Letting Go of Perfection

Karen Fusco

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You know more than anyone how little time you have. Between your spouse, your kids, running errands, housework, working or volunteering, and the other gazillion little things that eat away the day, it's impossible to get everything done. The To-Do List is in constant rotation, and it seems as soon as you cross something off something else gets added that's just as important.

Busy moms have a lot to do, and a woman's natural perfectionism is almost certain to kick into overdrive here. What does this mean? It means you're constantly running, trying to do it all, which will eventually lead to a meltdown, or at the very least high blood pressure and heart palpitations. Assigning ‘High Priority’ status to everything is a major stressor, and the best way to nix this out of your life might be a bit shocking to some, but here it is.

Not everything has to get done.

Take a few minutes to digest this amazing concept. Mull it over. We'll wait.

Ready for more? OK. Here's the lowdown.

The fact is that you have limited time and limited energy. Everyone does. There is only so much you can do in a day, and trying to conquer a list of 25 things just isn't going to happen. Learning to prioritize what's really important and having the strength to let the rest go is a good way to live a life with less stress and more personal happiness.

Here's a good example. Your friend Barb is on her feet 14 hours a day. She's a stay at home ‘supermom’. Not only is her house spotless and her laundry constantly caught up, but she's chair of the PTA and is responsible for organizing all the extra-curricular activities at your son's school. You're constantly marveling at how she does it all.

On the outside Barb seems as if she has it together, ticking along like a well-oiled machine, when in reality she's completely miserable. She never has time to go cloud watching with her toddler because she has to get the floor cleaned and start the next load of laundry. She hasn't spent any time on herself in years because she's too busy organizing so many events. Barb is overdoing it and not only is she suffering, but her kids are too.

It's easy to lose sight of what's really important in life when so many little things crop up to eat away at our time. Yes, many of these things have to get done, and yes, some of them are quite important. But you have to decide what takes priority in your life and what can be left at the wayside. Life can get a lot more fun and interesting when you relax a little and let some spontaneity back into your day.

When you stop and think about it, perfectionism is pretty boring. Wouldn't you rather your kids grow up remembering picnics and tea parties instead of how clean the house was and how all the errands got done? Again, yes, the house does need cleaned and the errands have to be run sometimes, but you don't have to live in a constant ‘To-Do’ state. It's important to realize that you can still achieve excellence in what you do without being a perfectionist.

Learn to go with the flow, and accept that fact that you're not perfect. Accept the fact that not being perfect might be a lot more wonderful, and that it's closer to the heart of what life is really about.

Karen Fusco is co-founder of SilkBow.com which supports Busy Moms with free gift ideas and helpful tips to meet the challenges of motherhood. She is also co-founder of WellnessArticles.net , a directory of articles covering many areas of wellness. Karen can be reached directly at: karen@SilkBow.com


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