Saturday, November 5, 2011

What couple of weeks!

It's been a while, holy moly, what a couple of weeks!  Hanging on by a thread would pretty much describe it.   Not enough exercise, too much work, and too much stress.  Taking a demanding course and writing progress reports for school, coupled with getting boys to sports makes me a bit of a crazy woman!  Complete with crying when my hubs didn't make family breakfast last weekend.  Crying.  Yup, it wasn't a good day.  Not a good week.  Fighting tears at school, over the silliest little things.  But my final assignments for this module of the course are done, progress reports are done, except for some editing and revising.  I did take a day off work to get it all done and regain some sense of sanity and grip on reality.  The good news is that I feel much more like myself.  And I'm sure everyone around me is glad.

Which brings me to question how perfectionism affects lives.  My biggest stressor is--me!  The amount of pressure I put on myself to be perfect is ridiculous.  No one is harder on me than me.  It's unhealthy.  I'm not eating well, I'm no doubt taking years off of my life with worry and anxiety and I'm just not nice to be around.  I see it in my children, and I see it in my friends.  I can help to put things in perspective for others, why not myself?  Yes, perfectionism gets me ahead in my career.  But at what cost?

So my conclusion is that the cost of perfectionism can be huge.  Perfectionism is not actually something to strive for--it's something to try to avoid.  No one can be perfect at everything.  That is not how humans are designed. 

I frequently lament my slowness when running.  My stalled progress in my yoga practice (or intermittent practice!).  My frailities of spirit.  My inability to be everything to everyone.  But I'm reminding myself today that all of those are okay.  There is time, and I need to enjoy the journey.  I may never be perfect--in fact I'm sure of it.  There has only ever been one perfect human being.  And I'm definitely not in His league!

My friends, my message today is simple.  Don't try to be perfect.  Let it go.  Just be.  Take time to enjoy the small things.  Today I will run, I'm aiming for 8 & 1/2 to 9km.  It will be painful at times, but it's a beautiful sunny day and I am going to concentrate on enjoying the day for what it is.

I'm dedicating my thoughts and prayers to my friend Julie today.  I love you Julie!  I know that you will read this blog post, because you always do.  Know that I`m thinking of you today and always.


Julie Wallbridge (feminist farmer's wife) said...

I think yoga is a ticket away from perfectionism. One cheesy video teacher of mine (Bryan Kest - you'll laugh if you ever see the video cover from the 90s) says the perfect thing: all poses are endless, therefore, you have to be where you are at. it isn't about getting somewhere it is about being with where you are at. and that is perfect. I also recall Elizabeth Gilbert in one of her books quoting: 'you take the perfect out of the perfect and you are left with perfect'. In other words - no matter what you do, all is as it should be. We perhaps aren't the masters of the universe as we imagine we are. But the pressures on women in this day and age are mighty. I hear people talking about the women 100 years ago who brought buckets from the well to the house to wash clothes by hand. How did they do it? , we ask. And yet she didn't have emails to check and oil changes and hockey tournaments and wardrobe expectations and volunteer demands and work deadlines and international travel and all of that to contend with. I imagine it was hard in different ways, but something has to give in the way we expect woman to be everything a woman ever was in the past century ALL IN ONE DAY these days. Oy.

Go gentle. Be kind to yourself. I love your posts.

ps. thanks for asking about my practise today. I am aiming for twice a week yoga and 3 times a week runs. I will let that shift as the weather demands but no yoga today. I'm headed for a run as the sun is supposed to sneak in some November heat!

pps. Are you in Shelburne? I took a cheese course there a few years ago. Loved that town - can't wait to go back one day.

Nicole said...

Thanks for your kind words! I live about 15 minutes away from Shelburne, and go there for all the usual town type things.

You're so right about yoga being the ticket away from perfectionism. Yoga practice brings me down to Earth and lets me leave all of the other "stuff" behind.

I have been reading your blog for awhile and can totally relate to much of what you say. When you blogged about your getaway to see the whales I nearly wept. Yep, wept. I haven't seen the whales since 1990, when I spent a summer living in PEI. We don't get many whales in this part of Canada :)

Enjoy your run, I'm on a little hiatus because I've aggravated an old injury. I'm hoping a few more days of rest and I'll be running and doing yoga again.