Even worse than all the sorrys to others, there's the constant sorry-ing going on between me and me. Sorry you can't do that, Jolie. Sorry there's no time to write or workout with any satisfying regularity. Sorry you have dirty hair. Sorry that stuff on your To Do list will have to wait until maybe never. Sorry you can't nurture more friendships, find your keys, find your coffee, sleep in ever again, finish that article, get to the bottom of your inbox, watch The Crown. Last week I heard myself say "Sorry I'm still in my sweatpants!" to a random neighbor, and realized I needed to check myself.
We all somehow make it work--we have to. Hell, I've been making it work, but it's often not without a good amount of friction. Bottom line? I want a smoother ride. "Perfectionism is a luxury," says my best friend Nicole, mother of two. And holy shit, I finally get it. I mean, yes let's have some standards but more importantly, lets be kinder to ourselves. That has to trump (sorry) the enormous self-imposed pressure we're all exercising. Not to mention the comparing-ourselves-to-other-moms thing (momparing?). The whole Supermom/Superwoman thing is for the birds. I'd venture to guess most of us already *know* this stuff, it's just a matter of finally choosing it deliberately on a daily basis and not just stumbling into that healthier mindset every now and then. So, care to join forces and make peace with where you are? You can adopt my new motto::
Is this easy if you are a Recovering Perfectionist? Hell, no. Not in the beginning. It takes work to make peace with wrinkles and a flabby ass and setting down your phone and being with your kid. It takes work to leave a stack of stuff on your desk. And if you're already feeling vulnerable, it takes work to not apologize to a neighbor for wearing saggy sweatpants. It feels like ease would be easy, but if you're accustomed to making it hard then it will feel weird at first. It takes practice but if we keep at it, the momentum will kick in. The ease is there, patiently waiting for us to choose it.
There is magic all around us if we can soften even just the tiniest bit to let it in. And here's the biggest kicker of it all: you don't even have to finish your To Do list. The kitchen floor can still be laden with crumbs. You can text that person back later. Make sweatpants your uniform if it feels good. Turn off the awful news. Order in dinner. Or do the exact opposite of all of the above if it feels good. Follow the good feelings. Force yourself to look at what's working, what's thriving. Because so much is.
One of the things that has reluctantly fallen by the wayside in my life has been Joeycake. So. In the spirit of Good Enough surrender, messy imperfection, self-love, and making space for any and all tiny seeds of creativity, I'm pledging to show up here more, even if it's with ten measly words and a few blurry photos. There might be food, there might not. Maybe just a couple pictures of my kid or a hackneyed photo of a Hollywood sunset. Or a knock-knock joke. Or a story about a bad audition. Because this is just kinda what it is these days. I must concede that I don't see it changing anytime soon. I don't know anyone whose life is like a placid lake. The waves keep rolling in. And instead of bracing for, counting, dreading the swells, we've got to get some surfboards. So this is me, paddling out. Probably in my sweatpants. Care to join me?
I've missed you.
Awesome articles adjacent to this topic:
Don't Carpe Diem
You Are Not for Everyone and That's Okay
Collective Pep Talk
Magical Fairy Dust
Elixir from Heaven
P.P.S. Louis is two and hilarious and huge: