I never thought I was perfectionist.
If you stopped me on the side of the sidewalk and asked me earnestly, Are you a perfectionist? I would give you a belly roaring laugh laced with mockery for such a question and reply with a resounding and over-confident NO. I mean, how can someone that hasn’t set up her voicemail on her phone that she purchased almost three weeks ago and stores her makeup in an oversized Ziploc bag be a perfectionist?? I scoff at such a possibility, such a notion.
But that has changed in four days.
I am headed home from a little beach getaway with my mom and my sister. I promised myself no being productive, no checking email with my phone serving as an extension of my right hand– even no writing. Just being still. You see, I am wretched at resting, it makes me nervous. But I have been sitting in the valley of writer’s block, with the mountain called “worn out” to my left and the even higher peak called “non-stop schedule” to my right. I have had no time to reflect; rather I have chosen to have no time to reflect. I am woman of the 21st century. You are a woman of the 21st century. We are super human. ROAR.
While I am thankful for the feminist movement on many levels—that we as women can vote. We can have an opinion. We can be doctors. Attorneys. Accountants. You name it—we most likely have the option to do it. But yet, we gloat too much, I think. We are the generation that is so liberated that our liberation has us worn down to the core. Making doctors appointments while getting our hair done, returning phone calls while making dinner, shopping online for Christmas gifts while in carpool, getting ready for work while packing lunches, getting our reading done while working out, and if we were to be honest we would schedule sex on our to do list if it wasn’t considered a bit bizarre. A thousand hats interchanging within half seconds. Our freedom propels us forward; by golly we can do it all, we need no one. We are in forward motion with no red lights only green lights flashing, go,go,go—there is more to be done, accomplished, balanced and conquered.
Or at least that is how I feel recently and perhaps I am singular in this sentiment and not typical. But as I sit and recall all the conversations with multiple female friends of various paths over the last week, I think not.
Maybe that is why as of late, I have nothing to give, to say, to write. I have been emotionally flat. The go-go of this generation’s fast paced life has zapped any carbonation that life would offer— everyday life has seemed all bland, no bubbles. I would think to write but nothing would come, just white noise. And God knows between the Kardashians and Jersey Shore there is enough gurgle-murmur-babble in this universe so there is need for me to post something senseless to add volume to the humdrum lull that beckons us to mediocre lives.
I promised myself when I started this blog I would not follow all the blog rules that the blog universe had set in motion:
- Write once a week or no one will read
- Put flashy titles or people will get bored
- Less than 300 words or people won’t read.
I determined that if I was to write I would write form the heart because words are only as good as the soul behind them; and when there is no flesh laid bare behind words …well, then they are nothing more than letters taking up cyberspace competing to fill our time and deflate our spirits. So all that to say, the last three weeks I have had nothing to say. Or at least I thought I had nothing to say.
But I am slowly realizing the culprit: I forgot how to be silent somewhere along the way. I bought into the lie that the faster the better. Silence is like the tulips you plant in the fall only to bloom in the spring, the fruits of being quiet can take time to blossom, to reveal the wonder that is being woven while one shuts out all the chaos takes time. Our society doesn’t value being hushed, soundless because there are no rapid results for stillness. We want fast, we want quick. We want weeds, not tulips. We don’t care what it is —even if it is ugly, we just want it to grow, to do something.
You know what this whole silence song and dance has taught me over the last four days?
It has taught me that I don’t need four days to reflect? I just need to slow down a little bit each day.
To be thankful, to realize I can’t do it all as a mother ,wife and friend. To reassess. To let go of certain relationships, to gravitate towards others. To recognize that we are all in his rat race and we don’t have to be. Why do you and I stay in this rat race of best house, best car, best kids, best clothes, best jobs?? And on and on and on it goes. Even if you and I win we are still rats. Have we stopped to ask God what He wants for our lives in every area? I haven’t lately. I’ve been too busy being busy. But I am these days, What is there to lose? We aren’t here long…life is a brief breath comprised of humdrum and glorious—wildflowers randomly blooming on an endless gravel drive.
What I am realizing is this: I am a perfectionist. I am that girl drinking ten glasses of scotch and water, saying, what alcohol problem?? You think perfectionism would’ve died off with my infertility issues , being married to an entrepreneur with an unpredictable schedule and income, and all of the other not- as -I -planned moments of my life, but it didn’t—it still breathes through me. I want it all now. I want to be the best mom. Best friend. Best wife. Best writer. Best. Best. Best. Best. And why? Maybe it gives me this false sense of worth. That if I can control those things, be good enough, then people will like me and…well, maybe my life will turn out the way I want.
Lies. Lies. And more lies.
As my friend Sibi says Satan takes our excellence and distorts it into perfection.
In essence, perfection is the pretty word for control issues. We all do it.
If we do this +this = our life will be what we want, as we plan.
Perfection is a leash tied to nothing but nothing, hot air at best. In essence we are walking around and around the same block with hands clinched to this leash. We feel we are in control because we are moving and we have a grip, but that’s all we have.
You see, silence and perfection are archenemies. Silence teaches you to listen to Jesus’ voice, to stop doing this or that just because everyone else is doing this or that. Silence teaches you that perfection is just loud noise meant to distract you from the symphony that is your life.
Life is lived most fully with hands held wide open. Receiving what only God can give you as you lay our head down to rest in the sweet pastures of surrender. You may not feel in control because the leash is gone. You may feel a tinge of fear, rather you will feel a tinge of fear because you are used to having something to hold onto.
But as a convalescing perfectionist who is learning to kind of like the silence, learning to find freedom in the fact that I cannot do it all, cannot be it all, learning to accept that life is not a race defined by what I got done today, I will tell you that it’s better to lay your life down–to live a full life a little scared than a small one thinking you are in control only to realize you have been walking in circles all your life.
And because pictures make us happy…whether they are related to the post or not!
I have posted this before, but I love this picture for many reasons. For one, I never EVER thought this is what my life would look like, but I would not trade all the tears and frustation for THIS.
our amazing friends david and nicole’s daughter, Ruby Love, and Roman. They are missionaries in Italy and I am loving havign them home for a bit to soak in their laughter….and wisdom. Ruby Love keeps Roman in order:)
we went on a little weekend trip to Dollywood ( which a whole other blog for a whole other day!!). All that to say, we could not find her and….
For a gal that grew up with one sister and Barbies, I sure have learned a lot about Avengers…and all things superhero-esque as of late!
my sister Jacquelyn and me at the beach
Because seth is obsessed with Harleys and cigars….thank God he chose to take a pic on the Harley and not the latter:)
my mom and sis at the beach….yes, I look like my Dad and they…well, you can decide.
thanks for reading….I know life is crazy for all of us. Take five minutes to turn the radio down and the silence up this week.