I would hope that through our time together thus far that you have learned that more often than not, I am a HOT MESS! Like truly. I have never been the girl that has her act fully together, although I truly like to think that I do. I am the girl who unknowingly has chocolate frosting smeared down her shirt or shiny McDonald’s hash brown lips. I would say the best way to characterize someone that is a hot mess would be someone who is going through every day life being awkward without even realizing it. I am the epitome of a hot mess.
Case in point, I took down my Christmas tree THIS WEEK. Yes, it was still up. Yes, I am fully aware that it is February. And if I’m being honest, really the only reason I took it down is because my mom is visiting and she came for Christmas 2 months ago and I could not bare the laughter that would ensue had my Christmas tree remained in the corner of my living room through the duration of BOTH of her stays. No no, it had to come down.
The ridicule that comes from being a hot mess is silent. It’s silent because no one (*cough other than me*) publicizes that they are, in fact, a hot mess. No one else would tell people that they wake up at 2am, can’t get back to sleep so they stand with the refrigerator door open eating cold risotto from the dish. These aren’t the things we see when we are scrolling through our instagram feed. Nope. No way. Instead we see the perfectly crafted and photographed day-before picture of plated risotto goodness. Not the walk-of-shame version of our favorite foods which do, in fact, taste so much better cold straight from the pan at 2 in the morning.
So here’s the point I’m getting at. I enjoy hot mess stories more than I enjoy the posed stories. I appreciate the “I rubbed a candle on my wrist because I ran out of perfume” stories. I relate to the “I used a sharpie as eyeliner today” stories. Why? Because my first reaction to these stories is OH THANK GOD I’M NOT ALONE! Perfectionism is overrated. I used to strive for perfectionism but now I realize… it’s just not gunna happen. I am still and will likely forever be the girl with a stain on her shirt and I’m proud to know who I am.
Anytime I have gotten sick in the last 5 years it has been a direct result of me pushing myself at an unsustainable pace. It’s my bodies way of say “hey, we can’t keep this up.” I then spend the time of recovery evaluating what needs to change to keep the sick, run, sick, run cycle from repeating itself. This is exactly where I have found myself this week. Laying on the couch, blowing my nose, popping Advil and evaluating my pace of life.
It’s interesting because usually I can tell when I need to slow down and pull back. I can tell because I feel tired all the time and nothing is rejuvenating. But this time it crept up on me. I even did my due diligence and went to the doctor within less than 24 hours of the first sign of a sore throat. Alas, after multiple tests I got the wonderful news that a virus was camping out in my nasal passages and I needed to “rest and wait it out.” Awesome. I totally have time to do that. (*sarcasm*) But in all honesty it’s always good for me to see that life can go on without me. It knocks my self-importance down a couple notches. Sure, my house is a WRECK and I’m basically dreading next week. But in the grand scheme of things, it small potatoes (as my dad always says).
I think this is a big part of letting go of being a perfectionist. Realizing that my abilities are not a means to an end. My house will be clean again, other people will cover basic tasks. It’s ok to not make a big deal out of small things. It’s even better to recognize the difference between big and small things. I think that’s a big part of recovery as well… knowing when something can fall through the cracks and it be ok.
It helps tremendously that I have a super laid back husband that is always urging me to evaluate “what is the worst that could happen?” What is the worst thing that could happen if all the water bottle labels aren’t facing the same direction? What if the house doesn’t get vacuumed every X amount of days? Learning to let these things go is healthy. Learning not to obsess about the small things will help me in the long run.
I think perfectionists do have their place. I think having a keen eye for detail is different than obsessing over things being perfect. That’s the difference. I know that I am taking perfectionism too far if details become more important than people. I should always be more aware of those around me than the piece of trash sitting in the corner of the room. I’m not saying I won’t pick up that piece of trash, I’m just saying that I shouldn’t stop a conversation in order to pick up that piece of trash. Does that make sense?
Anyway, I’m rambling. It’s a cold medicine type of ramble and for that I apologize. The moral of this story, I need to slow down in lots of ways. I need to not wear myself down so much that my immune system laughs at me. I need to slow down and be intentional about relationships rather than accomplishing tasks. I’ll get there. It’s a process.