What’s So Perfect about Being Perfect?

100Seems like I need a daily reminder of the distinction between excellence and perfection.

Excellence is solid. It’s grounded. It comes from inside you. It calls for good posture, shoulders back, sharp focus and an inner smile. It summons your strengths, talents and gifts and it calls for you to SHINE. Excellence knows when things are good enough for you. It’s balanced. It feeds you a nourishing meal of satisfaction and fulfillment. It stands on its own and does not require accolades or pats on the back or Facebook likes. It sends you to bed happy and wakes you up ready to do it all over again.

Perfection likes to disguise itself as a drive for excellence. But the energy is completely different. Can you feel it?

Perfection is built on the fear of rejection and the need for approval. It’s cranky and fickle. There is no floor beneath it. It’s the worst kind of fast food meal, empty in its calories and leaving your belly upset and feeling gross. It pushes you when you’re running on fumes. It’s externally focused. It is scanning the landscape, playing out the reactions of everyone OUT THERE. All the THEYS. Only there are too many THEYS and they all have different critical points of views. It is hedging bets, trying to make sure that it gets the most amount of approval and least amount of criticism. It keeps you up through the night, circling and looping, trying to figure it out.

Perfection is telling me that I need reassurance from myself that the world is for me, not against me. It’s telling me that I need a hug…and a nap.

Sick of Sitting All Day

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L.A. County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

When I graduated from the University of Delaware in 1992, I had two goals:

– Get an active job, preferably outdoors
– Buy an F-150 pickup truck

I applied for a park ranger position. Didn’t get it. Life happened and, twenty-four years later, I am an editor who sits all day and drives a Mini Cooper.

My young self is pretty fed up with all this sitting. I bet the kid in you is too.

This is the year that I incorporate fresh air and movement into my work life without bailing on the writing and editing work that I love. And I don’t mean a standing desk.

(The truck is still open to debate.)

Any of this resonate with you?

Let’s Lighten Up, Friends!

enjoyeverymoment.jpgToday I’m inclined to take my YogiTea bag message as universal truth. “The purpose of life is to enjoy every moment.”

What if it really were this simple?

What if we could experiment with life and play and help make the world a better place and enjoy vacations and love our kids and be present with them and work at jobs for awhile just because and then work at other jobs and have years mixed with great joy and crisis and miracles and days when we are just cranky and make lots of mistakes and get up and do it all again? But without suffering over it all?

What if we stopped making life harder than it needs to be?

Sounds a helluva lot more relaxing than the deep analysis that I tend towards. I like relaxing. How about you?

No one belongs here more than you.

miranda july
Eight years ago friends gifted me a collection of stories by Miranda July. I read the first story. It was good – quirky and real and good. Then work distracted me. Then I misplaced the book. But I never forgot the title.

It’s the kind of statement that stops you because you know in your bones it’s an absolute TRUTH. Those words strung together in that particular order disintegrate some layer of nonsense that you picked up in your life. And the words change you from the inside out. It’s the kind of statement that every child should be bathed in from the minute they draw their first breath. What a difference that could make.

Like David & Maddie

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Moonlight

Come play with me, love

You, a David Addison

And me, Maddie Hayes

Paying homage this Valentine’s Day to my all-time favorite TV romance with a little haiku, as one is wont to do.

The chemistry between private eyes David Addison (Bruce Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Cybill Shepherd) was so much fun to watch. Next time I get too serious – especially in my love relationship – I’m popping in an episode of Moonlighting (ABC, 1985-1989).

Love grows stronger with happiness and play.

Moonlighting on Pinterest

Can’t Remember Facts? Me Neither. And I’ll Never Judge You.

 

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“Roller Derby” 1979

 

Like it was yesterday, I remember the day I realized that my brain does not retain facts.

Boston, 1995. I was 25. My new boyfriend at the time was the kind of person who could – and I’m sure still can – read an article or watch a show and file away the dates, statistics and progressions of events. Those little gems of information would just hang out in his brain until they are needed or until the end of time. Whichever comes first. And the same was true of all his friends and, by association, my new circle.

Quite innocently on this particular day, he asked me a question about an article I had read about the history of electricity. And I had no answer. Yes, I had read it. But for the life of me, I couldn’t spit out a single factual statement.

I knew the gist. But I couldn’t explain with any confidence what I had read and by no means could I pull out any numbers or stats or concrete anythings.

If I only knew then what I know now, the pools of sweat would have subsided. The pressure would have dissipated. I would not have silently chastised my A+ student self for being a dummy or for looking stupid.

I would have known that “hell, yeah,” I do remember facts – when they are tied to emotions.

I would have known that I’d remember that day and recount it 20 years later.

I would have known that it’s much more fun to watch movies a second, third and even fourth time when you don’t have instant recall of the movie plot.

I would have known that I really do not connect with people cut from the factoid cloth. And I’d rather sneak into the hotel kitchen to talk with the wait staff than discuss theories and history and topics that require recollection of facts.

I would have known that not all brains are alike. But it can seem that way when you are the “alien” in the room. It sure did for me.

I would have known that I have crazy recall of the names of the 70 or so kids from Saint Pius X Elementary School, eighth grade graduating class of 1984. And I remember where each of them celebrated special birthdays and that Joey Savarese had a party at Radnor Rolls Skating Rink – maybe his 10th.

I would have known that emotional connections drive memory storage. And for what I’m lacking in the cold hard fact storage, I make up 10 fold in emotional and relationship recall.

Today I am surrounded by a tribe of people who LOVE to spend time talking about feelings and the absurdities of the human condition.

And for fact finding and cold storage, we count on a little company called Google.

Want to learn more? Check out this fascinating article on how the mind and memory works: http://www.spring.org.uk/2012/10/how-memory-works-10-things-most-people-get-wrong.php