Friday, March 14, 2014

#Fitness Friday -- Screw the pursuit of perfection

Typically on Fitness Friday, I post exercise tips or healthy recipes, but today I feel like talking about mental fitness. This morning I caught myself being overly critical, not about my son or my guy, but about myself.

The usual barely controlled chaos began at 5am. I helped the hubs get ready for a 24 hour shift, then the boy got up and I made him breakfast. Cleaned the morning dishes, got dressed, made sure my son got dressed (and brushed his teeth, combed his hair, put on deodorant...etc, etc). After all that I checked my email, made a to-do list for the day and then packed DS in the car to take him to school.

As I'm in the turn lane, he groans. "Mom, you forgot to give me a note so I can ride home with my friend."

Damn it, he's right. We have a play date--ahem, sorry--a scheduled time to "hang out" with his friend after school today. While still at the light, I frantically grab a pen and a notepad from my purse and try to scribble a few perfunctory lines, but of course, the light turns green. I toss the writing tools aside and drive. In the school parking lot, I pull into a stall and finish the note, all the while berating myself that I forgot this critical detail for  the day. Anyone who knows me will tell you, I'm not a detail person, never have been, never will be. I have accepted this about myself...or have I?

Even after I dropped my son off and was heading home, I was still thinking what a flake I am. How could I forget the note? I've been thinking about this appointment all week because it also means I get to hang out with MY friend for some much needed whine-and-wine time. I should have done it yesterday when I first thought about it. Or if I were really organized, I'd prep a few and keep them in the car just for cases such as these. Wait...what? Who does that?

And then a car commercial played touting their brand as the pursuit of perfection. Boy, I'm so far from perfect, the LIGHT from perfect takes a million years to reach me. Then, I remembered what I always tell my son when he's being too hard on himself: nobody is perfect, but you're pretty darn good, kiddo. So why can't I give myself the same pep talk? Instead of getting down on myself about one tiny oversight, why not pat myself on the back for having a notepad and a pen I could readily lay my hands on? And what about the 200 other things I did right already and it's only 8am?

I say screw the pursuit of perfection. How about shooting for "good enough"? And I'm fairly certain I can reach "not too shabby" on a regular basis. I'm 100% positive I can achieve "didn't totally suck" each and every day. Accentuate the positive such as I didn't pee a little when I coughed this morning. WOOT! Those Kegels are paying off. Pursuing for perfection only sets me up to fail because nothing and no one is perfect.

So, if you chose a salad for lunch with low fat dressing, but ate half a pizza for dinner, give yourself props for the wise lunch choice instead of shame spiraling about the less than ideal dinner choice. Instead of beating yourself up because you missed a workout, think about the days you did squeeze in some exercise. Instead of looking in the mirror and seeing your (fill in the body part you hate here), look at your amazing (fill in the body part you love here). Take a moment to tell yourself: hey, I am good enough. Because you ARE, just the way you are.

To quote fitness guru Tony Horton: "Do your best and forget the rest!"

Have a happy and mentally healthy week, see ya next Friday.

Fiction for the bad girl in every woman

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