Perfection is Not My Reality

Every morning when I hear my alarm clock ring, I open my eyes and vow to make the forthcoming day as positive as I can. I love fresh starts, especially Birthdays and New Years’. However, we don’t need to wait for major holidays to create resolutions for making changes and trying to improve ourselves. Starting over and trying to be the best we can each and every day is important as well.  It is important to remember though that no matter what we do, perfection is out of our grasps and instead of beating ourselves up for what we aren’t, we should learn to love ourselves for exactly who we are, flaws and all.

Yesterday morning, for example, was one of those instances in which my goal was to make it a Wednesday to be proud of. As I hit the alarm-off button, I rolled over and gave my husband a kiss then listened to my puppy’s deep howl, the one he lets loose when he wakes up from a deep sleep.  Sometimes I wish I had the reaction he has to my alarm clock, a sudden rush of energy and excitement for the day ahead. However, I am only human and those feelings are not quite so instinctual.  Instead I give a big yawn, take a deep stretch and casually flip on the lamp sitting on my bedside table. I make my way to the shower where I silently say my morning prayers and thank God for another day he has given me. I continue to thank him for my husband, my dog, family, and friends, my home and job as I lather and rinse, letting the hot water clean not only my body, but also my soul. I put my faith in him and ask for protection, guidance and comfort during the day. I then get out of the shower, feeling refreshed, revived and rejuvenated. ‘This is it,’ I  think to myself. ‘This is the day I will choose all the right decisions and make myself proud through every word and action.’

By the time I am dressed for work, I head downstairs feeling pretty good about myself and the day to come. The morning’s plan is to make a new protein pancake breakfast from Pinterest, write a post for the blog, unload the dishwasher, and then re-load with dirty dishes.  I smile just thinking about being able to come home from work to a clean and sparkling kitchen with not a single dirty dish in sight. As nerdy as that might sound, nothing gives me more joy than an organized, clean and cozy home.  Yep, today is the day.  I am going to make all of this happen with time to spare and without making a mistake.

First up, breakfast.  I turn the stove onto medium-low heat and spray the bottom with a coat of light olive oil. I get out my mini food processor, the same one I accidentally put a crack in one evening when I couldn’t figure out how it worked and tried to jam the pieces together. Sigh…lesson learned. I wasn’t sure if the mini would be large enough to fit all of the batter ingredients, and I knew about the crack, but decided to just give it a shot. I mean, what could go wrong?  Everything had been perfect so far, let’s keep it going!

So I throw in the oats and cottage cheese, which went well.  It was a little tight, but I decided it was all going to fit and I let my husband know as well.  Always supportive of me even when he thinks my ideas probably aren’t the best, he gives me an encouraging look while silently praying not only for my sanity, but also his own.

Then the liquid egg whites go in the processor and at first I think everything is just fine.  Well, everything is not fine.  A few seconds later, the egg whites came right back out all over my kitchen counter, down the cabinets, and onto the floor.  I try to take a deep breath and gather my composure.  I ask Tim to please bring over the blender and I then proceed to pour the oats and cottage cheese mixture into the blender’s pitcher. I quickly toss the processor, which I should have done months ago, grab a soap and water filled towel and clean up the mess. I decide to keep going with the recipe and add in more egg whites and the rest of the ingredients to the blender and mix up the batter the way I first intended. There, crisis averted and mess cleaned up. See, it may not be perfect, but today is going to be a good day.

I then head over to the stove and pour my batter into the hot pan, in medium-sized pancake shapes. The pancakes start out looking nice and delicious. Maybe a little flat, but  if they end up looking anything like the picture I will be nothing short of joyous. I give it a few minutes and let the bubbles form on top, grab my spatula, dig under the pancake and…

Fail. The pancakes completely stick to the bottom of the pan, the batter is nowhere near cooked, and now I have nothing but another big mess on my hand. By the time I finish cooking the batch, it looks more like scrambled eggs than sweet fluffy pancakes. Not only had I spent half of my morning cleaning up the messes I was making , but I now didn’t have time to unload my dishwasher, clean the burnt-on pancake pan, write and post on my blog, or make another breakfast. Looks like scrambled pancakes it is?

