All of this, in combination with turning 40 this year, has made me reflect on my own life even more. Statistically I'm at the dead center (no pun intended ;) of my life & have approximately 238,000 waking hours left. Even if I beat the statistics & to live to 100+ the point is our time is finite. I get that I'm an eternal spirit temporarily in human form but I do want to rock this earth thing.
I've decided to live my life as if death is at my door because it is, it's just a matter of time (Michael Singer writes about this so eloquently in The Untethered Soul). I'm making a conscious effort to truly live each moment to the fullest & this required some serious introspection leading to the realization that one of my biggest blocks to joy & happiness is my obsession with perfection. It took a pumpkin, a jagged knife & a beer to get me to realize what a hold it has on me. If you're thinking, This ain't sounding so good, let me explain....
It all started with a trip to the pumpkin patch this fall with my niece Ella....
When he pulled off the lid & started to hack off the seeds & gunk I kind of went into a perfectionism panic because I knew he was in danger of chopping off part of the bottom of the lid & then it wouldn't completely align with the pumpkin when he put it back on. As much as I was dying to warn him, I bit my tongue & (tried to) let it go. Nobody likes to be told they're doing something wrong & who the hell was I, the pumpkin carving police? It struck me that he was drinking a beer & laughing, the kids were cracking up at his pumpkin carving skills, & I was somewhat in angst. In less than five minutes his pumpkin was carved (mismatched top & all), my mom put a candle in it, & it was fun & done...
The truth is I've been in denial most of my life about the dark side of my perfectionistic tendencies. I'll never forget last Christmas when I went to visit my cousin, who is my spiritual soul sister, & she had two fresh, new personal growth books by Brene Brown proudly displayed on her dining table. I ran over to them like a moth to a flame. One...I could barely bring myself to even physically touch...it was called The Gifts of Imperfection. I flat out diss-missed it & excitedly picked up the book next to it, Daring Greatly, thinking to myself, Now THIS is something I can relate to!
As I was ogling it & reading the description & table of contents, my cousin said to me, "You really should read The Gifts of Imperfection first." I was having no part of it & in my head thinking, Whatevs, y'all can sing kumbaya & wallow in your imperfections while I go DARE GREATLY. We kept talking & I said, "I just feel like I can never get everything done in the day that needs to get done." & she said, "Read the first page of The Gifts of Imperfection." I cracked it open & there, right on the first page, it said, "Wholehearted Living...means...No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough." I shut the book & replied, "Umm....where exactly is the closest Barnes & Noble??"
My new mantra, which I heard from a great coach, is "Done is better than perfect." & I've also recently been hearing "There is no such thing as perfection." I'm committed to letting go of my perfectionistic tendencies & enjoying the imperfect perfection of each moment...not getting caught up in the details & losing sight of the beauty of the big picture....moving forward & growing imperfectly instead of getting stuck in perfection paralysis.
What's one change you can make to bring more fun & joy into your life?
P.S. Happy Birthday to my adorable niece Ella. You light up my life & I love you more than words can express :)