You Don’t Have to Be Perfect

Perfectionists. People who accept nothing less than perfection from themselves, no matter the cost. We all know them. I just didn’t realize that I was one – or at least I didn’t want to accept it.

I always considered myself to be motivated, not for bragging rights, but for myself. As a child, my parents never had to get onto me about doing my homework or studying, I would push myself to get it done. Thought a C is considered average, if I made below an A I would be upset – well no, if I made below a high A, I would be upset. Yet I wasn’t a perfectionist, I was motivated.

These standards followed me through high school and into college – though I will admit I am a bit of a procrastinator at times. In the counseling theories course I took last semester, we talked about how perfectionism is a distortion of thought because it is impossible to be perfect. I sat there and agreed, all the while having the thought distortion that I wasn’t a perfectionist.

But I am. I am motivated, but I’m also a perfectionist. I hold myself to such high standards and get immensely distraught if I don’t meet them; however, I’m not perfect and I’m not going to be excellent at everything, and if I think I have to be, I’m just going to distress myself further. I think what finally made me realize it was when I started setting specific goals for school, housework, and exercise in my planner and then I saw myself not meeting them. Sometimes it is due to being lazy and not feeling like doing whatever task I have before me. Sometimes, thought, it is due to me setting unrealistic expectations. I still set monthly, weekly, and daily goals, but I’ve had to adjust them. Now if I don’t meet a goal, I try to give myself grace and evaluate why I didn’t meet the goal: Did I schedule too much for one day and I just need to move the task to tomorrow? Or was the goal itself (like doing yoga everyday) unrealistic for the season I’m in or just unrealistic in general? Or was I just lazy? I try evaluate and I move on, and I often write little notes in my planner to remind myself that I am human and I need to give myself room to breathe.

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Why did I share this with you? Because I know that I’m not the only one who often holds myself to impossible standards. I also know that I can’t be the only one who is or ever has been in denial about it. Cut yourself some slack. Be motivated. Set goals. Have standards. Get things done. But don’t expect to be Superman or Wonder Woman. Give yourself some grace. You don’t have to be perfect.

Photo Credit: Michał Grosicki

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Husbands Are Human Too

My husband and I started dating in August of 2015. In the beginning, he was a flawless human. Then, as time moved forward, little quirks started popping up. All of a sudden he chewed his food and breathed too loudly. Other bumps in the road showed up, too. We had arguments, I got angry at him, he made me cry. What was wrong with us? What happened to the man who hung the moon? (Disclaimer: Getting married didn’t revert him back into that flawless human, either; he just became a human who chews and breathes too loudly, argues with me, and punches me in the face in his sleep.)

The man who had hung the moon is still there, but he is exactly that: a man. I don’t mean that in a “He’s a male so he’s detrimentally flawed” way.  I mean that he’s an imperfect, messy human being. Things got a lot easier when I realized that. Oh, he still gets on my nerves with the best of them, but it no longer bothers me that he does. We still argue and have our problems, but once I stopped holding him to an impossible standard, it all became easier to deal with. I realized that we’re going to annoy each other, we’re going to disagree with each other, and that’s okay. It’s okay because we have come to realize that the other person is not perfect, nor will they ever be. When he does something that gets on my nerves, I – most of the time – just get over it. When it’s something bigger than just getting on my nerves, we talk about it.

So, I still sing Hung the Moon to him. There aren’t words to describe how wonderful and amazing he is, flaws and all. My husband is imperfect, I am imperfect, our marriage is imperfect, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. We have to work hard, harder than I imagined, but the hard work is oh so rewarding, I promise.

Give your partner room to be imperfect and give them grace upon grace. Don’t ignore issues – conflict needs to be resolved – but don’t think that the ship is sinking because the sea isn’t perfectly calm all of the time. Let each other be human.

Until next time, lovelies.

 

Photo Credit: Cherish Bickel Photography