Thursday, September 19, 2013

Problems with Perfectionism

Crush (harvest) has started picking up speed, which means the hours, learning curve, and responsibility have all increased. I'm adjusting to being a functional human in the early morning (hint: it involves waking up with my alarm, setting a five minute timer, and then lying in bed angrily for those five minutes), and am enjoying my job.

Overall it's a blast, but there are always bumps in the road. This week while doing pump overs I didn't fully seal a hose and proceeded to spill wine on the floor. It was super embarrassing and felt my already shaky confidence follow the wine down the drain. I've always been very sensitive about how competent I appear to others and often become extremely frustrated when I can't do something well perfect on the first try. Fortunately, life has a way of providing opportunities that shape us.

A friend of mine posted an article on Facebook this week about how differences in gender socialization, especially in bright children, leads to differences in how males and females perceive difficult and challenging material. Females tend to give up easily and view ability as innate, while males tend to perceive the challenge as that and view ability as something learned. The full article is worth a read and can be found here. I've always thought of my abilities as innate, and I've defined myself by the ease with which I learn. The consequences of this thought pattern became more obvious to me this week, and the article made it easier to understand some of how it not only came about, but how it can be changed.

Because of this, I'm rewiring my thought process and approach to learning. It's a balance of confidence and humility, knowing that I will learn, but that I'm not entitled to it. I am fully capable of becoming competent, but it's not due to some magical gifting that makes me special. Funny thing is, what sounds like I'm ignoring my gifts is actually resulting in greater freedom to use them. I am free to learn, make mistakes, and not live with the pressure to be perfect or exceptional. I can use the gifts I have when things are challenging, and I can look at my weak spots as areas to grow in.

Challenges are just challenges. Really.

Pump over - Process by which juice (must) from the bottom of the tank is pumped to the top of the tank and sprayed over the grapes floating at the top (the cap). This takes place during maceration, which is when the grapes are left to sit in the tank with the juice; the color seeps from the skins, which is how red wine gets its color.

 Not only did I spill juice on the floor, I sprayed myself in the face while disconnecting the hose afterwards.

Glamor shot of some tanks.

 Sometimes you have to get a bit creative with the process.

This is the cap that is being sprayed with juice/must during a pump over.

An ever-present air pump.


  1. Awesome! Can't wait to hear more.

  2. Love your blog! I look forward to the next entry. Keep up the good work! (I see that T-Rex has made it into the cellar. Quite funny...)