Saturday, November 8, 2014

Perfectionism and Christmas Cards

I've got a problem. I have been aware of this for at least eight years but I'm willing to bet that it's been going on for a whole lot longer than that.

It's something that I have been battling for a long time. Perfectionism. It's not necessarily aimed at my husband and daughter, it's just more of a standard that I hold myself to. The bow has to be exactly centered on the wreath I've made. I have to use the manners I was taught to an exact degree, or I'll keep playing it over in my head. That one piece of hair that's out of place needs smoothed down before a picture. And the house needs to look and smell fantastic before having someone come to visit, including that pillow that needs straightened.

Through the years that I have had Sjogren's Syndrome I've realized that I had to let go of some things. It's down right tiring. And having an auto immune disease that limits my energy doesn't mix well with a personality flaw of mine that requires me to live to an exacting standard (even if it's only my own standards I have set in my mind).

I have had a hard fall season, for many reasons. Getting back into work has been rough on me in certain ways, my body is REALLY not happy with the weather changes this year, my daughter's soccer schedule has been brutal with three practices a week and a game (some more than an hour away) every Saturday, and we have been dealing with some other major issues that I don't feel comfortable going into here as well. Mix that all together, throw in a new medical diagnosis, and I am just barely hanging on at times.

The thought of the holidays and a huge super fun vacation coming up (and all the planning that entails for me to travel with all my extra issues) leaves me feeling excited and panicky at the same time. I've slowly come to realize that something had to give. I started thinking about things that I would be willing to give up to make things easier on myself and thought of the perfect thing! I'm giving up Christmas cards this year. Writing all those cards out and licking every single envelope sounds like torture to me at the moment. With my arthritic hands and lack of moisture in my mouth, not sending out cards sounds like the perfect thing to do to help save myself some stress in the next two months.

With all that babbling said, there is still a tiny part of my perfectionism squeaking at me in the back of my head. "What about your manners? People will think your rude! They will realize that you really don't have everything together as much as you want them to believe. Will your family and friends think you don't love them or aren't thinking about them, this Christmas, if you don't send out cards?". I heard all those things, thought about all the good it will do for me not to send out cards, and then made a HUGE step in abolishing my perfectionism, my friends!!! I. Am. Not. Sending. Out. Cards!!!

I let my decision settle into the dust for a little while to see how I would feel about it. And I still came to the same conclusion. Bubbling up with that knowledge was a little bit of giddy joy. Almost like when the Grinch felt his heart grow two sizes that day!! I've just had some serious personal growth here people!

Now, I don't want to say that I am happy for everything I have been going through this fall, because some of it has just been plain miserable and life altering. However, I am the person who always tries to be positive. And I can say that perhaps, through all of this God has been trying to helping me learn some things along the way. That I am not perfect. And I don't need to be. Because I have people who love me. All of me. Even if I do have on two different socks, I swear I left a light on upstairs, and I bounce around doing the chicken dance at random times. I'm not crazy, my mama had me tested. I'm not perfect. And I'm proud of myself for that! :)