Perfectionism is a choice

IMG_1566If perfection is unattainable, why do we keep striving for it?

Nothing will ever be perfect. The sooner you and I realize this simple truth, the sooner you and I can enjoy our beautiful, yet messy, lives.

Social media is filled with “inspirational” quotes and pictures about how no one is perfect. Thank you, Captain Obvious, this is not news.

Or is it?

Our obsession with warning others about the trap of perfectionism is an indication that many of our friends and family really believe it’s an obtainable goal.

And this is coming from a girl who knows its a trap and frequently makes the insane choice to walk right in it….

Notice, though, what I said: I know it’s a trap and I choose to step in it.

It’s time to get honest.

We all know that perfection is unobtainable, but continue to chase after it.

Maybe what we need is for our friends and family to say, “Stop it!” instead of hearing another inspirational message about embracing the messiness of life.

So, my sweet friends, I think it’s time for us to make a few changes. In order to do that, though, we’ll need to acknowledge the facts:

  1. You will never be perfect.
  2. Life can be hard and unfair.

Now, let’s look at those facts from the gospel’s perspective:

  1. Perfection was never an option. If we could be perfect, we wouldn’t need a Savior. Jesus lived the perfect life and then gave us all the wonderful benefits that go along with it.
  2. Even though life is not fair, we have God’s promises on our side. Everything–both fair and unfair–must work together for our good. Those are some great odds when faced with a challenge.

If you struggle with perfectionism, know that I understand your struggle because it’s my own.

My only request is that you be proactive in your efforts to avoid the trap. In the end, it’s your responsibility to make the necessary changes.


A Sunday Challenge

Do hard things. 

I know it’s not fun or easy, but doing hard things builds muscle. 

You know from earlier posts that I’m not a big fan of vulnerability. 

It’s a scary $5 word that means allowing yourself to show others your true thoughts and feelings–not the “No, really I’m fine” when things get tough. 

To use one of my step mom’s favorite quotes, “It’s like wearing your socks in the shower.”

Being vulnerable will not–I repeat–will not always be comfortable. 

I’m not talking about the no boundaries kind of life either because people who embrace vulnerability have well defined boundaries. 

I learned that from Dr. Brene Brown, a leading researcher and author on vulnerability. We talked about her book Rising Strong awhile back. 

So, this week I encourage you to do hard things. 

Be willing to embrace vulnerability. 

Write back and tell me how it goes. I’ll do the same, okay? 

Next Sunday we’ll talk about this subject again. 

The confusion of neutrality

I was asked to share my thoughts on gender neutrality, so here I go.

If Bob identifies as Sally, it’s wrong to not allow Sally into the ladies room. It’s also wrong to not call him a her.

The confusion and tension around these issues is palpable.

Universities now have whole departments dedicated to educating students on gender diversity. The University of Tennessee’s department made headlines for encouraging the use of gender neutral pronouns.

This year at registration, Harvard asked students to give their names and the pronouns they want to be identified by. This is to aid professors and create inclusivity in the classroom. Students at the University of Vermont have the same options.

You can even be considered “genderqueer” which is a term that indicates you fluctuate between masculinity and femininity.

Online dating sites and Facebook allows users to customize their genders. There are over 50 options to choose from.

Yes, many feel that gender is not limited or confined to sex. Gender is a continuum and each individual falls somewhere within the spectrum.

Parents are joining the war for gender neutrality by asking Target to remove gender signage. Little Jimmy wants to play with Barbies and Little Susie wants to play with Nerf guns.

I did a lot of reading for today’s post. My brain is about to explode….

I find it hard enough to be a heterosexual female in today’s world and if you read yesterday’s post, you know that it’s an even bigger challenge to still be a virgin.

Now I have to ask my friends for their name and preferred pronoun.

I could think John Doe is a cute guy one day and the next day he’s wearing a skirt.

There are no absolutes anymore.

All of these changes are supposed to make life easier for everyone, so why does it get more confusing by the day?

Gender is a subject that can never be made neutral–no matter how many pronouns we add.

For your consideration:

Kiss the Fish!

  Side note: I haven’t forgotten about the Note to Self series. It just needs a little more attention than I’ve had to dedicate to the topic over the course of Memorial Day weekend. Bear with me, okay? 

I want to throw a quick thought out for your consideration. 

What is one thing you’re afraid of trying? 

Others have told you to give it a go. The passion to work hard on this activity, project, etc. is there. You just can’t do it. Or even worse: You won’t try it. 

Let me give you an example. 

This past weekend I was fishing with friends. My first fish was caught on their pier, which I soon found out involved a tradition. 

They wanted me to kiss the fish…

My answer was a hearty no. I don’t kiss frogs or fish or any other animal. 

My friends begged me and I continued to refuse. The moment passed and we all moved on.  

Later that afternoon, I felt really bad for not playing along.

  What harm could come from kissing a fish?
 I missed an opportunity to joke around with my friends and share a fun moment. 

Sure, that situation is not a big deal, but how many chances zoom by because I won’t be brave in the little things?

 Being the resident stick in the mud is the best way to miss out on life.  

A small act can lead to big things. And in my case? Maybe a bigger fish. Who knows?

The Problem With Might Nots

Next weekend I am moving up to the Washington State area to live closer to my dad and family up that way. These last several months have been rather surreal because it’s hard to believe that this move is actually happening.

Now it’s here and I’m so excited! There are still a lot of variables, but I’ve done all the research that I possibly can.

All that’s left is to move.

Our lives are in a constant state of transition. Learning and growing, opportunities arising, new horizons to be explored—these are normal, commonplace occurrences—are at least they should be.

Maybe you stopped reading this a few seconds ago because you think I’m a young, naïve daydreamer. You might be right. But I can’t stop moving forward because I might fail.

So many people are paralyzed by the words “might not.”

I might not get the job. I might not get married. I might not have any friends….The possibility of all your “might nots” coming true are slim to none.

Notice what I said: Of all your might nots. I didn’t say that there wouldn’t be a time that failure wouldn’t come.

But that doesn’t mean that you take up residence in a plastic bubble and stop trying.

I’m tired of being paralyzed by what “might not” happen. The only time I am guaranteed to fail is if I take no action.

Life is full of change. It can be scary at times. There are challenges and risks involved.

However, I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t believe that the challenges and risks weren’t worth the rewards. The rewards outweighed the risks every single time.