Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Embracing the imperfect

I think there is one overwhelming theme in our society today. Well if I am honest there are many yet there is one that I am choosing to focus on today. One that has the ability to induce anxiety, stress and maybe even fear in our minds and hearts.

PERFECTIONISM. 

Just scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest and even various blogs can put off this theme of a perfect life, perfect home, perfect "stuff", perfect family, perfect kids, perfect marriage and a perfect job.

And that is just naming a few. You could easily add to the list.

All of these images floating around the web can easily keep one daydreaming about the perfect ____ (you fill in the blank) that is just around the corner.

It is no secret that by nature I am a Type A, obsessive compulsive, control freak, list making, perfection driven, everything must be in its place kind of girl. You didn't know that about me? Bless you.

Paper piles drive me bonkers. Let's be real, clutter in general drives me bonkers. If I lost my planner, which includes my daily/weekly goals and to do lists, I might just have a mild heart attack. I love a good organizational system and continually find myself tweaking our home in hopes to you know, make things as streamlined and functional (ok, as perfect) as possible. I think I have rearranged our "junk drawer" maybe fifteen times. Ironic much?

Anyways, I have been thinking a lot about the idea of perfectionism and the idea that life really will be ok if everything isn't always in tip top shape.

There is freedom when we choose to let go of unrealistic ideals.

Yes, even for a girl like me, who stresses when her pantry is out of sorts.

Here's what I know. . .

My house might not be perfect but it won't stop friends from coming over and enjoying our company.

My to do list might never be completely blank but there is always tomorrow. And that is ok.

My jeans might be a little snug but my body is strong and it helps me provide daily for my sweet baby.

That friend who always looks put together and whose life in general always looks put together is probably a lot less put together than I think.

You get the idea.

God didn't call us to be perfect. He calls us to be good stewards. He calls us to look upward instead of outward. He calls us to Him. Daily. Regardless of the status of all of our stuff.

So. . .

Today I am choosing to leave that pile of laundry on the floor. And not stress about it.

Today I am choosing to resist the urge to get frustrated when I realize how much I still need to get done.

Today I am choosing to embrace the extra cushion that comes with my post baby body.

Today I am choosing to be ok if dishes are left piled up, waiting to be scrubbed.

Today I am choosing not to compare myself and my baby to that other momma and her baby who, at five weeks old, is sleeping through the night, every single night.

Today I am choosing a new standard.

And it feels good.


Do you struggle with perfectionism? How do you combat societies never ending images that depict one having a perfect life? I'd love to hear!

17 comments :

  1. Wonderful post, brittnie!! So true, esp now as a parent :)

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  2. That has been one of the biggest lessons I've learned over the past year and a half of being a mama. I'm continually telling myself to let things go and just relax and enjoy life TODAY. Some days are harder than others, but sometimes intentionally trying to have that mindset is important. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. If I lost my planner, I'd have a major heart attack!! :)

    It is a great post. I think that a desire to work hard combined with a healthy dose of some "f- it" is a good thing! :)

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  4. Love this. Thanks for the great reminder! I have to keep reminding myself that people are more important than my to do list!

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  5. Yes, definitely struggling with it over here! And I think becoming a mom has only exacerbated the problem. Unfortunately I am almost always guilty of feeding the beast instead of trying to fight it though!

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  6. PS, have you seen this? I think of you when I see it, and I thought you might like it too!
    http://pinterest.com/pin/104427285079944847/

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  7. Amen sister. I am teaching a lesson on self-esteem this Sunday to the girls in my church, I hope I get through to them to stop (or realistically not do it as much) comparing themselves to unrealistic ideals. I worry about mom's whose homes are too perfect. Is your child watching T.V. all day while you clean? There's more to life than perfect hair and clean dishes.

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  8. Love this! Thank you I needed this today!

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    1. You're welcome. I think it is something we all tend to struggle with from time to time.

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  9. This is such a good lesson for everyone. Thanks for sharing!

    K

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  10. There should be a 12-step program for perfectionism! I definitely struggle with this... can't wait to see how motherhood rocks my currently-not-that-difficult-to-control world! Also, for what it's worth, I have always thought you were laid back and not a crazy type A (like me), so you're at least putting on a good show of not worrying about it :)

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    1. Ha ha.... yes motherhood has totally rocked my Type A personality. :) I have become a lot more laid back in some areas of life but others I am still the majorly crazy Type A. It blows Brandon's mind cause he is totally chill and laid back. I assume Brian is too?

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    2. Eek, sorry- just saw this... how do I know when someone has responded to a comment?

      Yes, Brian is definitely chill and laid back- we most certainly fit the "opposites attract" bill!

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  11. Love this post and can completely relate! I've always struggled with perfectionism and the lack of free time, routines, and schedules that come with new mommy hood has been very difficult for me. This is really forcing me to look big picture though and focus on what matters. These babies grow up so fast and I don't want to look back on this time and remember it for how neat and orderly the house was. You know?

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    1. I could not agree more with this. Some days I am amazed at how easily I can shut off the Type A mania in my life, and other days I just get hung up and can't let it go. Before Lily was born, I was neurotically dressed and put together by 7am. Now there are some days I can't seem to get my shiz together and even get dressed before noon! But I can't freak about it, because it's usually due to extended play time with my girl, or her taking a later nap. It's more worth it to me to spend time with her, as opposed to bleaching things or re-organizing the spice rack daily!

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    2. I agree - it's easier to keep our days in perspective when we take the time to look at the big picture and ask ourselves "ok, at the end of my day, what REALLY matters?" Thanks for the comments!

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