Saturday, October 13, 2012

Practically Perfect In Every Way

In my life, I try to strengthen my strengths, improve what needs improving, learn what needs to be learned and grow where I need to grow.  Basically, I'm a work in progress. I think everyone is. However, I put a lot of pressure on being perfect though.  This goes way back. For as long as I can remember, I felt like I needed to be perfect. I fully understand that no one is perfect so I never was one to strive for "perfect" perfection but more like "nearly" perfect. But in things I know - planning for a Disney Trip, decorating, cooking, etc...I want absolute perfection. I demand it from myself. Last year, for Thanksgiving, I was officially hosting my first Thanksgiving. I didn't want anyone in the kitchen with me. I wanted to pull off a Thanksgiving presentation that would rival Martha Stewart. And in the end. I achieved it. Everything down to the individual gravy boats. A perfect birthday meal for my mom the night before, a perfect breakfast course, a perfect Thanksgiving Day dinner, and a perfect dessert. And if that wasn't enough, a perfect round of left overs the next day.


It hit me by dessert though... this feeling of absolutely defeat. I missed it. I missed Thanksgiving. I missed it because I was so focused on the turkey and the stuffing and all the trimmings, I missed the laughter and watching football and relaxing. I missed an opportunity to cook in the kitchen with my mom and my brother's girlfriend, Emily. That was the "perfect" Thanksgiving. Everyone's hands full of flour, and butts bumping in the tiny kitchen. And the thing is...I actually know this. I just get so wrapped up in making the perfect moment for people. Making the perfect environment. I know that. I can do that. And in some ways, that is one way I show love. I show people love by creating the perfect setting for them and the perfect environment. If asked, everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving. The word perfection was thrown away quite a bit! I was proud, but deflated.

Whether I've held on a little too tight to Mary's words "Practically Perfect In Every way" or I watched too many Martha Stewart holiday specials, I, for as long as I can remember, have been like this. I remember back being 9 years old feeling this way. Feeling like I had to be perfect. Over the past year, through prayer, faith, friends, family, and my therapist, I have really focused on this idea of "perfection".

Last year when I went through IVF, I wanted to go through it perfectly. I didn't want to burden anyone with "my problem". I felt like I was thinking about it all the time, I certainly didn't want to talk about it all the time. I put loads of pressure on myself to just go through it with a smile. Every time I heard a "we are very sorry Mrs. Larson, but the cycle was unsuccessful", I would give myself 3 days to get over it and then back up to try and do it again. Towards the end, i'm certain that this played a roll in why things were not successful. I was grieving and sad and lonely, and found myself putting so much pressure on myself to control what I could - like creating a "perfect" Thanksgiving - that I wore myself down, physically, emotionally and mentally. I should confess here that I worked so hard over Thanksgiving, I got laryngitis.

One "imperfection" I have is that I struggle with patience. If I know something is coming up, anything from paying a bill to a Disney vacation, I get so wrapped up and anxious about doing what ever needs to be done, I usually make myself sick. Now there are two kinds of patience. I can listen to a 3 years old temper-tantrum for days. It doesn't bother me. Or I can have 18 children pulling on me vying for my attention and again, it doesn't get to me. The screams and yells of children is music to my ears. That kind of patience - I have ten fold. But the kind where I have to wait for something to happen in my life - well, i'm working on it.

Going through IVF is like a "hurry up.....and wait" experience. You have to hurry up....and then tell you to wait a couple more days. Hurry up...and we will call you tomorrow. Hurry up....wait a week. Its all hurry up....and wait. And its maddening. It tests my patience to its limits. Yesterday, I was all set to find out when our transfer would be. So I hurried to the doctor, had my tests, and then was told...wait to Sunday and come back. I would like to say this doesn't bother me any more. Over the past year, it has gotten so much better...but it still unsettles me.

So I wait...until tomorrow.

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