Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Perfection is Exhausting

I have always known that I am a perfectionist. In recent years, I have been able to narrow it down to selective perfectionism. I believe that if you are going to do something, do it well. I have little patience for doing things half way. So my expectations for myself have always been high. It is one thing when you have these expectations for yourself, another entirely when everyone else expects perfection from you as well.

In the preceeding months, I have been greeted with some version of "But you are the perfect _________ (friend, wife, mother, sibling, etc.)" from a significant number of friends and family members. It is like walking a tightrope with no safety net. One misstep and suddenly you fall from grace, with an audible splat. The stress from trying to live up to the expectations of so many has taken its toll. 74 migraines and counting, the year isn't over yet. I have been sick more this last year than ever. I sleep poorly.

So my motto for the coming year is just to be "good enough." It will be hard for this perfectionist to let it just be good enough. I hope to once again find health and happiness. And to the next person that even implies that I am or should be perfect, look out, you will receive an earful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It Snuck Up On Me

Once upon a time, I would proclaim, loudly, that I only ran when chased. All of my running friends will laugh, because I always said that I just didn't understand the whole "need to run" thing.

And now, I must say, I am a runner. Okay, I said it. Laugh. Only because of how resolute I was that I could never become a runner. I still don't get the whole runner's high, but I'm sure with time that too shall come.

But on those days when I can't run, I am wishing that I could. On those nights when I am fitting in a quick run in the dark and cold, I wish I could be going farther. I never thought that I would ever be that person. I remember a picture from my childhood of me running in a kids race. I think it might be the only one I ever ran, that wasn't required by a PE class. But I was nearing the finish line and I had this big grin on my face and these long skinny legs with little yellow shorts running top speed. I am starting to feel that way now as I run. I don't feel like I have the agonized look that I so often notice on runners faces. The same one that I wore in the photo from my first race. That is not a picture I intend to purchase, even if it does memorialize my first race.

I guess life was chasing me, to get me started. And now, I have just grown accustomed to getting out there and moving. Each day I can feel myself getting stronger, faster, better. Then, there is the added bonus of looking leaner, firmer, skinnier. Even now, that it is dark and cold most days when I run, I am glad to be out there. Breathing fresh air and letting my mind wander.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Traffic Jam of the Brain

I keep thinking of things to write here, but then as soon as I sit down I can't get a single thing written. I don't know if all those thoughts are stuck in the doorway, elbowing each other to get out so much that none of them does, or they suddenly get shy the moment it is time to become a permanent record.

SweetE announced yesterday that he doesn't need to go to school because he already knows everything. He is about 10 years ahead of schedule on that one, so I may be in trouble. He does thank me on a regular basis for doing normal stuff like wash his favorite pants, so I think I'll keep him. That and he looks darn cute with bed head.

SweetP is doing science experiments in his backpack. Yesterday I got to start my day with a flattened, blackened, slimy banana that had been forgotten in his backpack for too long. I don't know why he refuses to use the trash cans at school, but all of his wrappers and stuff from lunch come right back home in his lunch box. But he still gets excited about the Christmas or winter stories that I read every night in December even if he tries to act like he isn't. I'll keep him too.

Those boys make me smile.