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The Shame of “Type A”

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Shame of “Type A”

I took a personality test before writing this post.  The test can be found HERE.  The range was 35-380.  380 is extremely Type “A” … I scored a 300.

So I guess I’m pretty far on the spectrum. 

That isn’t really surprising.  If I was honest, I would confess to being impatient, having high standards, and I have trouble handling my stress.  I also often take charge, I’m goal oriented, and find myself being competitive.  I do become irritated when left waiting or wasting time, I have a hard time smelling the roses, and – I am a “fast talker.”  Apparently – even talking quickly is part of “type A.”  Finally, I am driven for success, am ambitious, and like to be the best.  At everything. 

Often, people associate Type A with things negative, but the truth is – I like to believe that I am a good person.  I have friends who are also “type A” … and I believe they are good people as well.  However… I need to remember to hold myself accountable to my values above my personality traits.

This post is really about the pursuit of happiness… or just the pursuit. 

Ever since I went to BlogHer a few weeks ago, I’ve been trying to process all the information they gave us.  I installed Google Analytics.  I’ve been looking at things like “bounce rate” and “unique visitors.”  I’ve found myself thinking things like, “Why didn’t I install this months ago?”  I couldn’t just be happy in the now. 

I’ve been trying to use Twitter more (ALSFM) and my Facebook page more… in my quest to be the best.  Not just happy with being… but trying to be the best.

And with teaching.  My passion.  My heart’s song.  It is not enough to go in and deliver a lesson and walk out.  I want to be the best.  Not for recognition from students or colleagues… but because mediocre is just not enough.

This pursuit has been swelling in my type A stress filled life for awhile.  All the while I try to slow down with my family – smell the roses – hug my children – I find myself racing forward in the pursuit of my goal oriented happiness filled dreams.

If only we have a house with two bathrooms.  If only my blog became a big thing.  If only we get this seizure dog.  If only Alexander has more therapy.  If only I can reach more students.  If only….

But, you see – I have these incredible friends.  They are my barometer on all those negative associations that come with the Type A.  They are the people that I call to help put things in perspective.  And because they helped me with that perspective, I am going to go ahead and pass some of that wisdom along.

I want to win that IPad for Alexander.  I want to win it so badly that I made a video with him touching my IPhone and I explained how it would benefit him.  I think he is  the cutest kid on the block.  I stand by my post on why I love Halloween.



I need to remember that I am “competing” against my friends for this coveted gift.  I need to remember that winning isn’t everything.  I need to remember… that even an Iphone (which – honestly is too small for Alexander to manipulate) is more than some have.  I need to remember that some people do not have the means to any of these things.  I need to remember that some people don’t have the support system in place that we do.  I need to remember that some people have not been given the gifts we have.

I would still like for Alexander to win the IPad.  He will be amazing with it.  But.

Happiness is:
Friends who will stand by me through my “forever” times.
Family who loves and supports us constantly.
Loved ones who … just love us.

Happiness does not come from things.  It could all wash away.  And if I was left … a “loser” surrounded only by people who love us – we would still be the most blessed people.

Happiness is us.  Type A or not.  Happiness exists here. 

Are you happy?  Can you be happy without the pursuit?  What have you given up to reclaim your happiness?

Thanks – Shell…. for allowing us to link up (once again.)

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At November 2, 2011 at 7:45 AM , Blogger Tara R. said...

If I had taken that test even last year, I think my score would have been much closer to the high end range. I scored 196. It's taken a while, but I'm learning to slow down and smell the roses.

At November 2, 2011 at 8:37 AM , Blogger Katina said...

Gonna go take the test! I am a type Aer too! It is hard for me to slow down. Funny, I blogged on happiness about 2 weeks ago!

At November 2, 2011 at 9:30 AM , Blogger Kristen said...

Tara - I'm so ad you have been able to slow down. I'm working on it :)


At November 2, 2011 at 9:32 AM , Blogger Kristen said...

Katina - I'm going to go see if I can find your old post. I think I might have read it?? But now I have to go check. Thanks for stopping by. Kristen

At November 2, 2011 at 9:39 AM , Blogger mrs.monica and family said...

