Friday, November 19, 2010

Perfection before acceptable...

Last night, I noticed just how badly I need a pedicure. Oh how I wish that were in the budget this week! I haven't freshened up the polish in weeks - some of the toes are missing polish completely. The nails are jagged and uneven. I have calluses on my big toes. Just not looking very pretty. The thought occurred to me that they are so bad that I'm not sure I could face the nice ladies at the salon with the epic foot fail I have going. I would feel compelled to give my self a mini-pedi before going.

That made me remember a conversation I had with a friend of mine the other day about getting a maid service to help out sometimes. We were talking about her specifically recovering from an injury, but the conversation meandered around new moms, couples who work too many hours, people who choose to spend their money on that and enjoy the time it frees for them ... She laughed about being too embarrassed about a cleaning service seeing how dirty her house was, and she would be compelled to clean it before they show up.

All of that got me thinking about a post I read recently by Single Dad Laughing about The Disease Called Perfection. If you haven't read any of SDL, or hadn't seen this blog post, read it - it is amazing. Go ahead and read it now, I can wait. I'm very patient. :)

Why is it so important to us to be perfect? I just don't understand! I am so far from perfect. I am overflowing with flaws - physical, emotional, mental ... I'm a hot mess. And I'm ok with admitting that to you. Would you be so quick to admit your flaws to me?

How many of you wake up in the morning, take a look in the mirror, and feel disappointed by what you see? Do you hate the person staring back at you? Is that person not what you expected you'd be? Let me ask you this .... do you have issues with yourself because you're not PERFECT or because you're less than what you HOPED you'd be? Is it physical? Or other things? Maybe you didn't go as far in college as you'd wanted to. Maybe you haven't found your perfect someone yet. Maybe you don't have children, and you wanted them. Maybe you've suffered some severe emotional trauma, and you aren't healing.

What would happen if tomorrow you looked into that same mirror and said, "You know, you're really not the total train wreck you think you are. In fact, you're looking gorgeous, and today, we're going to have a great day!!" Would the whole world fall apart? Would the universe be so out of sync that there would be earthquakes and tsunamis and no open check-outs at Wally-Mart? (Wait, scratch that last one.)

Even better - let's start building each other up. The next time you see a colleague at work, compliment their ability to do their job. Tell your best friend that you love their wardrobe choices. Compliment a stranger. And for the love of all that is good and wonderful, compliment your CHILDREN!!! I don't care how much you hate your son's mohawk or your daughter's pink streaks, tell them they are awesome! Make it easier for this next generation to feel better about themselves. Arm them with the tools they need to be confident and strong. Help them choose role models that are positive influences and that are actually contributing something to society. Steer them away from whatever over-wrought teen star is in the spotlight right now. Aiming for their status did nothing for us, even though I think at times we might forget that.

Let's be real, shall we? Do you really want to be the airbrushed, processed, botoxed, staged, well-lit, vaseline-on-camera-lens, version of perfect we see on tv and magazines? Is that what perfect really IS anyway? I think not. Neither is aligning our standards with people who have a team to do what you do. I don't have a nanny, cook, maid, personal trainer or chauffeur. My husband and I split up all of those duties and if somebody misses a meal or if there's a load of laundry left in the dyer or if somebody misses a scout meeting, there isn't anyone to fire - it is all on us.

I think tonight I'm going to give myself a decent pedicure, and I'm not even going to judge myself before I do it. I don't need to. I'm smart, funny, and the shirt I'm wearing today really brings out the gold flecks in my eyes.

And God made me, and I am way more than fluffy bunnies.

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