When Perfectionism Meets Sentiment

If you haven't already noticed, I'm a perfectionist. My original blog (www.mutteringsfromaperfectionist.blogspot.com) was completely dedicated to this fact. I am also really sentimental. I have been ever since I was a little kid. I grieved the end of the school year. I grieved the end of the summer. Transition was not impossible, but definitely something I was aware of, even as a young child. 

Fast forward to mothering. I've found that when my perfectionism collides with sentiment around transition, I can get into a kind of beast mode, in the craziness, possibly unhealthy way that you can imagine. This has not been more clear to me than this week. This is Macy's last full week of summer. She starts 3rd grade on Wednesday next week. And Penny starts preschool the following week, so the start of school looms large. So naturally, I'm trying to cram in all the fun things we haven't gotten to do this summer in our final week. That seems almost reasonable. But then you throw in that I'm currently coaching 3 people to do a business alongside me. And I have an event in my home this weekend. And my best friend is coming to town. And another friend had a baby, which involves hospital visits, meals to coordinate and food to cook. And Tim got strep over the weekend so as far as co-parenting goes, has been completely useless (reasonably so). He's absolutely miserable and still working because he has an awesome important job. Oh, and I'M DOING A CLEANSE. Which means for the 5 days of this week, I have completely altered my diet. See the crazy? Yes, I see the crazy. 

I'm hoping as I sift through my perfectionism and learn to give myself grace that just the awareness of crazy counts for something. I can see it. I can feel it rising up. Now, the skill I learned in therapy was to give myself permission to stop and/or lighten the load I place on myself so heavily. And all week I've seen that option waiting in the wings. So far, I've opted not to take it. I don't want to take it. And that is my natural response to the ever-present option to pull back. I don't want to. Here's the thing: I don't want to pull back because I actually want to do what I'm doing. Maybe not all the crazy at the same time (some of the timing was beyond my control) but all the things? Yes. I know it's just this week and I'm not willing to give anything up. And so, I take naps and read my book and put wonderful nutrition in my body and laugh at myself. Perhaps the difference between crazy by choice is that this week, I made a deliberate choice rather than that feeling I used to get, like I was on a merry-go-round I could never stop. I know I can stop the crazy. I'm just happy to be crazy. And I know I'm not better or more loved for being this way. That has been the critical piece and actually what helps me enjoy the process, which I could never do before. Valuing process over product is completely the opposite of how a perfectionist mind evaluates activity. And while I'm still product-focused by nature, I know that I don't have to slug through a process I hate to achieve a perfect product or to be loved and accepted by my community. I get to tackle my life Tazmanian Devil style because that's my preference. So I'm here to tell myself this week: crazy on, solider, crazy on.