Wednesday, August 31, 2011

For the Days that Aren't So Spectacular

Today I'm thinking about a certain yawning chasm.

It's the chasm between my ideals and my real, actual life.

I know that sounds depressing. But it's just that there are days when, by two o'clock, I start thinking I'm about to break out in hives, and it's because of what's there [the steady drip, drip, drip of reminders I give my children to DO this or NOT DO that, when they really SHOULD remember on their own, and they really SHOULD have the daily routine down to a beautifully timed Rube-Goldberg machine] and also what's not there [some magical feeling that we are accomplishing great things, that my life sparkles with interest and achievement]. 

Let's call it the "should" gap. It creeps in and grabs the reins until I lose all perspective. I used to think, in those moments, that what I really needed was a very stimulating or very relaxing vacation. Now I know that's not the answer, because once I climbed down from that mountain or out of that hammock ... I'd still be the same person.

And the problem isn't circumstantial, really. It's all inside. In the perfectionistic self that can't embrace the flawed beauty of what IS instead of what SHOULD BE. In the proud self that tells God, "You gave this particular problem to the wrong person. I'm just not up for the job."

Lying down to rest this afternoon, I read this post from someone who has those moments as well.

Then a friend kindly sent me a Facebook photo of one of the messiest rooms of her house, a room that is in the process of being remodeled.

And I remembered ... we are all toddling through this remodeling journey together. We are all that messy room. The clutter of perfectionism, of disappointment, of unreasonable expectations, of misplaced hopes ... it all has to go. Sometimes, the room looks worse before it gets better, right?

But the best way I know to de-clutter is to give thanks. To thank Him for the beautiful and praise Him for the ugly-beautiful, even if it's in a whisper.

P.S. Guess why I'm writing this post? Because I wasn't up for it. I couldn't do it perfectly or eloquently. The right words weren't jumping out of my head onto the screen. But sometimes, you just have to take perfectionism in a smackdown. And, as Ann says, do the thing in front of you.


KTG said...

I am going to thank God right now for my bedroom and just let go that this room seems to never be void of laundry piles.

Kathy Cooley said...

For me the most important word in this post is PROCESS. The messy room was in the process of being remodeled. We often don't appreciate the process; the messy work IS the work. When the work is over, you have the product.

In the process is the beauty, the miracle, the creative energy. Look at it, enjoy it; don't despise it. The struggles, the difficulties, the kids failing and regretting, it's all part of learning and growing. Oh yeah, we're in a process too. God must look at us some days and think, "What a mess...but she's getting there"

Little by little day by day to grow more and more into Him. (From one of my favorite NYCYPCD albums - Higher Ground entitled "Today's Supply of Grace"

Kathy Cooley said...

This link will allow you to download the song "Today's Supply of Grace."

This link is for ordering the album. Or you can just email us and we'll send you one.

Hannah said...

Thank you, Kathy!

cjoy said...

Having moved 12 days ago maybe I ought to send you pictures of every room in my house. . . and then tell you that the table of crafty things is what I aspire to. (And I'm not sure why I have dressers in this house b/c laundry baskets work SO well. . .)


"...we are all toddling through this remodeling journey together...." Thanks, Hannah. I needed to be reminded of that today.

Julie said...

We'll it PERFECTLY stated how I've been feeling TODAY..and just lately in general. It helps so much to know I'm not the only one!

Jennifer said...

So well put! Thanks for the reminder to give thanks for the process and the journey :)

Toes in the Water by Carolyn said...

This is a quotable - "But sometimes, you just have to take perfectionism in a smackdown. And, as Ann says, do the thing in front of you." I'd like to post this, hang it on my mirror and repeat it several times a day!