Practically Perfect In Every Way…Or Not

by Elizabeth on March 23, 2011 · 6 comments

in Adventures, life, struggles

For some reason some people are under the impression that I’m a bit like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.  And I can sort of see why.
You come here every day and read about my menu planning, my cooking prowess, how I’m such a great librarian, own a house, and have such an amazing social life that I actually complain about being too busy. 
Yeah, I could see where you might hate me.  If I was really like that, I would hate me too.
So I’m here to correct all those misunderstandings and clear the air.  I am not perfect.  Not in any way, shape, form, or fashion.  Nor will I ever be.   
Attempting to be perfect was something I worked incredibly hard at growing up.  I would look around school or dance class and see these girls who looked as if everything they did was effortless; that being so together and so good at everything came naturally.  They seemed like they had it all right, all together, and were just so perfect.  I tried and I tried to be like that and failed every time. 
But then I learned that I don’t have to be perfect.  And I especially don’t have to be perfect at things I’m not good at.  Which is probably why I (and this blog) sometimes give off the impression that I am perfect.  I only write about things that I do well; I only post recipes that are successful (or that at least turned out successful even though I messed up the recipe); I generally only share the happy parts of my life.  I have a very bad habit of only talking about the good and the things that go right.
I used to be much more forward about the crappy parts of life, admitting to things like being bullied as a teen, lacking in motivation, or struggling with depression, but, after taking a quick pass through my more recent blog posts, I noticed that I’ve stopped doing that.  Not for any particular reason, but it’s probably not a good thing as it has led to several emails, tweets, and comments as to how I manage to do it all.  How do I keep myself together, run a blog, own a home, work full time, and still have a great social life?
The answer is I don’t. 
At any given time, my house is a complete disaster from all the cat litter Caty tracks around and from the fact that I haven’t done laundry in two weeks.  I haven’t, despite my very best intentions, worked out in almost two weeks but I have baked several wonderful treats that I have no intentions of sharing.  I often ignore phone calls when I don’t feel like talking.  I abandon my meal plan (and my budget) at the slightest sign of a better opportunity such as grocery store sushi or an entire pint of Turtle Tracks ice cream.  I shut out everything and everyone for days at a time so I can do nothing but lay around, read, and watch way too much TV.  I oversleep every day and am almost always late for work.  I have OCD to the point that it occasionally interferes with everyday life.  I gossip and talk too much.  I complain, often to the point of ridiculous.  I procrastinate more than you could ever imagine. 
I don’t do it all.  I can’t do it all.  I never will.  And I will never be perfect, not in a million years.  Neither are you.  And that’s okay.
Do you struggle with perfection or feeling unequal to some of the bloggers you read?

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cate March 23, 2011 at 2:01 pm

When I first started blogging, and especially after Simone was first born, I felt really inadequate compared to a lot of the bloggers I followed. They had multiple children, spent a lot less on groceries than I did (even very healthy groceries!), homeschooled, wrote fabulous blogs, cooked from scratch, kept beautiful homes, and still appeared to have time for themselves and their families.

I'm not sure when my thinking shifted, but it was like I suddenly realized that these women had problems, too. Nobody's perfect! I try to stress my faults as much as my successes on my own blog, but I know it's sometimes easy to fall into the habit of only sharing good stuff.


2 patienceamber March 23, 2011 at 2:20 pm

and this, my dear Big Sis, is why we gravitated to each other many year ago… because i feel your pain, sister. i love you. and you are perfectly Elizabeth, and that's all that matters.


3 Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) March 24, 2011 at 1:44 am

I know exactly what you mean. One of the hardest things for me to learn, as a working mother of 4, is that it's OK for things not to be perfect. It's ok if the house is messy or the laundry is not folded. I try hard to enjoy quality time with the kids, even if it means giving up on having things in order. Great post. Thanks!


4 therese March 24, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I used to be a carefree person… I did my best and if that wasn't perfect I was ok with it. Since I've started working this new job, everyone is striving for perfection and setting unrealistic goals. Some days it stresses me out, until I realize that I'm NOT perfect, remind myself to doing my best, and try to calm down. Same goes for Weight Watchers (I struggle. I love food. I have to be realistic about what I'm capable of!).

Your life sounds divine right now. Friends, family, house, job. But those slight imperfections and experiences from your past definitely made you who you are today! And that whole picture is grand, I say! 🙂


5 Elizabeth March 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm

I'm glad to know that everyone struggles with this issue! I think the best thing we can do is accept that we are not perfect, that no one is, and move on.


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