When somebody looks at me, I always think they're looking at the defects, not whatever strengths and virtues I might have. That's an egocentric view of the world that isn't borne out by experience, because most people are thinking more about themselves and the impression they're making than they are about anyone else.
Sometimes I belittle my writing, even to people who are faithful readers of my journal. I've been called on it, too, and accused of false modesty. But there's nothing false about it, and it isn't really modesty. It's being so close to the subject that no imperfection escapes notice. It's knowing how often I could do better than I do but fall short anyway.
The reasons don't matter. Sometimes I run out of time. Sometimes I'm just lazy. Many, many times I just can't come up with the word that would make a sentence whole, round and poetic. It's usually just the best I can do under the current conditions, whether they're self-imposed or dropped out of the ether.
So I've been working for the last three days to get my house ready for inspection. This isn't about the auditor who's showing up next week. If he's like most auditors, he'll be impressed with the condition of my account books and won't even notice that I cleaned up the house. One of these times I'm going to leave the cobwebs and clutter in place and see if an auditor dares to mention it.
No, I've been working over the place to get it ready for my four-year-old grandnephew (and I wish there were a more elegant word; in Spanish it's resobrino). D.J. will be here for about an hour in the morning while Tammy goes to an important meeting. It's his totally uncritical eye that I'm worried about.
Silly, isn't it? Do I think he's going to care about my three days of intense cleaning and straightening? Of course not. (On the other hand, he just might find any attractive nuisance I missed. That wouldn't be surprising at all.) He won't know that I've been preparing for his visit. But I will, and that's important, too.