A new year is quickly approaching. For me, it will be my 49th. And, for the record, 49 doesn’t look anything like I thought it would. I had the picture of a happy marriage and everything perfect with the kids. A nice house, maybe a pool, a good job and a growing retirement account. I would have had several things accomplished; a book written, Spanish and/or Portuguese mastered, lots of traveling done and almost perfect contentment.
It’s no surprise, I suppose, that life has been messy and I haven’t accomplished all that I imagined in my head. I’m in a dysfunctional family dynamic, a job that has me 3 hours away from where I want to be and a retirement account that’s almost worthless, a house in need of repairs, a truck with all the padding gone from where I sit and no book, no Spanish and not much traveling.
What’s the story? What’s the reason for all of this? I honestly don’t know. I’ve prayed and prayed but God isn’t answering what I am asking for. It’s caused my prayer life to be all over the place…specific prayers, broad prayers, no prayers. I can assure you the Holy Spirit is doing lots of groaning.
I wanted things to be perfect. My life is far from it. I’m coming to understand my perfectionism is a big part of my problem. I expect to do things perfect. That means having a high dollar job close to my kids instead of an average dollar job 3 hours away. It’s good but it’s not perfect. I’m good but I’m not perfect either. The trouble is, I’m not satisfied with that. Good isn’t good enough. Perfect is acceptable. I told someone today that doing what I’ve got to do to get by and provide for my kids isn’t noble, isn’t special…it just is what it is. Yet, I’m reminded today that many people don’t do that much. My perfectionism drives me to do more thank just be acceptable, I’ve got to be extraordinary. ALL THE TIME. Every minute, every second of every day.
I’m starting to see how my desire to be perfect has me losing what I really want for myself; to be at peace and contented with myself. It’s a double edge sword.
As I start my 49th year today, I hope I learn to let go of being perfect and to just be. To be aware of what is happening around me, in me and through me in this moment and to be at peace with that, whatever it is.
Grace and peace.