I scored a 327! I'm a type A for sure. I am not embarassed by my "status" either, I embrace my craziness and try to use it for good:) Linking up from Pour Your Heart out. Love your blog. Feel free to come check out mine. I'm a new follow of yours now:)

At November 2, 2011 at 9:49 AM , Blogger Shell said...

I can get caught up in the "if onlys" here,too.

It's hard to be in a competition with others, too- knowing so many are deserving- yet we still want our kids to have anything that will help them!

At November 2, 2011 at 12:09 PM , Blogger Ashley - My Front Porch Swing said...

The "if only's" are a tricky tricky game. I relate to the Type A post so so well. What it helps to remember is that even when all of your "ifs" are in place- something else will come up or be out of place. I am experiencing that now, and it really is a reality check.

Such a great post!

At November 2, 2011 at 1:24 PM , Blogger Adrienne said...

It is far too easy to focus on what we don't have than remember to count our blessings and slow down and take in life around us. I'm getting better at it but it's taken a long time to get there!

At November 2, 2011 at 1:41 PM , Blogger Helene said...

I'm scared to take that test but I kinda want to!! I already know I'm a type-A...I'm exactly how you described yourself!

I try desperately to just be happy with the fact, I just got Gretchen Rubin's book on Happiness, hoping to get something out of it.

It's comforting to know someone else shares the same struggles.

BTW, love the pics of the kids in their costumes! So freakin' adorable!

At November 2, 2011 at 3:43 PM , Blogger Jackie said...

It's so easy to get caught up in the "if onlys" and "when we have more money". I am really trying to do the best with what I have and where we are right now. It's easy to forget and lose sight of the now, but then I do remember. This time, this moment will never happen again. Make the most of it!

At November 2, 2011 at 4:20 PM , Blogger Kristen said...

Mrs. Monica and Family - I'm happy to see someone else scored high too!!!


Helene - um... I only worded the type A things nicely. There were also words that are not so nice associated with that personality.

Shell, Jackie, Adrienne, and Ashley - you all are right. I REALLY have to focus on finding happiness right here. now. And sometimes it is hard because when combine that driven personality with things that could help my child... I just don't want to lose myself in the process.

At November 2, 2011 at 6:18 PM , Blogger Joy Taylor said...

happy is hard. i think we have to be happy with what we have and if we don't then we will always be miserable.

At November 2, 2011 at 7:11 PM , Blogger Anastasia said...

According to the test I am a type B. But I think type A definitely creeps in when it comes to my kids! So I totally understand.

At November 2, 2011 at 9:38 PM , Anonymous Kate F. (@katefineske) said...

I don't have to take the test, to know that I too am extremely type A. And I have a love/hate relationship with that. I really couldn't stand to be anything except type A... BUT, it can also drive me crazy to. In retrospect though, recognizing that this is who I am - was the first thing that started me down the path to also accepting who I am.

P.S. Good luck with the iPad! ;)

P.S.S. Great Halloween Photo!

At November 3, 2011 at 1:02 AM , Blogger Peeper said...

I am Type A without a doubt. My moth-in-law, who is Type B, is constantly advising me to "relax" and tells me that it doesn't matter if I make mistakes or things aren't done perfectly. I have to remind her that there are times and places for perfectionism. Take surgery or building a bridge or flying a plane, for example.

But I do admit that it's exhausting. Nor do I want to stifle my daughters creativity with my rigidness. I wish I were more Type B naturally but the truth is that I'm working very hard at it and will likely find a way to make relaxation into an attainable goal or a competition with myself!

At November 3, 2011 at 9:32 AM , Anonymous Denise said...

I love this post. I'm sure if I took the test I would be very Type A as well. I too have to work on being happy with what is right here, right now. You are recognizing what is most important and that it awesome!

At November 4, 2011 at 12:38 AM , Blogger Laura said...

Well Kristen, as much as I try to slow down, and relax, I can't. I took the test and I beat you (and noooo, I'm not at all competitive...) I scored 302 :)
Love you!

At November 5, 2011 at 10:42 AM , Anonymous A Mother's Thoughts said...

You have the cutiest cowboys and the cuties cowgirl ever! I bet they enjoyed getting dressed up and trick or treating!

I hope that you win the ipad. It equal opportunity. :)



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