I have been in bed for the last few days nursing a particularly nasty virus. My partner, myself and my 9 year old step-son, moved house 3 weeks ago. It is safe to say I am currently adrift on a sea of chaos; there is lot to be done.
Today I felt fit to venture out of bed. My plan initially looked like this:
1) Have shower
2) Do dishes
Then my Internal Tyrant kicked in and the list grew:
3) Unpack all clothes
4) Find places for adults clothes in absence of adults wardrobe
5) Hang clothes in child's wardrobe
Thought - will need to fix child's wardrobe before hanging clothes.
6) Fix child's wardrobe
7) Put bed linen away under bed
Thought - drawer has not been cleaned since bed was delivered.
8) Clean drawer
9) Put shoes in hall cupboard
Thought - hall cupboard is a mess therefore must clean it.
10) Clean hall cupboard
11) Reallocate rubbish from hall cupboard to other places
12) Identify the other places...
I can laugh at how ludicrous this list is, but it shines a light on my thinking. This thinking is destructive, because instead of dwelling in possibilities I am overwhelmed by them. Ever determined I seek out undertakings/achievements/tasks which once complete will allow me to accept myself. Then I constantly adjust my own finish line, so a gentle jog becomes a 5k becomes a 10k becomes a half marathon...
Only it doesn't. I surrender to my tyrant because I conclude that nothing I do will ever be good enough therefore why try.
I have realised what I am seeking is a sense of fulfilment, where I can relax and give myself a break. What becomes increasingly obvious is that this is a mission that will not be accomplished by an exceedingly long to do list. I am acutely aware that I need to learn to let go of this desire for perfection and recognise that which is imperfect is wonderful just as it is. I suspect this will be an ongoing challenge, but one I gladly face. Because I am sick of being scared and limiting myself.
As the infinitely wise Leonard Cohen sings 'There's a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in'.
A Moodscope member.