Friday, December 19, 2014

Overcoming Perfectionism

A few days ago I woke up in the middle of a rainstorm after a nap. The room was dark and my babies were beside me snuggled under our quilts. I laid there, I had woke before the two of them. I had probably just had a cat nap since I am not use to naps anymore. I breathed the room in slowly. We had the diffuser misting with essential oil and the sound of that mixed with the drizzling rain made me want to snuggle into the bed even more. I thought to myself, "you know, life isn't perfect but it can get pretty close in some moments."

I taste the moments that feel like perfection and I often strive to make that a constant reality. Which it can never be. I am a dreamer and planner and visionary. This can result in a lot of expectations which I don't even realize I have had until my world crumbles when things are not going like I had hoped. I think my need for perfection is rooted in my artist mind. I see beautiful pictures, not even my own but others that capture the beauty of their days and I know that life often can overtake a person with it's beauty. But it is also so hard at times.

Recently I have been posting pictures on my instagram of the bulldozing going on next to our apartment complex. I have been so sad about it. I told Andrew today that I know that in a big city expansion is going to happen. It is just sad to see it happen right next to us, when it was so wild and lovely and filled with life. Even more so they are building a preschool and after school program there, and they didn't leave a tree. After reading more of The Last Child in the Woods, and being outside with my girls, it often makes me sad that so many children have such little access to the wild and nature. And then here is a beautiful plot of land and instead of building creatively to give the children a nice play area, it is flattened to the ground, paved, and plastic slides are put in. Once again I am dreaming of a world that stays forever but also moves forward.

After thinking some about the field and the construction, I have decided to not focus on the negativity beside me and look to the back of our complex, which still has woods and a creek. Perfectionism often results in disappointment, but thankfulness results in not only a happy heart but it helps me to see where the value of my life lies. By seeing the woods completely flattened, I have come to value the creek and woods behind us even more. One day we may have our own land, but for now we live in the suburbs in an apartment complex and we are lucky enough to have this behind us.

Tonight as Andrew was working the girls and I decided to go on a little walk. Rosemary had skipped her morning nap and then took a nice and long afternoon nap. By the time she woke up I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to take the girls out in traffic to a park and hope Blanche didn't fall asleep in the car. Today I knew we should go to the creek in thankfulness. I asked Blanche if she wanted to bring a basket and collect interesting things. Along our way we picked up sticks and acorns and leaves. Blanche road her bike down through our complex until we got to the back part with the woods and creek. I wore Rosemary on my back and we all tried crossing the creek on the tops of the three large rocks that cross it. I was so focused on keeping my own balance and making sure to still have Blanche's hand, that when I looked back at Blanche following me, her first little foot was just standing in the water. We got through to the other side, and Blanche began to cry. I asked her to use her words. I asked her if she was frusterated that her shoes and socks were wet. I told her thats why we have to stay on the rocks and that I would wash them once we were home. She stopped crying and began throwing rocks in and crossing the creek back and forth. I didn't mind that her shoes and socks were getting wet. I figured even though it was cold, it was still about 50 degrees and ten minutes of getting her feet wet might do her more good than harm.

We hurried back to the house, and I made plans in my mind that we would all hop in a warm bath before dinner. With this apartment one of my favorite things has been taking short walks in the woods on cloudy and cold days and coming into a warm home. Actually we took a really dusty and hot walk one summer day as well, and it was equally as refreshing coming back into the house with both girls passed out on us, laying them on the bed, and then Andrew and I guzzling water. I guess my favorite thing about this house is our short little walks that we can take in the woods. I have found that to be one refreshing thing about apartment living, each place has something special. At our old place I came to love and really miss watching the rain storms roll in and pour down from our second floor patio. We had big glass doors that you could see out from the entire kitchen and living room because our place was just that small.

After the girls and I were back inside and had taken our warm bath, I made them dinner while they were in their pjs. I was rushing around, making lots of little and unimportant things. I had chicken nuggets going in the oven for the girls, broccoli on the stove, my leftover stir fry in the microwave. Blanche had pulled out applesauce and wanted juice too. We settled on just the applesauce and a few pieces of cheese with crackers as an appetizer. All this was happening as I tried to keep Rosemary out of the way while flipping their chicken nuggets. Rosemary was doing her usual balancing act of standing upright on two feet and hanging desperately to my legs as if I was the only thing that could bring her balance and life. She cried out, I sighed. Blanche asked what I was doing. I told her I was doing 12,000 things with both of them at my feet. She answered, "Yes but you are doing a very important job." She is becoming the age where she is always talking, and at one point in the day, she hits the nail directly on the head.

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