Did you ever have one of those days where every single thing on your to-do list was a have to? A list with no maybes, where absolutely nothing can be moved to a different day, and as the day progresses and you’re trying to get everything done you about have a stroke because of the pressure? Yesterday was that day for me. When 10:30 rolled around, there was still one thing on my list and I was just too exhausted to do it. I looked at my husband and told him I didn’t post on The Disorganized Perfectionist. He smiled at me and said, “Well, I guess that’s what you can write about tomorrow.”
You see, my husband knows me. He knows that even though my whole list had to be done (and even helped me by delivering a meal I had made for a sick friend), the only reason my list was so awful in the first place was because of an underlying, life-controlling disorganization. And he knows that failing to post on a Wednesday just might do me in … because I’m a perfectionist. I’ve chosen to refrain from posting on Sundays, but I erroneously believed that I would be able to post six days a week without fail. When the end of the day came and I knew I didn’t have what it takes to write anything worth reading, I felt so disappointed in myself. I went to bed saying, “What you really are is not The Disorganized Perfectionist. That’s too cute a title. You’re just perfectly disorganized.”
But I did realize a couple of things last night. After my pathetic little self-abasement party, I decided I don’t need to be perfect at anything. I just need to be willing to take the journey, and I am. Whew! That’s a relief, don’t you think? None of us has to be perfect.
The second thing required some self-analysis. I had eight things on that list, and three of them could have been done earlier, but I left them till the last minute. It wasn’t procrastination, per se. It’s just that they weren’t urgent, so other things got done instead. And this is the whole problem. This is how I’ve been living my life. I deal with the things that are screaming the loudest. I’m desperately trying to stay afloat but never, ever making any progress.
I know that a drowning person’s instinct is to flail and struggle, but that actually makes the situation worse. The best thing is to relax, take a deep breath, and float. It conserves energy. It reduces fear. So right now, as I feel myself drowning in all the junk and responsibility of life, I will let go of yesterday, breathe deeply, consciously release tension, and just be. And tomorrow, I will do what I can do, nothing more and nothing less.