Week 29 – Either You’re Perfect or You’ve Failed

“Pictures of perfection make me sick and wicked.” – Jane Austen through personal correspondence 

…This post was meant to be about allowing ourselves to fail, and how important that is – how there is reason in our failures – as much or more than in our successes. Thomas Edison “failed” creating the light bulb 10 000 times before finding success.

What this post has become… a glimpse into my day-to-day “failures”. As much as they irk me today, I realize now, they’re almost meaningless tomorrow… It’s just. real. life… 

We need to see more of the “real”. 

I do it to myself. Hold myself to this impossible standard. No one is perfect. We cannot be perfect. Or can we? No. Why do we think we can?

I feel the need to apologize for sweatpants, untidy hair and unwashed dishes in the sink… I’m perfect at apologizing.

I’m at the park and someone comes over to meet the babies. I feel the need to explain why there are remnants of strawberries all over their faces… I’m perfect at explaining.

I lay in bed at night tossing and turning, kicking myself for not cleaning the bathroom like I said I would. I realize I left a load of wash in the washing machine. I roll my eyes and tell myself I’ll wash it again tomorrow. Always tomorrow… I’m perfect at procrastinating.

I’m complimented on my  perfect family. Looked at with awe and respect – or maybe I’m mistaking those looks for pity/sympathy. They ask me how I do it. How do I accomplish so much?
Well my to-do lists tell me I’ve accomplished nothing. And that birthday party I forgot to RSVP to happened yesterday… I’m just hoping Zach forgets. I’m perfect at forgetting.

I love my kids. I love my husband. I love our family. I love my life. I think I’m doing “my best” – at least that’s what they deserve. Is my best good enough? I’d like to think so… But there is this tiny voice inside of me telling me that it’s not perfect. And because it’s not perfect, the voice tells me I am failing.

Thank goodness I have 16 other little voices inside of me talking all at once — makes it easier to ignore that 1.

Let’s stop striving for “perfect” and settle for “real” (I’m telling this to all 18 of the voices inside my head) or we will indeed drive ourselves “sick and wicked”.

Week 27 – Living Without Expectation

To wish was to hope and to hope was to expect. – Sense and Sensibility

This is one thing I am most guilty of – having expectations. It’s easily done, unconsciously done, but boy is it dangerous. Expectations unknowingly creep up on you where you don’t even realize you have them until you are disappointed by them. I refuse to be disappointed by expectations anymore.

In an age of Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram – expectations are the worst. We are constantly “looking” into the lives of not only our neighbours but of perfect strangers. We see what they have – children, clothes, vacations, homes, cars, careers… and we are reminded of what we are missing.

If we maintain our focus on what we see them having… we unintentionally begin to wish for things, hope for things, and develop expectations for these things. Unhappiness is quickly invited into our hearts, wishing for the life we see others enjoying and think we deserve.

This is easily prevented – first, avoid social media. Okay, okay – that’s a tricky one… I’ll be the first to say how much I love social media. Then, we must keep in mind that the “life” we present on social media, isn’t always an accurate reflection of our lives at all. We are knowingly presenting ourselves in a very specific/purposeful way. It’s not that we want people to look at our lives and say – I want what they have… perpetuating that cycle of unfulfilled expectations (well, maybe someone out there does…). We just naturally  want to showcase the BEST parts of us.

Once we can stop attaching “wishes, hopes, and expectations” onto the social representations of our friends and followers, we can start looking inward – where we should be maintaining our focus anyway.

Spend your time looking at the things you already have, and being thankful for them.

My closest friend showed me an app, stop me if you’ve heard it: Gratitude 365.
Everyday, you are given free reign to jot down a little note to yourself about the things you are thankful for – even add a photo. My favourite part? Swipe to the right and you’ll get to see all of the things you’ve been thankful for set up in a nice (hopefully long) list. I’ve just started using this app. Each day in the month of February, I’ve been writing down one thing I’m thankful for and it’s really getting me to think “outside of the box”, as I’m trying not to repeat a “gratitude”.

Don’t get me wrong here, we are constantly and automatically creating expectations for ourselves, and will continue to do so. But, IF we can make ourselves aware of these expectations, we’ll be able to see them coming… and the disappointment that comes with not meeting those expectations, will hopefully become more of a… whoops! what was I thinking? I can’t run before I walk — or my favourite analogy, which probably exists and if not I made it up: I’m JUST keeping my head above water, how in the WORLD do I expect myself to WALK on it!? There’s only one guy I know that can do that! (That’s been doing the trick for me).

Hope you all have a great week – and that’s a week without expectations.

Week 10

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn? – Pride and Prejudice

Last week was our first week of school – and I received an alarming glimpse of what our year is going to look like.

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