Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I refuse to bow to the pressure... sort of. Maybe. (Or at least I'll try...)

I think people put too much pressure on themselves, in general. We all try to be perfect moms, perfect wives, perfect businesswomen... We want to have it all, do it all, and we want to do it all well. And though we all know we should give ourselves a little bit of slack, we still tend to feel guilty that we can't. Or don't.

Maybe because I have a strong practical streak -- or more likely a lazy streak -- or the fact that Counselor Shelley is only a phone call away, I tend to approach things with the knowledge that it won't be perfect and that not-perfect is perfectly okay.

Unfortunately, that means I've set the bar lower and feel even worse when I still manage to fall short... Sigh.

I got the Christmas cards done and thought I'd save myself a stamp or two by taking the family cards to the family Christmas party on the 17th and give them out there. Guess what I found when I finally cleaned out the bag I took with me? Yep, the Christmas cards. I handed out presents and totally forgot about the cards. And because I was too lazy to put everything away when I got home that night, I didn't even find the cards until it was too late to mail them in time for Christmas.

I hosted a nice Christmas party -- carefully planning food and drinks -- only to find something I meant to serve in the fridge today. (And I had to put my office off-limits because I didn't get it cleaned before the party.)

I never did get around to making candies with AC -- once it became clear that we wouldn't be leaving goodies out for Santa this year, getting the goodies made kind of fell by the wayside.

There were other small things that didn't get done or didn't happen the way I wanted them to, but we still had a good holiday. I should be pleased and happy with that. But I can't shake the guilt that comes from knowing that even with my expectations kept low, I still failed to meet them. Some days it seems like I just suck at this whole thing.

But today I decided that that's just me. The way I am. Add it to my list of strange hang-ups and neuroses. I suck at some stuff. At least I realize that I excel at others -- or at least land in the top quarter percentile. Hey, I even made gluwine this year -- without a recipe! -- and it turned out more awesome than I hoped.

We don't have to be perfect at everything -- or anything, for that matter. We just have to try. Points are given for effort, and all good intentions count. I got a lot of awesome presents for Christmas this year, but this is the one I gave myself. The gift of acceptance. I do the best I can, with what I've got. I'm not setting the bar lower; I'm being realistic. And the true reality is that we all can't vault over that bar every time.

Now, if you all will just remind me of this around next November, I'd greatly appreciate it. It will make my holidays a lot less stressful... ~grin~



Maven Linda said...

I have to admit, we have an almost-family-tradition of forgetting to get SOMETHING out of the refrigerator. Usually it's the cranberry sauce. But we've also forgotten cole slaw, banana pudding, and various other things. Considering the stress level of the holidays, I think people are lucky to get food, period.

Angel said...

Yep, I've done that before myself. Had a committee meeting here where my only responsibility was to provide cheese and ham to go with the bagels. Wasn't until everyone left that I opened the fridge to find the entire platter still sitting in the fridge.

I try to lower my "perfectionism" level each year, but it doesn't work very well for me. I always end up piling too much stuff onto my plate. And feeling bad when I don't do it all. Leaving myself totally overwhelmed after the holidays.

So yesterday I gave myself the entire morning off to relax -- and fell asleep on the couch for several hours. So nice!

catslady said...

lol my daughter remembered the cranberry sauce that I left in the fridge this year because she had gotten something else out.

A friend told me she not only forgot to make a salad (which she always served) but forgot to even buy the ingredients for one lol.

Last year I didn't get to cleaning all the clutter out of my very small kitchen and darn if a comment wasn't made from my uncle's livein girlfriend of 27 years. (she who has two separate kitchens in a huge house). So maybe that's why we're hard on ourselves sometimes (sigh).

Katherine Bone said...

I have a habit of forgeting where I put a gift every year. This year it was my SIL's AL hat. Grrrr!