In Before & Afters

My Thoughts on Perfectionism and Living in the Moment {with a dash of DIY Throw Back Thursday})

In my thirty one years of life (countdown to 32 has officially begun, Shhhhhh.) I have learned that we ourselves, can be our own worst critic. 
From my experience, I have found that as I have aged and mellowed out, that I no longer feel the need to compete with the person next to me but only with that person staring back at me from the mirror. 
This of course, could be amazing if every day I woke up challenging myself to do 100 more sit ups then I did the day before (Which most days would be zero) Or, it could be amazing if I woke up every day thinking, “I’m gonna love people better then I did the day before!” 
I am all about setting goals, and becoming a better person, but sometimes it becomes a juggling act so big that I end up looking like a clown ready to drop all the balls.
Maybe you are like me too?
 Maybe you are tired of struggling to be perfect in every way as well. The perfect employee, the perfect wife, the perfect friend, the perfect mom, the perfect housekeeper, etc, etc, etc…
I’m pooped just thinking about all the things I will have to DO to be the perfect me.
Sometimes I look around me and realize that by competing with myself I actually end up feeling like I’m not loving the moment, or today or myself.
Does that even make sense?
I look at my to do list, the emails I need to respond to, the friends I haven’t seen in a year, and the dishes I still need to do and I get overwhelmed trying to be the best me.
They say the only person you should compete with is the person you were yesterday, and yet what if that still isn’t good enough for recovering perfectionists?
 Although, I understand the sentiments of that saying, I am all too aware that that way of thinking can be Kryptonite for all of us recovering perfectionists out there in this “do-more-be-more-world”.
Ironically, striving, can be debilitating after a while.
A long time ago I decided that I didn’t want to be “perfect” by society’s standards, but for some reason, at times, these terribly high expectations for myself creep up and into my life.
For example, I want to have a drop-in-any-time-kind-of-house and I want to have that natural-and-effortless-makeup-and-hair but I also really, really, really want to be that doting Mama and loving wife, while juggling being a dedicated business woman who miraculously quits work in time to tuck the babies in to bed at night. Not for society, not for anyone else, but just for me.
For all of you who can relate, Im pretty sure the the problem lies in never being satisfied in who we are today, if we are constantly in competition with who we were yesterday.
So today, I am here, saying that I’m done with the subconscious competition with myself and the constant striving to be “perfect”. I don’t want to be better then the “Me” I was the day before, because that girl, the one yesterday, she tried her very best. 
I’m certain of it.
She worked hard and loved hard and gave Life and loving her all
If She tried to outdo herself every dang day, she would one day wake up 80 years old and be so perfect She would finally wish to smudge at her perfect-flawless-effortless-makeup and finally yell at the perfectly-raised-children-for-once-in-her-whole-long-lovely-luxurious-perfect-life. 
See, because, by then She would have had so many days to be better then the She who She was the day before. 😉
Following still?
Instead, I have decided, that I want to focus on embodying grace every day.
Instead, I want to celebrate my accomplishments more. Both in my personal life, and my home life and my career life. I want to focus on how much I have done and how much I have loved when I was the yesterday “Me”. I want to give the Me of the past, the present and the future, the gift of unlimited grace. 
Today I am starting here. 
I am throwing away the idea that I have to DO so much around here in this house. Other then the love of “doing” for others, I am tossing out my to do list. Besides, I have a back up copy in a file, tucked away in my over thinking perfectionist brain. 😉  
Today I am focusing on the past and how great it has been. 
Care to join me? 
Today I am looking back and high fiving the Me from yesterday and last year and the year before that.  
I invite you to do the same! It is sooooo liberating!
I promise you’ll look back and really like that person who has made it through life’s trials and hardships.
 Today I am celebrating my personal journey.
Today I am looking back and smiling at the girl who found bravery, courage, determination, kindness and all the other lovely attributes that make me “Me”. I don’t want to compete with her, I just want to embrace her. To celebrate her and to offer myself then and now, so much grace.
Grace not perfection.
In honor of looking back, I wanted to share some pictures with you. Pictures of our home and our hard work, but mostly to show you that things take time. I wish I had of enjoyed the reno journey more instead of looking forward to the next day, the next step, the next project and who I would be the next day.
Projects are so much better when you enjoy and embrace the moment. 
Building a house takes time, building a family takes time, building a career takes time and building the you that you want to be takes time. 
Things don’t happen overnight.
THAT I believe in.
Sometimes we have to look back to see how far we have come. Sometimes we have to look back to high five that person we were and that truly awesome person we have always been. Sometimes we have to celebrate the accomplishments.
Perfectionism is not the goal. Competing is not the goal. 
Enjoying the journey is the goal while loving who we are; and offering grace in the moment, is the ultimate goal.
So without further ado and self exploration, here is a glimpse into our DIY journey. Here are some proof in pictures that time and perseverance are amazing things and that the past needs to be celebrated to truly appreciate the present.
March 2011 
(Before we moved in)
April 2011 
(Front entry way – down to the bones)
May 2011 
(Thrifted mirror and table just waiting to be beautified. New light, new door hardware.)
September 2012 
(New floor, new paint, new door trim, new crown molding)
May 2013
(Refurbished banister, newly painted trim and crown molding and a new reflection in that mirror. ;))
Today (Jan 2015) 
(New painted doors, sealed banister, Spring decor and a new attitude on enjoying the here and now.)
Will you join me in living in the moment? In really embracing today? In loving the you of this moment? In leaving personal perfectionism at the front door and not allowing it to take up space in your heart and home? In believing in grace? In being content? 
I really feel that if we loved our circumstances, our family, our home and ourselves more today that we will inadvertently end up being a better person tomorrow anyways.
Irony at it’s finest.

“But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all
earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of
grace also. ” 2 Corinthians 8:7

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