3 Ways to Find Balance between Perfectionism and Laziness
I watched a hilarious video from Imomsohard this morning about PostPartumDepression (if PPD could possibly be funny, they did it). Clearly, it had gone pretty much viral with all the Fb shares. I laughed so hard there were tears coming out of my eyes. It’s not the first video like this I’ve seen either. There are so many people out there now who do these spoofs on the difficulty of motherhood, work, cleaning house and life in general. I mean, really, its what mime writers LIVE off of. Is it all comically difficult at times? Is it true that wine is sometimes an indispensable relief for daily struggles? Is it true that we reach adulthood and feel ourselves “loosing ourselves” to the irritations and inconveniences of work, family and life choices?
YES, of course it is… But sometimes I feel like the voice of the mime has become mainstream and we are beginning to lose perspective.
Maybe this is just my perception, but its beginning to feel that we are living in a world of hyperbole and loosing touch with reality. We can’t just sit back, drink wine and complain about our lives just waiting for something to magically change. There’s GOT to be some kind of balance out there!
Yes, we must ask for and accept help, we must believe in our worth and take care of ourselves. But, we can’t expect everyone else to do everything for us, just because we are having a bad day.
Just because I have intrinsic value no matter who I am or what I look like doesn’t mean I should allow myself to get to 300lbs or disregard personal hygiene.
Just because we should take care of ourselves doesn’t mean we should make our daily beauty/exercise routine 3 hours long, spend ridiculous amounts of money at the salon every couple weeks, hide ourselves under 13 layers of makeup, spend the whole day watching our newest obsession on Netflix or live off frozen pizza, wine and grapefruit (to counteract the pizza, of course).
Just because our house shouldn’t have to look like Martha Stewart’s palace doesn’t mean it needs to be uninhabitable and non-functional.
Just because we have a job doesn’t mean our home life has to suffer, or just because we don’t have a “job” doesn’t mean we should veg out and do nothing.
How to stop making excuses and find a little balance….
1 Boundaries and Priorities – learn when to say yes and when to say no to tasks
- Decide your priorities – Making lists can be really helpful here! You will find that if your priorities are out of balance you will never resolve the struggle. If you are struggling, try reorganizing your priorities. Sometimes fixing these can be counter intuitive. For example, when you are extra busy, adding more prayer, reflection or silence actually makes the day better instead of thinking you don’t have time for it. Read also: 17 ways to Make more Time for God in your Busy Life, How to know if you are Truly Seeking God in Your Life, Invite God into your Mess – Overcoming Perfectionism)
- Thinking of saying “yes”? – Use the “Martha Test“:
- Am I blaming others or God for my over-busy-ness?
- Am I resentful, anxious or stressed over my busy-ness? (Some stress is natural, but not when it gets unhealthy or debilitating).
- Do I feel really outwardly called to do what I have taken on, or is this something I chose for myself?
- Am I doing what I commit to expecting something in return as my primary motive? Thanks? Praise? Pay? (Receiving due recompense for something you would do otherwise is different).
- Thinking of Saying “No”? – Use the “Mary test“
- Really ask yourself, Are you just being lazy? or Do your higher priorities genuinely prevent you from taking on other tasks?
- Read any of the books in the “Boundaries” series by Drs. Cloud and Townshend
2 Acceptance of Reality
- Accept your life situation as a result primarily of the choices you have made. (Read post on Regret) If you are unhappy, do your best to forgive yourself and pick yourself up. Part of maturity is taking responsibility for our choices and finding a way to make peace with them. If you are not meant to be in this situation, God has a plan to get you out. Seek it, seek Him. Otherwise, seek personal growth. God gives us more than we can handle so that we are forced to rely on Him to rise to the challenge. We always have room to grow. We are imperfect and nothing about seeking personal improvement diminishes our personal worth, in fact it confirms that we believe enough in our worth to invest our energy in cultivating it. (Read: Called to be Humble)
- Recognizing that there is a difference between what we “want to do” and what we are genuinely capable of. Usually, we are completely capable of a lot more than we think we want to do! [tweetshare tweet=”We are completely capable of a lot more than we think we want to do!” username=”CarolynMPereira”]
- Recognizing that this is not heaven and our longing for better has a purpose and meaning (See post on Longing) – No, it’s not just to depress us.
- Recognizing our weakness and the simple fact that alone we can’t do it all – while at the same time doing what we can – “We have to meet God halfway” says the Grandpa in Where the Red Fern Grows. (See post on Super Human Strength)
- Recognizing that our choices have brought us to where we are and that God has a plan to help us get back on our feet. (Read: 4 Obstacles to Trust and How to Overcome Them)
3 Gratitude and Grace
- Be grateful for what you have and the opportunities you are presented with to grow, to step outside our comfort zone and to become better human beings. A Spiritual Advisor once told me “Thank God for the opportunities to practice patience/humility/openness/etc” for without them we could never become who we are called to be… and in that moment when another person or situation is making us experience our need for these virtues, they are doing exactly what God wants at this moment – giving YOU the opportunity to be a better person. Remember, you can’t change anyone but yourself, so don’t try. Simply love and ask yourself how YOU can better handle the situation. If you adapt your reactions first, the other person will have an example to follow. Waiting for someone else to act first is simply an excuse not to do the right thing.[tweetshare tweet=”Waiting for someone else to act first is simply an excuse not to do the right thing.” username=”CarolynMPereira”]
- Make action a habit. It gets easier with time and practice, like any muscle. Studies show that busier people actually get more “ordinary stuff” done in a day (like cleaning, cooking and laundry) than those who have fewer responsibilities. Life takes work, but it’s worth it! Also, check out “lifehack” ideas online for whatever area is your weakest… only you know what that is. (Read also: Called to be Fit at Life – 10 Life Lessons You Learn from Working Out)
- Remember you are not alone, for His “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthinians 12:9). (See also: Letting God Work through Human Weakness, The Cure for Lonliness)
NOW you can go have that glass of wine… 🙂
- You are Irreplaceable – Discovering your Worth in Motherhood
- The Key to Finding Yourself in Motherhood
- True Me-Time – How to Replenish when Life sucks the Life out of You
- 2 Keys to Embracing who you are