The following is an excerpt of Sarah O'Leary's comedic book about leaving her Type A Personality behind and finding balance in her "Type C" life.
Don't Jones Over the Jones!
It is imperative that you stop comparing yourself to the other Smiths and Jones. Type Cs celebrate with confidence their own lives and the lives of those around them. If you constantly pull out the measuring stick, you'll never measure up. Why? Because you only see the part of the Type A lives around you that they want you to see. It makes much more sense for your sanity to snap the damned stick in half and focus on your own happiness instead. You're measuring up, too, after all -- to you and your life! Well done!
But alas, we are imperfect creatures. There are many times that Type A-ers flaunt their riches (feigned and/or actual) in front of our very eyes. And, heck, we're in recovery from A. It's not always easy to turn a blind eye to others over achievements. Let's take, for example, the dreaded Christmas (p.c. "holiday") letter.
Merry Christmas, all!
Frank and the kids and I are very thankful to have had yet another spectacular year! We are truly blessed, as we've surpassed all of our expectations, and our children are damn near perfect!
Jennifer won The Miss America Pageant as a 10-year-old, and is going to Dartmouth in the fall. She's torn between solving world hunger or becoming a neurosurgeon while pursuing her career as a model on the runways of Paris. (Knowing her, she'll probably find a way to do all three.) She was also drafted in the third round as a pitcher for the Yankees, but has decided to pursue her education and modeling instead. What a blessing she is!
Jason has really taken to the study of particle physics, and hopes to change the orbit and/or position of the earth in an attempt to solve global warming. Not bad for a 2nd grader! He's also captain of his elementary school glee club, math, lacrosse, soccer, and water polo teams. He's found that he only needs 4 hours of sleep a night, which helps him keep up with the on-line classes he's taking at M.I.T. Our biggest challenge with him is to get his head out of the books at night. Ugh!
My soul mate and best friend and smoking hot lover Frank and I renewed our vows again over Thanksgiving, as we are so thankful for each other every minute of every day! 20 years and two children later and I can still fit into my wedding dress -- what a blessing! The photo of the re-nuptials appeared in the wedding section of the New York Times. We had to buy an ad and put the announcement in it, but we thought it was important to share our special moment with the world.
Frank just received yet another promotion at Acme Paper, making him ESVP of Sales and Development and Marketing and Operations and Insights and Strategies for New England! The gigantic bonuses along with his six-figure salary have afforded us some wonderful blessings, and we're very humbled by them. We've traveled the world three and ½ times this year, and plan on hiking the Himalayas without a guide in July.
As for me, I've taken this year to step back and smell the roses. I decided to chair only 4 non-profits, and have cut my other service commitments down to several. Running the charity auction at the country club was taxing but rewarding. We raised over a million dollars by selling adoptable babies from foreign countries. It just goes to show you how generous, kind and welcoming our community is!
Well, I'd better skedaddle. I have to go onto our back 40 to shoot the Christmas turkey.
Thank God for you, dear friends, and for all of our blessings!
Mary Frances, Frank, Jennifer, Jason
When you receive a Type A holiday letter, typically with matching sweater picture of the family included, light a fire. Read the letter with only one or no eyes open, then throw it into the flames while singing Elvis' "Burning Love".
They are lying about their perfection or telling the truth. Either way, you don't need to read it. Your life is fine and dandy the way it is, ever changing and filled with imperfection! Celebrate your freedom as their achievements go up in flames!
You might even consider writing your own holiday letter:
(Insert your family name here)
The short form letter will keep the Type As in your life guessing, which is always fun.
Ah, the freedom of not having to be in the horse race. Trot in the fields, graze on the land. Enjoy the C life you so richly deserve. Leave the sprints on the dirt track to those who want to win, knowing that you're winning already!