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.