If you look closely at a tree you’ll notice it’s knots and dead branches, just like our bodies. What we learn is that beauty and imperfection go together wonderfully.–Matthew Fox
If you are a regular reader, you know that I publish twice a week, Wednesdays and Fridays, often even if I’m out of town. My regular writing is one of my favorite weekly jobs. It is a way that I can play around with expressing myself and also offer a resource to anyone who can access my site online, regardless of their ability to get to therapy. I take my schedule seriously, and I see regular publishing as a promise that I make to my readers and to myself.
And if you are a regular reader, you know that I haven’t put out a Friday post in the past two weeks, and I’ve managed two Wednesday posts out of the last four weeks. My writing schedule has been seriously thrown for a loop by illness, first for my family and then for me. And I noticed that I was starting to get pretty upset with myself about it. I have made a commitment to this blog, and to providing good resources to my readers. And I felt like I was letting myself and others down when I didn’t meet my writing deadlines.
In the past, I might have just backed away from the blog entirely. In fact, when I was feeling the most worn out by illness, I did have a narrative that went kind of like this: “Maybe I should only publish once a week. I’m not sure I have the time to do that second post. This is just a lot of pressure and a lot of time.” I might have continued to tell myself that it was all too much. I might have fallen into the trap of deciding that if I can’t do it perfectly, exactly the way I want, then it’s not worth doing.
That might sound familiar to you.
Maybe you have also had that self-talk story. The one that says that if you can’t get to the gym four times a week, then it isn’t even worth exercising. Or if you can’t write every week, then you don’t have stories worth sharing. Or if you can’t be in a relationship without conflict, maybe you should be alone. Or if you can’t connect in the same ways that you did before you got sick, maybe you shouldn’t connect at all.
I have written about this a bit in the past. I think that many of us expect that we have to get our self-care “just right.” Or we have to get our relationships “just right.” Or we have to get our work “just right.” You get the picture. And if we aren’t doing it “just right,” the temptation is to just chuck the whole thing.
But the truth is, life throws us curveballs. Illness, car accidents, broken relationships, losses, you name it. Each of us is going to face some setbacks, some times when we just can’t make it to “just right.” But at the end of the day, you still deserve to do the best self-care you can. Your voice still matters.
I’m back in the saddle–you’ll be seeing posts on a regular basis again. It feels wonderful to be writing again–I’d miss it if I stopped. And my invitation to you is to re-engage with something that you’ve let slip. From my own imperfect place, I hope that you let yourself wave goodbye to “just right” and instead try “just go for it!”
I’d love to hear your stories of how you re-connected when things were less than perfect.
Image Credit: “Eric’s Imperfect Sunflower” photo by Eric Vanderpool via Flickr under Creative Commons License