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perfectionism, summer life, and sleep deprivation ... just a regular week.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Perfect is the enemy of good.

Lately that proverb is playing out in my life as I try to write more often and more consistently. A few days a week, I wake up early and sneak out about 5 a.m. to a coffee shop to write and think before beginning my day.  Twice this week, the baby woke up to nurse just as I was walking out of the door.  I have four different incomplete posts waiting on me to pick them up again.  I haven't had uninterrupted chunks of time, the few quiet minutes I do have in a day don't seem like enough, and I never finish a thought.  Perfection has become the enemy of good.

I need to relax my expectations.  I have four children under six years old.  If I am waiting for the perfect moment to write, the sentence that perfectly captures a thought, a perfectly clean house before I work on other endeavors, I will never finish anything again.  It's just not going to happen.

So, in the spirit of good enough, can I just share a few things from my week?

1.  Choosing a homeschooling curriculum is one of the most intimidating things I have ever done.  Picking a college and buying houses have both been easier than wading into the ocean of the homeschooling world.  I have chosen the approach that seems like the best fit, and now I am weighing co-ops (the approach we are using meets one morning a week, with parents present).  Do I go where my friends are, and the toddler program is, even though it's twenty plus miles away?  Do I go with the program close to my house, with no toddler class?  Do I go with the brand new program located between the two?  I don't know.

2.  My baby boy slept ten hours last night.  Another night earlier this week, I believe he would have done the same if I hadn't inadvertently stirred him.  Could it be possible?  Is he really moving out of his newborn-like sleep patterns (seven months later) and starting to sleep through the night?

You would think I would feel great today; instead, I have that swimmy-headed feeling of sleep deprivation.  Ever sat down to dinner without much thought of food, taken your first bite, and realized how hungry you actually were?  Last night was my first bite of real sleep in months.  I am just beginning to realize how tired I've actually been all of this time.  

3. With my husband still out of work and recovering from his accident (though by now he is mostly well), we have very few parameters around our days.  We also have few standing appointments within our week, a baby who needs a nap each morning, and the sun rises here about 5:30 a.m. and sets about 9 p.m. which makes early bedtimes almost impossible.  That is a lot of time to fill each day.  In many ways it was easier to do school than it is to have so much time off. I am working on establishing a weekly routine, which historically has made a difference for us.  Do you have any great summertime ideas?

4.  A few nights ago my six-year-old read a science book that mentioned the skull of a three-year-old boy who was killed by wild animals.  That night, he couldn't sleep.  He was afraid a bear or leopard was hiding in his room.  He wanted me to lie down with him, but I was nursing the baby in my room, so he settled for sleeping on the floor near me.  He wedged himself between the far wall and my bed, curled up on a pile of pillows, and fell asleep quickly.  The innocence of his fear moved me.  Sweet little boy, afraid of things that will never happen (in our country anyway), completely unaware of the things that parents actually fear for their children.  And he was so easily comforted - a lamp, the presence of his mom in the room, and he felt safe again.  It was a sweet moment.

I promise I will pick up those half-written posts.  There are a few things in the hopper worth talking about, but that can only happen when I accept that good - however brief or incomplete - is enough.  How do you let go of perfectionism?  How are you spending your summer days?  How has your week been?

1 comment:

  1. I am learning similar. My good this week is that I am revising a manuscript for my agent. It's not perfect. I can't focus on revision for very long at a time. But, I am fixing and rewriting a bit here and a bit there and it will eventually get done and be lovely.

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