Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Quest To Do it All, Be Perfect, and Please Others...Why This May Not Be a Good Thing!

As a mother, I strive to provide my children with a well-balanced life.  I want to be involved in their education, provide them with opportunities to pursue their interests, teach them about gratitude, kindness, and the importance of helping others, provide healthy, home-cooked meals, take them on fun adventures, and much, much more.  Multiply this times three (soon to be four!) and it seems like quite the tall task.  While it brings me great joy, it can be hard to keep up with and downright exhausting!  I know that I'm not perfect by any means, but I do the best I can.   Do you find yourself in the same boat?

I just finished a great book I would recommend to all mothers (and others, too!).  It is called The Gift of Imperfection:  Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown.  It is a refreshing look at how our society has evolved to put so much pressure and emphasis on pleasing others, money equating to success, and being involved in everything to seem worthy enough, that we've lost who we are as individuals:  our authentic selves.  I love that the author breaks life down into simpler terms and made me take a look at how I can work to achieve my authentic self.  Fear of being rejected, gossiped about, or misunderstood abounds, but hiding behind what you truly believe just isn't the way to go.   

From a parenting perspective, this book has given me the inspiration to dance, play, and be silly with my kids more often.  It's given me the courage to continue to advocate for my son and do what's right for him.  It's given me reassurance that our decision to limit our children's extracurricular activities is okay.  It reiterated how we don't want to give our children the impression that they need to be perfect or the best, but simply try their best and accept that mistakes will happen.  

From a personal perspective, I have realized that pursuing my dreams is important.  This may seem like an obvious statement, but it's easy to get derailed.  It's okay to take time for yourself, to take the time to tap into my creative side, to foster a hobby or two, and cut myself some slack when things don't go exactly how I had planned.  I feel more free, like some of the burden of keeping up has been taken away.  I know, it's just a book, but a thought-provoking one at that.  

Do you ever find yourself keeping an opinion to yourself because you're afraid how you will be viewed?  Do you go to a job each day that brings you no joy?  Do you find yourself overextending yourself because you're afraid of the repercussions of saying no?  Then read this book!  I loved the simplicity of the writing.  It's easy to understand and relate to and may make you reevaluate some parts of your life.  It's well-written with valid points and simple ways to dig deep inside of yourself and make some changes for the better.  In a time where people seem angry and unhappy so often, perhaps a book like this could make a positive change, if even for a few. 

I'm not going to lie, I'm on a non-fiction kick about happiness, making life simpler, getting rid of excess, and finding your true path in life.  It's not that I am unhappy with my life at all, but when I'm done reading them I feel uplifted and up to challenging myself to make some changes.  They won't be drastic (at least not at first!), but may lead to a feeling that I am worthy.  I am okay the way I am, flaws and all.  I may realize that just because I haven't accomplished my entire "to-do" list that day, I gave it my best and that's okay.  I plan to address this book again soon.  This is just a little synopsis of what I got out of it!

I will leave you with a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

"No matter what gets done or how much is left undone, I am enough."

"What's the greater risk?  Letting go of what people think or letting go of how I feel, what I believe, and who I am?"  

Happy Wednesday everyone!  

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