“Don’t let PERFECT be the enemy of GOOD.”
I say it all the time, so often that my husband rolls his eyes and my children will one day say it…wishing they didn’t sound so much like their mother. At 37 yrs old, I feel more seasoned than I “should”; I often marvel at the many lives I have lived in such a short time. When Mark and I first began dating, he often commented that I had seemingly done all the things, worked all the jobs, and lived all the moments. I had not and I have not. I have, however, been present in all the moments I have lived. That was a choice.
I can’t point my finger at any one event or moment where the change happened, where I gave up being perfect.
I wasn’t always like this. It happened early for me, though. Maybe my early twenties? I just let go of perfection and embraced the dirty raw truth that this life was gonna be a messy one. I was never good at perfect anyways, and the pursuit had landed me in quite the situation. Miserable and unhealthy, it was a dark place. I was lonely and sad. The thing about perfect is that there is one tiny mark, a bulls-eye, that you are trying to hit. Opportunity for success is slim. Opportunity for failure abounds. I was tired of failing.
When it comes to your health, you’re never going to be perfect.
But neither am I. Even if a perfect diet exists, a perfect workout regimen, a perfect body, a perfect meditation practice, a perfect balance of saying Yes and No…. we are human. And we are not perfect. The pursuit of perfection will ultimately crush you. And this same pursuit will blind you from all you are doing that is good. Small (good) changes that are becoming habits are improving your mental and physical health incrementally, day by day. The better snack, the stretching session while you watch a show, the one solid workout a week with a coach, the committee you said “no” to because it’s dinner time with your kids, and the decision to turn into the hiking place instead of driving past- none of these are big, or perfect. All of them are good.
When you set aside perfect, you release yourself to love all the good that is going on around you. You are free to love the messy moments as they unfold, to be IN them, and that is when you hit the bulls-eye.