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.