Perfectly Imperfect

This week, I walked only a couple days again. I rode the stationary bike more often. I am keeping the sweets to a minimum and portions are under control. I had lost a pound over the two week span that surrounded Thanksgiving so, to me, that was a win. Last year, from the end of November to the first of January was the first time in my life when I actually lost weight over the entire Holiday Season. I am definitely pushing for that again and it is a goal. Not gaining would be big for me, but I am aiming to continue to lose. We will see how that all ends up in a month.

As long as we have been together . . . every Christmas, birthday, anniversary and any other “gift obligated” holiday or observance . . . my lovely husband, Wade, will complain that I am “IMPOSSIBLE” to buy a gift for. Is it because I am high maintenance? No. Is it because I tend to be drawn to expensive things? While it’s true that I have a champagne taste on a beer budget, the answer to that is also no. Is it because I am picky? No. He says that I never want or ask for anything and even when he asks the answer is that I don’t know or don’t care. It’s true that I do tell him I don’t know or don’t care when he asks. But I don’t actually think the first part of that IS true. I kinda WANT a lot. I don’t express those wants very often because I really am able to be quite happy and satisfied (remember last week’s blog) with the things I have. However, five years ago, a few months before Christmas, I was really struggling with life in general. Everyday stress and pressures from work; the fact that Ben was going to be entering high school and Franklin was going to be entering middle school; all combined with my personal struggles of depression and anxiety and not being able to deal well with them in that particular time frame had resulted in me feeling like I really needed to do something to help me relax and focus less on my external world. I was looking for any activity or hobby that would help me just calm down and focus on taking care of myself for a change. I figured it was that or therapy. I was seriously considering returning to see a mental health therapist to help me with these things. So the discussion came up about Christmas and Wade asked me what I wanted. Only he said this before the question: “I do NOT want to hear an ‘I don’t know’ or an ‘I don’t care’ right now. So if you can’t come up with something I can buy for you then don’t say anything until you can.” Then he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Well, ok. Challenge accepted. I didn’t answer him that day. In fact, it was a few days of my thinking about it before I got back to him. I thought of lots of things I could ask for. But keeping in mind that I was looking for something to physically do to help myself destress I really started trying to think of SOMEthing he could buy me to start a new hobby or craft. Now, I have always loved Bob Ross. Growing up I loved watching him. Every Saturday morning my sister and I would sit on the floor in front of the huge box television to watch him paint his happy clouds and trees and friendly bushes where the squirrels lived. A few years prior to this Christmas discussion I accidentally stumbled onto a T.V. episode of Bob painting. I didn’t know the program was still running. So in today’s age, with the ability to DVR anything, I set a timer to record all his shows. I watched them at night when I couldn’t sleep and they always calmed me. I returned to Wade a couple days later and told him I had an answer. I wanted to start painting like Bob Ross. That it was either that or I was going to go back to therapy to get my mind and coping techniques under control. He quickly said that painting sounded great. I told him that because I had NEVER painted in my life I thought he should buy the cheapest canvas and brushes and paints and such that he could find because I might get into it and quickly discover I didn’t like it. In which case, therapy it would be. He bought some really cheap things and I started painting. I LOVED IT. I wasn’t really good at all to start. I mean, I’m still not really good, but I am learning and improving. I told him I really liked it and he gave me the green light to go to Hobby Lobby where I could get “the good stuff” from the Bob Ross line of supplies. And that’s exactly what I did. And then I called him on the way home and apologized for spending $400 on myself to which he replied, “Whatever makes you happy, my love.” And it does. It does make me happy.

I have always had a creative, inventive mind. I love arts and crafts and now painting. I have made things with my hands before and really enjoy it. With not working outside the home, I thought I would have more time to do some of those things again and more regularly. Well, that hasn’t been entirely true. I mean, I do still work. Ha! But I am missing that creative outlet. So I have some things in the works that will allow me to do some of those same things again and then sell them to help finance my habit. I am going to use some of my downtime and weekends to spark my creative genius and hope to relieve some stress that way. What I also know about myself is this: I have OCD and sometimes I get frustrated when things aren’t entirely perfect. Crafting and painting were always good ways to work on teaching myself that things don’t have to be absolutely perfect to be perfect. I hope that makes sense. Read it again. They don’t have to be “perfect” to be perfect. The first day I started painting, I got all set up and started making clouds and a skyline. I added a few trees in the distance. I added water to the foreground. Then Franklin, who was 10 at the time, came in to see what I was up to. I was pretty proud of how the picture was looking and asked him what he thought. Let me offer a little advice: If you don’t want to know the God’s honest truth about something, don’t ask a child. He looked at it for a while. Then asked me what “these” were and pointed to my clouds. Then asked me what “this” was and pointed to my distant trees in the background. Then he was quiet again. So I prompted him, “Well . . . . ?” He looked at me as serious as any grown up would and said, “I think that Bob Ross guy is ripping people off!” I am sure you can understand what this did to my freshly acquired confidence in my new skill! As it often happens with me, my sarcasm came out as I said, “Well, he’s dead, so . . .” Franklin has always gotten my weird sense of humor and he laughed with me. Then he said that he thought it was “all right for my first time” and went on about his day. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

Such is life. We don’t have to be perfect versions of ANYTHING in our lives to be perfect. Life doesn’t come with a manual, that is for sure. I mean, to me, the Bible serves as one. But truly, nothing in this life comes with a given set of instructions that will help us navigate anything with certainty. I don’t exercise perfectly. I don’t wife perfectly. I don’t parent perfectly. In fact, I don’t do anything perfectly. The point is that I don’t stop doing what I am doing just because it is filled with errors or mistakes. I fix those errors and correct the mistakes and move on with it. Just like this blog . . . I have someone who edits for mistakes and errors and then I correct them and publish. I don’t scrap the whole thing because the person editing suggests 5 or 6 corrections. We aren’t going to stop doing something because we fail at it or we can’t do it perfectly. No, we learn from those failures and find ways to improve on the imperfections and turn out a better product until we can get as near to perfection as is humanly possible. We’ve all heard the adage, “Practice makes perfect.” Through all the sports the boys have participated in through their lives they’ve learned this, too. Only, a few years ago, we heard something and passed it along to our boys. Simply stated, we don’t just practice until we get it right; we practice until we can’t get it wrong. As close to perfection as possible.

I am bound to get many, MANY things wrong in my life. I mean I already have. But I learn from every one of them. That is really what living is about. Becoming better versions of ourselves along the way. I think what I like so much about crafting and painting and doing anything with my hands is that, while there will always be a host of imperfections with anything I make and create, they are individual, one-of-a-kind pieces. And more often than not, those imperfections that make them individual and one-of-a-kind are what draws the person to love it in the first place. Those quirks we carry, the unique weirdness about us, the imperfections we have are what make us individual. It is what makes us human. It makes us more loveable because others can feel more comfortable around us because they are imperfect and individual and one-of-a-kind too. I am perfectly imperfect and I wouldn’t change that for all the Bob Ross skill in the world.

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

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