who cares.

I come from a country where the general idea is that you do “right” whatever you are doing, or else it isn’t worth doing. This means that if you don’t do a job right, you might as well not do it, or you or someone else will have to do it all over again.

I had to hit the break labeled “right” real hard after moving across the Atlantic.

Here in the USA, everyone seems to content with things and services more or less (often less) done “right,” and I have now adjusted almost all my expectations in that regard. Most services are NOT completed correctly the first time; some are not done right the second time. I got so far as to actually be surprised if and when someone does his or her job 100%.

However, I have higher standards for myself.

I do chores, jobs, fixing, etc. as closely to 100% as I can. I teach the same values to my son and now, that he’s becoming a teenager, he starts protesting that “no one ever” expects their kids to do as I teach him. I answer him then: “I’m Swiss; I value a task well done; they are not Swiss and they don’t seem to care. They are not a comparison to me and us. Period.”

Still, there are times when I feel judged; just because I value a job well done and apply myself to do the maximum for what I’m doing.

I review my e-mails before I send them; I often even review my facebook posts before I post them. I cook healthy foods for us and wash the dishes the same day as I dirtied them. I get the trash out in time for the weekly collection. I have my car taken care of when necessary: oil change, tires, repairs. I follow my son’s progress at school and am interested in his mental health; I ask him questions about his day, make sure – daily – that he knows how much I love him. I take my dog to the vet when she’s sick, even though it costs a fortune (which I don’t have; by far), etc. When I’m on the job, I actually do my work rather than spending time with private phone calls or internet posts. Right now I don’t work; I’m a student and work hard to obtain only A’s.

I just try to be mindful for what I’m doing.

And then, I look around and feel as if I’m the only person who cares to do things “right,” to complete tasks entirely, and who generally likes a job well done.

I will NOT lower my standards, but it is really difficult to feel exposed as the one who always strives to do “too much.”




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