Saturday, March 22, 2014

Miss Perfection

There she is.  You all know who I'm talking about.  She's the mom in the school drop-off lane who has, once again, managed to make workout clothes look like a Vogue inspired wardrobe masterpiece.  Her hair is perfectly sculpted; make up is runway ready.  She has seemingly perfected the morning routine, and will probably dash off to go train somewhere for her 4th marathon once the kids reach the school doors. 

Even though I, myself, do not endure the drop-off race at school (as my kids are not yet school age), does not mean I am void of "Miss Perfection's" presence in my life.  In fact, she's everywhere.  Miss Perfection is at the gym, quietly mocking my exercise efforts.  She is at the grocery store, staring judgmentally at the bag of chips placed in my cart.  Miss Perfection is even in my home, disapprovingly hovering over the pile of laundry I have yet to fold and put away.  Yes, Miss Perfection IS everywhere, haunting my every move.  She has become the poster child of everything negative in my life, and quite frankly, I'm tired of it.

You see, in recent months I have felt an overwhelming heaviness.  A heavy load of emotions stemming from the notion that I am just not enough.  It seems as though my Facebook page has exploded with pictures of people displaying their recent weight loss in before and after pictures.  There is a constant influx of ads and news articles featuring dramatic headlines of "Lose 20 pounds in 20 days!" or "Look how easy it is to burn that belly fat with these 3 simple steps!"  In an effort to escape being sucked in, I head over to Pinterest, which turns out to be an even bigger vortex.  After scrolling through HUNDREDS of posts, eagerly pinning a majority of them, I am left feeling inadequate. 

In my quest to piece together (through multiple pin ideas) my "dream home", all I see is that right now I don't have the dream home.  I don't have photo galleries hung on every wall.  I don't have the perfectly organized toy room for my kids to enjoy.  Nor do I have a glass kitchen floor that looks down into my basement pool (really??).  I lose sight of the fact that I have a beautiful home, when so many don't have that luxury yet.  Although it is not perfectly organized, my kids do have a toy room that they enjoy even though the room doesn't have a theme or color scheme even.  I don't have a pool in my yard, let alone my basement, I have a HUGE backyard that my kids love to explore.  I lose sight of those things because of this twisted idea of perfection that looms large in my head.

Some of you, (whoever you are) might read this and think, "Andrea, you're just jealous of these women losing weight.  You're just envious of people that have what you don't."  To that I say you're absolutely right.  I am jealous.  I am envious.  But I am tired of feeling bad about things I can't or don't have, and I am tired of feeling inadequate for things that are not realistic in my life.  So today, I am saying stop.  Today, I am saying no. 

Today I am saying no to trying to achieve the perfect body.  I am saying no to shedding tears over not losing any weight.  Instead, I am saying yes to health.  Today I am saying yes to making the healthiest decisions possible, but allowing for a dose of reality every once in awhile. Because you know what?  On an emotionally draining day, or a fun family outing, I am going to eat a brownie, or an ice cream cone and yes, I will finish the chicken nugget off my kids plate.  That's just life. 

Today I am saying no to the idea that what I have is not enough.  I am saying no to DIY everything, along with the concept of "dream home, dream yard, dream wardrobe" etc.  Today I am saying yes to counting my blessings and appreciating what I already have, even though it's not perfect.  While I would love to make every single item of clothing for my family, orchestrate the most picture-perfect family photo, and cook up culinary masterpieces for dinner, I just can't.  Instead I'm going to shop smart with the budget we have.  I'm going to keep taking the flash pictures of kids zooming by, and I am going to enjoy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich kind of meal every so often because that's who I am and that is okay.

What I'm really trying to say here, is that somewhere along the line our perception of how we should be and how we run our lives has become massively distorted.  I applaud people for losing weight, being able to completely organize their home and maintain it.  I clap for people who seem to have it all figured out, I really do.  All I'm saying is that I don't have it all figured out, and probably never will.  I am realizing that that is okay.  I am realizing that my worth is more than the unattainable "perfect body."  My worth is more than the clothes pile up invading my laundry room.  And my worth is more than any disapproving look received from "Miss Perfection."

So who's with me?  Who is ready to say no to all the things weighing you down?  And who's ready to start saying yes to being "good enough"?


Jessica said...

So ready and with you on this! You put it wonderfully. Why do we allow ourselves to under-appreciate our worth and our awesomeness in the ordinary? I love you! You are such a gift in my life.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reality check. So very needed in today's world of "too vain, too rich, too greedy" so called celebrity and leaders!

Jennie said...

Beautifully written! I'm with you 100%!

Jon & Kari said...

Everyone who knows you, loves you and thinks you are amazing! I am guilty of doing the same thing on occasion, but I have seen into the lives of others who seem to have it all together, and it's just not true, no matter how hard they try to make you think it is. No one out there is Miss Perfection. They may be in one or two small areas, but they have struggles every day just like you and I. It's comforting for me to know that everyone is in the same boat! Others don't struggle with weight, have financial struggles or a husband with health problems who can't work. They have spiritual voids, or abuse, loneliness, or sick kids, etc. All problems I am happy to live without. It took me a long time to stop comparing my weaknesses with other peoples strengths, but when I did (it still happens occasionally), it made me so much happier and grateful for what I do have!

Gwen Waite said...

I love this! Great writing and great ideas!!

Jessica Winkler said...

You make me want to cry. I really needed this post today. It's a wake up call to realize I can say "NO" to miss perfection and that's totally okay. I can stop comparing myself to her and realize that I am good enough and that my worth is not based on the mundane things, like whether the food is made to perfection, but on who I am as a person - on how I treat and interact with others.