I can’t even tell you why tears started rolling out of my eyes and down my face, but they did and my perfect morning and day had been ruined by an awful batch of pancakes and a broken food processor.  I know I should be able to take mistakes in stride, but in all honesty, it is still something I struggle with everyday.  I strive to be perfect, even though I know there is no such thing.  My sweet husband is so kind to me even when I know I am acting insane.  He wipes my tears, gives me a kiss and reminds me it’s not a big deal.  I appreciate him more than he will ever know.

However, it was up to me to turn my day around.  I could either chalk up the whole day as a disaster at 7:30 am, or I could choose to keep going and remind myself that none of this really matters.  What matters is what I prayed about earlier: my husband, my dog, and my family and friends.  These are what makes life special and worth living for, not the goal of perfection.

Every day is a challenge and deep down, I appreciate those moments that are stressful and that I have to work through.  If life really was perfect, we would never need to learn how to handle mistakes and would not continue growing as people.  Everyone has their hang-ups in life, but what we can learn from our imperfections is even more important than the goal of being perfect.

 

Questions:

  • Do you ever have mornings like the one I mentioned in my story?
  • Do you make resolutions for your days?  How do you handle the disappointment of not meeting your goals?
  • How do you deal with a day when everything just seems to be going wrong?
  • Who is the person that comforts you and helps remind you that perfection does not exist?
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19 thoughts on “Perfection is Not My Reality

  1. oh my do I ever have days like this. talk about all the time! When i’m having a bad day and think it’s not going to get better I just take some deep breaths and remember it could be a lot worst. Sometimes I add another cup of coffee in there. When this stuff happens you just gotta think about a time when you rocked it and that this one time doesn’t define you! (: Hope you have a great day! Thank you for opening up!

  2. oh my – what a start to your morning!! I have a hard time with dealing with disappointment/mistakes … I have an awful tendency to let it continue to spiral for the rest of the day. I really need to work on that!! I try to remember things that I am grateful for – and/or things that are going well in my life. Sometimes I even make myself write them down so it’s in black and white!! Sometimes, I also make myself set smaller, easily attainable, goals for myself so that I can feel successful :) I hope that your days just goes up from here!!!

  3. I would’ve cried too. One day, I broke a bottle of vinegar right before I had to eat lunch and drive to work, and it definitely put a delay in my afternoon. I ended up having to scarf down lunch and hurry to work, and it put me in a bad mood. I need to get better at going with the flow too!

    • Hehe, the name of your blog is perfect for this post!
      Yeah. I think I would have cried, too.
      I used to be a perfectionist in high school (obsessive about everything… even arranging all my clothes by their color and length, counting calories, blah blah blah). Then I realized that I would always be a failure if I measure myself to some unattainable standard.
      Now, I try to go with the flow :)

    • Oh no! I can understand how annoying cleaning up a bottle of vinegar can be. I think the first step in improving on going with the flow is noticing how little things can set us off. That way, we can try and be prepared for any challenge that comes our way!

  4. You’re such a great writer Jana! I absolutely have my own moments like this, and exactly in those moments that I have to take a chill pill, a step back, and realize what truly DOES matter in life. I’m getting much better at it the longer I walk with the Lord, but it definitely helps to have Will there for encouragement.

    I hope the rest of your day was filled with smiles :D

    • Thanks Brittany, that means a lot coming from you! I totally agree with you, remembering what really does matter in life is so important during moments like this. Like you, the Lord and my man really help calm me and bring me back to reality! :)

  5. I have had mornings like this!! I am learning to just chill out and roll with the punches. The more I pray and ask God to help me to be a woman of grace, the easier times like these get. Hang in there girl… days like this are tough, but it sounds to me like you have a great hubby to help you during times like this!

  6. It always seems to be the small things that often make us feel defeated. If you see things not going smoothly, my mother always use to say
    “just do the next thing”!

  7. Yes, I absolutely can relate to days like these! It’s difficult to not let those moments and days to get the best of us at times, that’s for sure. My husband is always great at reminding me that every day doesn’t have to be perfect, and I certainly do not need to be perfect! He’s always my biggest encourager and fan. xoxo

  8. I know this is an older post, but BOY did I need to read this today! I definitely had a day like that TODAY and also found myself near tears… ah, the perfectionist complex. Smh. Thankfully, I took a few minutes to pray and realized the same – none of the little mistakes really matter. What matters are all the many things that I’m so thankful for – my faith in God, my wonderful fiancee and my family, who I’m so grateful for. =) Many thanks for posting… it really helped me today!

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