Everything doesn't have to be perfect.
Say it with me now: Everything doesn't have to be perfect.
Ahhh...doesn't that feel good? The previous version of myself tried. Yep, I tried...really hard. I tried so hard to make everything PERFECT...the food, the house, the child, the marriage...the perception...all of it. It was exhausting.
And last fall, it broke me. I had to be rescued from my car in the parking lot behind my office where I had become paralyzed by a panic attack unlike any other I'd ever known to that point. This was the beginning of a lot of things:
- I got serious about being more intentional with my thoughts, my feelings, my words, my actions, and even the things and people I chose to have in my life
- I learned how to let go of an unrealistic idea of perfection
- I learned how to let myself be and do "good enough"
- I stopped competing to be the busiest person I knew
I recently shared this revelation (and this blog post) with my psychologist. As I read it, I cried. And so did she. (Just so you know, she's kind of amazing.) Having this realization and saying it out loud, let alone sharing it with the world as a blog post, is huge for me. YUGE! So, we had our little emotional moment in the tiny therapy room, and afterward I began to think of a few of the many changes I've implemented to allow my life to be a lot less perfect and a lot more simple. Here are a few I'd like to share with you:
- Self-care: I do a LOT of this these days. It feels so indulgent...to the point that I often refer to it as "radical self care".
- I've actually learned to physically relax. I can sit on the couch now without berating myself for not being more productive with my time. I've learned that allowing my body to relax *is* productive...and healing...and necessary for me.
- I started meditating...training my brain to relax a bit, learning to let the (millions of) thoughts roll by without giving them my attention. It's glorious, and it's something I hope to eventually make an integral part of my daily routine.
- And finally, because my skin hates winter to the point that it tries to fall off of my body, I've begun implementing an ayurvedic practice called abhyanga. It is a head-to-toe warm oil self-massage. If that doesn't sound indulgent and **radical**, I don't know what does!! :)
- I like to lift heavy things. I considered creating my own lifting schedule, but in the interest of keeping it simple, I decided to sign up for some classes and let the coaches figure out the programming. Now, I can just show up three days a week, lift some stuff, get really sweaty, and go home. (Think CrossFit.) I love it. And The Munchkin loves the child care that's included in my membership, so I have ZERO "mom guilt" about going to the gym. How many wins is that in one sentence?!
- I miss running. I used to run 6-7 miles a few times a week. So, I'm using the Couch to 5k app on my phone and trying to get back to that point. Progress is slow, but it's progress nonetheless. And I'm not aiming for perfection.
- Yoga...my trusty stand-by. I'm in the process of creating a yoga studio for The Munchkin and myself (complete with a dedicated meditation spot...I'm actually kinda pumped about it).
So, there you have it. I'm not perfect, by any means, and neither is my life. I don't meditate every day and sometimes I'm holding down the couch while eating takeout with The Munchkin, watching the robot vacuum clean up the crumbs, and listening to the dishwasher tend to the dishes. Screw it! I enjoy it, and I'm done with perfect.