Today started out as any other Thursday, but as I type this I know that today actually turned out to be a pretty important Thursday in my life.
You know those days where you feel like you have to step away from the project you’re working on to take a breather? Up until today I haven’t really felt the need to leave what I’m working on and switch gears for a bit. It’s been pretty smooth sailing in my work-world so far, but today was different. Nothing went horribly wrong, no. But I feel that I had an awakening of the senses about what my goals are and where I’m headed and the perspective of life that I’m carrying along with me.
The other day at work I started working on a new project. It’s a pretty important project, actually. I won’t give too much away but it looks a little something like this….
When I got into work today, the perfectionist in me was so headstrong that I felt so overwhelmed with where my project was going. Certain aspects weren’t how I imagined them to be and it stressed me out big time. I know that my attention to detail can be killer sometimes and that I really need to work on letting things go. But because this is a pretty big project I wanted it to be perfect. An hour after I got to work I knew that today would be the day I left the shop during lunch to take that much needed breather.
Then a coworker told me what I keep telling myself all the time…”sometimes you just have to let things go.” It’s almost ironic that being a lover of handmade and DIY that I have such OCD perfectionist tendencies. If it’s not mass produced by a machine that means it’s made by a human….and as humans we are NOT perfect. Simple logic, I know. For some reason it’s taking forever to get through my head.
Anyway, that was lesson number 1 of the day. I truly need to start letting little things go. I am so hard on myself way too often and it translates to other aspects of my life outside of work.
My chain of thoughts from “nobody’s perfect” continued to “stop comparing yourself to other people.” I immediately thought of all the things in my life that I (way too often) find myself comparing to others…my body, my home, my fashion choices, my goals, the list goes on.
But comparing myself to other people is one of the worst things I can do for myself. It’s truly awful how habitual we have become as a people in comparing each other. Social media and a world of “filters” makes us think that the lives our friends lead are pristine, when in reality their lives are just as convoluted and confusing and stressful and messy as ours.
The perfectionist in me is in a constant battle with the laziness in me to fix this corner. It’s become the “catch all” for random crap on the table that we never use, the chest freezer that takes up way too much space, and there’s all the wall art that I have yet to hang since we’ve moved in.
My chain of thought after “nobody’s perfect” was “I am completely okay with my life and where it’s going.” It really hit me that it’s OKAY that I haven’t turned this corner into the cozy coffee/reading nook that I want to yet because I’m too much of a cheapskate to go buy a cozy chair and too lazy to take apart the table because we never use it.
It’s OKAY that sometimes I come home from work and DON’T do yoga or make a real dinner but instead eat stale girl scout cookies and gelato while drinking a Corona. (Ahem….that doesn’t happen frequently, I promise).
All of this went through my mind and I reached the understanding and peace that I’m not perfect & that perfection will never be attained. It’s all relative anyway…what’s perfect to you is a horrible disaster in someone else’s eyes.
My second lesson of the day came when my boss called a staff meeting and we listened to him tearfully tell us that a coworker (who has been out of work since before I got hired) has been given days to live because of his cancer. I have never met this man, but to know that he has been so influential to so many people makes me wish I had. I absolutely needed that lunch-break breather at this point!
Here’s my point. None of the things we worry about and compare ourselves to and stress over….none of it matters. I often become anxious when I realize that I have no future goals or aspirations that I feel would make my life complete once I achieve. But it hit me after I heard that heartbreaking news that literally none of it matters.
I am absolutely 100% content with living my life with no “finish line.” That’s how it should be…we should always be learning and living and taking adventures, saying what’s on our mind and being real with ourselves and everyone else. Certainly I have short term goals such as becoming healthier, maintaining a healthy marriage, friendships, and eventually raising a happy family. But when it comes to the bigger picture it’s SO incredibly important for us to stay grounded in the thought that the little tiny details just don’t matter.
When will I turn that cluttered messy corner into a cozy coffee nook? I have no freakin’ clue and I don’t even care. It’ll happen when I get the fire under my butt to find a thrifted chair, but until then…I’m just going with the flow. Life is so so so short and it’s way too short to be competing for the cutest apartment or best outfit or whatever we concern ourselves with anymore.
I look forward to focusing on letting those little things roll of my shoulders and not weigh me down anymore. I strongly encourage you to do the same. That being said, go open that bottle of wine you’ve been staring at but tell yourself you shouldn’t drink and eat those Cheetos because they’re soo delicious. Meanwhile I’m going to drink a glass of wine myself and not even stress over the fact that I rambled quite a bit through this post…but hey, nobody’s perfect.