Thursday, 13 October 2011

Embracing my imperfections

A few nights ago at dinner, Deaglan said, “Thanks for the delicious lunch Mommy (he refers to every meal as lunch), you are getting to be a good cook just like Daddy!”

I looked over at Shaune and winked.

I’d heated up some of Captain Highliner’s breaded cod fillets, frozen peas, corn and oven baked some French fries. Lately it’s what meals I’m responsible for look like. And today at the gym, I lasted 30 minutes on the treadmill when winded I gave up and hit the showers.

I’ve been thinking about the rhythm of my days, about how unless I’m performing at some unrealistically high echelon, I never quite feel good enough. But the reality is that those high performance days are very few and far between. Most of the time I’m moving along the best I can at a low to mediocre level, doing okay in some areas, coming close to failing in others.

I‘d never considered that I might have some perfectionist tendencies. That I could only pat myself on the back when I measured up to these imaginary benchmarks I’d set. No wonder I walk around all day feeling like I need something more, that happiness is just out of my reach.

I do understand that this is the human condition; I get that most of us operate from this model. Brené Brown in her book The Gifts of Imperfection talks about wholehearted living:

It means cultivating courage, compassion, and connection to wake up in the morning and think, No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough. It’s going to bed at night thinking, Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.

I discovered her work several months ago through my beautiful bloggy friend Gerri who posted this Ted talk. And because the universe was trying to get my attention, a few months later when I asked another of my blog buddies who happens to be a psychologist for a book recommendation that addressed shame, she pointed me to the same Ted talk and Brown’s books.

When you need to learn some of LIFE's lessons, it's amazing the lengths to which IT will go to make sure you do.


  1. You are an inspiring person to me as well as many others. It just adds to your humility factor that you don't see it.

    (I also have those perfectionistic tendencies, too. When I do, my hubby makes me list all that I accomplished in a day, week, and month. Then I feel a little better.)

  2. Nobody can have those days one after another after another. We're not super-humans as much as we try to be!

  3. It's so hard to balance, especially all the time. Life just gets in the way.

  4. I agree that sometimes it is just too hard to find the balance...

  5. Kim, thank you for sharing that quote. I need to hang it somewhere in my house to see it. I have been having many of those same feelings. I have been trying to do it all, and feeling incomplete and frustrated often. I just have to let it be.

    Thanks my friend for this post. Hugs...

    Beautiful photo too!

  6. This post could not have come at a better time for me. Just yesterday I was feeling like a failure for not measuring up to my own self imposed idea of what I was supposed to accomplish. Thanks for this Kim! I really, really needed to read this:)

    Now, will you make me some lunch? ;)

  7. I really want to look into Brene Brown's book because I think that it would help me enormously. I also feel at odds with myself when I don't do everything perfectly...I must realize that it's okay. And yet I'm 35 and haven't come to that conclusion yet....

  8. It's really true, perfection is such a trap. I suspect it's true for many bloggers, in our efforts to perfectly capture our lives and our selves here online.

  9. I also do that. I have a tendency to compare my worst to everyone's best. I'm working on changing that, but it's a slow process.

    And I loved that quote. I want my children to know that too.

  10. I've slowly been realizing how much perfectionism is hurting my contentment. It's very paralyzing and I want to let it go. I'm slowly learning to forget about perfect.

  11. What an important message. I am very aware of my imperfections and do try very hard to embrace them as much as I can. But, I need reminders, especially on difficult days. Thanks for this :)

  12. Kim, I'm so, SO glad you found Brené so inspiring too! Studying her work has really changed my point of view on many relational things, beginning with how I relate to ME. :) Blessings on your quest in excepting you as YOU and finding peace with the pace that life throws our way.
    By the way, Noah would LOVE the meals you cook!!!

  13. It's like a curse...I so feel like this sometimes that I'm just ok at bunches of things but not awesome. It's definitely hard to get over this feeling! Thanks for posting this!

  14. It's a terrible thing with the urge to do everything perfect, because people expect you to do it or I expect it from myself. My little boy actually has taught me to step back and let it go. But sometimes I need a reminder, like this post. ;-)


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