Sunday, January 12, 2014

Find Balance

It came to mind today that even when someone is considered an expert that doesn't mean they're perfect. Doctors and lawyers who spend years in school, pass rigorous testing, and then compete for top jobs still call what they do their "practice". These are people that know more about the human body or our justice system than most people and even they can make mistakes. All the knowledge you can work to acquire doesn't mean you'll always have the right answer at the right time.

I find that I am a crazy perfectionist. I like everything to have it's place, things should be consistent, things should be done well and I tend to want to just do everything myself because I know I will pay attention to things that other people may miss. On the flip side, I know that I can't do it all myself and sometimes perfect isn't best. There's a quote floating around in my office:
"Don't let perfect be the enemy of good."
- Voltaire
It's a little reminder to me that sometimes you can reach the point of good enough. Not everything needs to be perfect. My house doesn't have to be sparkling clean when my son wants to play. The laundry doesn't need to be put away right now when my husband wants to sit and enjoy some time together after dinner. Just because I make a mistake or overlook some detail doesn't mean I'm a terrible person or a failure.

All of this leads back to my word for the year. Balance. To me you have to work to find the balance between perfect and good enough. Sometimes you want to strive for perfection (your resume/cover letter when you're applying for that ideal job might be one place to aim for perfection) and sometimes you just want to know that it's good enough (cleaning house, it's just never going to be totally done so why sweat it).

I'm committing to myself this year to stop shouldering the blame for everything, to stop beating myself up over things that could have been, and to let go of things in the past. My life is what it is at this point and time and I know that now all I have is today and the future. I can't change a single thing in the past but I can change how I think about the future and how I react to situations now. I don't have to be perfect because I can be good enough.

I may not be the perfect wife but I'll love my husband, show him respect, and work to treat him how I would want to be treated every day.

I may not be the perfect mom but I'll love my son with all my heart, I'll do my best to protect him from dangerous situations, and work to keep him safe and teach him the things he needs to know to be a compassionate, happy, and successful individual one day.

I may not make a six figure income (yet), I don't have the perfect body, and I sometimes make mistakes but I will work to be someone who makes peoples lives better for being a part of it. I hope that as we all journey through this year that no matter what ups and downs we encounter we can learn to be a little more gentle with ourselves knowing that this life is a gift and a place to learn and grow. It's not all about perfection and who wins first place. It's about looking back and having no regrets. Making each day count and being kind to those around you. Let's lift each other up and help each other to succeed. Together we can find balance and enjoy whatever amount of our lives we have left to live.

If you had it all to do over again, what would you change from your past? Now, thinking about that, what can you do NOW to change your future. How can you let go of regret so you can move forward to be the best you today? Can you think of something in your life that is better today because of your past? Share in the comments if you'd like.

2 comments:

  1. Andy and I were just talking about perfectionism the other day. I used to spend a lot of time beating myself up for past decisions that didn't pan out or past mistakes. I finally realized that it's not worth it. I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't made those mistakes. Over the last few years I've been trying to let go of perfectionism and not see 'good enough' as a flaw but a chance to move on and enjoy life instead of dwelling on something forever. Balance is such a great word to focus on.

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    1. I totally agree. No matter what difference it would have made, I am who I am today because of all that's happened to me. I definitely think you should let go of perfectionism because good enough is a chance to move on and enjoy your life. You are such an amazing person and have so many amazing things ahead of you. I'm glad you like my word. It literally kept coming up in conversations, in books I was reading, on TV... I couldn't get away from it so I took it as a cue to do something about it. :)

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