Practice Imperfectly

In my newfound life of marriage and living completely on our own, I’ve been struggling recently.

In a phone call to my mother the other day, she brought up that I needed to get my own car insurance now that I’m married, and that my “dead” old car in her driveway needs to be taken care of. At the time she brought this up, I’d been recently feeling overwhelmed by all that I now have to take care of, and had my first official “big girl” breakdown. Upon explaining my frustrations about keeping up with bills, cleaning, and my endless to-do list, mom replied lovingly with “It only gets worse!” hinting at that which comes along with having children. Our conversation ended with some interesting advice that was new to me: “Be okay with not getting everything done. If only one room is clean, go there to relax. Do what you can, one thing at a time.”

I’ve spent the weekend contemplating her advice. And I made a decision: I’m going to do what I can, and learn to be okay with things not being perfect.

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I think I had this idea that once I got a “big girl” job, and got married and had our own apartment, it would be great. The apartment in my head was this cute little place that was always clean, and I could pay my bills and my debts and save some money along the way. I was wrong.

There are only two of us, and I feel like everyday I am cleaning or doing laundry or picking up things off the floor. There are constantly new bills due (and a few surprise ones too) and I can’t afford all the storage and things I want that can help me get organized. I am so tired from my big girl job (which pays something but not a lot) that it’s difficult to make it to the gym after work. And I enjoy cooking but again, get so tired, sometimes a frozen pizza just seems easier. And I don’t even have kids yet!

So in my contemplation, I decided that I can complain, or I can be happy and okay with imperfection. And I’ve been slowly working on this ever since.

I tackle small areas of the apartment at a time. I have realized that there will always be laundry to do. Even the day after you just spent all day doing it. There are always new bills, and I have to prioritize and organize which ones get paid first. Doctor bills suck. Saving for a house is a slow process. So is paying off your debts. Exercise can be a stress reliever, and when I make myself go after work, I never regret it once it’s over. I actually have more energy. I don’t push myself too hard, or else I quit. Sometimes junk food is needed, just don’t eat so much at one sitting. Family is helpful, whether it’s a conversation you need or just a hug. Or, in more recent circumstances, a car battery.

Be patient and grateful. You have a wonderful life, and no matter all the bad, there’s so much more good. You just have to look for it. Enjoy the little things. Really, stop yourself and look around and enjoy things as they are. Don’t do anything else while you eat. Just enjoy the food.

In the way that my life works, it would absolutely happen that I would find this article from Mandy Ingber (yoga instructor) today, as I was contemplating all of this once again. I was looking up stuff on different types of yoga, because I enjoy doing it but don’t really know which “category” I fall into based on what I do. In her article (http://mandyingber.blogspot.com/2011/09/practice-imperfectly.html)  she literally punches me in the face (much needed) blatantly saying that which I’ve been recently trying to teach myself, which is this: practice imperfectly. It doesn’t matter what type you do, or what category, or how perfect your poses are. Just do what works for you. And the same applies to your life–stop trying to be perfect all the time! And stop stressing when things don’t go your way. You’re fine, and things will work out. Just learn to be okay with the pile of laundry, and to appreciate the times when the kitchen is clean. If you can’t put in 45 min at the gym, put in 30. JUST KEEP GOING. It’s when you stop trying that you fail.

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