Thursday, January 2, 2014

Progress, Not Perfection

My mantra the last few months has been "progress not perfection".  I don't remember how I came up with it; I'm fairly certain that I just came up with it on the fly while responding to something on Facebook, but the number of other folks using the same words makes me think that I might have heard it somewhere first.

I've always been a perfectionist, even as a kid.  Less than perfection just didn't seem acceptable to me.  Over the years, I've even found myself avoiding trying things because I don't know if I'll do them "right".  If I couldn't do it perfectly, then I should just not do it at all, right?

Well, I think that's wrong.  How can we ever grow and change and improve if it has to be in big perfect leaps instead of small baby steps?  All of life doesn't need to be perfect, and you don't either.  Take an imperfect action towards making your life better is still better than doing nothing at all because you were afraid to fail.

With regards to running, my father in law always says that it doesn't matter how fast you are or how far you can go, it's still better than sitting on the couch.

How have you been "sitting on the couch" recently?

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

When Joy Isn't Enough Motivation...

Sometimes, even though I know something will help me to feel better, that isn't enough.

For example, exercise.  I know that it will put me in a better mood, help me get physicially stronger, etc.  However, none of that seems to matter once I sit down on the couch to "relax".

So I've devised a little extra motivation: for every time I work out, I earn $2 toward my clothes/other fun things budget.  It's not much, but it's a little bonus to get me moving.  I'm hoping I can eventually get into enough of a routine that I don't need it, but for now it's what works for me.

Monday, December 30, 2013

New (Birth) Year, New You

My birthday was last week.  I've never minded my birthday; I've never minded getting older, I've never even minded the fact that it's in the middle of all of the Christmas and New Year's hustle and bustle.  In recent years, I've taken a low key approach to my birthday, and we usually don't really do anything special to celebrate except maybe go to dinner if we don't have a Christmas party and aren't driving back home after the holiday.

However, this year I've been seeing my birthday a little differently.  It might be the fact that New Year's is so close, but I'm seeing this as a chance to improve things in the next year.  I want to be a better version of myself before I turn 30 next year.

So I ran.

I'm not a runner, but I've run a couple times recently and am trying to do so more often (more on this another time).  The morning of my birthday was warm for December, and I thought that a run would be a good way to usher in a new year.

Things didn't go exactly as planned.  I had originally intended to join my husband and some of his family for an informal 5k that they do on Saturdays, but the baby kept me up way too late and I just wasn't able to get up that early.  However, I decided to keep my promise to myself for a good start to the year and so I went for a 30 minute walk/run around the neighborhood.  And it was still good.

Even though no one else cared that I went, it felt good that I kept my promise to myself.  I honored myself enough to make a positive step even when things didn't go perfectly.

I want this to be a year of trying to make progress, not perfection.  Here's to being 29!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lessons in the Salon Chair

A couple days ago, I went and got my bi-yearly haircut.  Yes, I'm lazy when it comes to getting my hair cut, and tend to wait until I have several inches to get cut off.

While I was in the chair, the woman cutting my hair was telling me how a lot of her clients come in and say that they have waited so long to get a cut because they are lazy.  She believes that they are not lazy, they have just been busy, or wanted to spend their money wisely (by getting fewer cuts), or enjoy letting their hair get a bit long so that they can see the change when they finally get it cut.

That got me thinking: Laziness is a decision.  Whether it's conscience or not, you're making a choice that you'd rather do one thing versus another.  Maybe it's a choice to watch tv instead of wash the dishes.  Maybe it's a choice to put off getting your car fixed because you need to spend the money on something else.  Maybe it's hitting the snooze button on the alarm because you want to sleep more instead of going to the gym.  It might not be an intentional choice, but it's a choice.

I feel like this realization is empowering.  You aren't avoiding cleaning up the house because you have some character flaw that can't be overcome.  You do have a choice in what you want to do.  It might not always be a happy choice (such as in the car example), but it's a choice.  We all have power to make a better choice if we want to!

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Sort of Introduction

Call me K.

I am a working mom to a wonderful little baby girl B.  I'm lucky enough to have a husband C who loves me and is willing to be a stay at home dad to our daughter.

I'm a Midwestern girl, born and raised.  I belong to the suburbs, to the wonders of Super Target, and to the magic of backyard campfires.

I am far from perfect.  My dishes often sit in the sink for days.  I'm horrified by some of the specs of things my daughter manages to find on the floor and put in her mouth.  I get mad at my husband for silly little things.

I believe in progress, not perfection.

Like anyone else, my life has had ups and downs.  Lately, I've been wanting to find a way to bring a bit more balance in this.  I blame it on Facebook.  Yes, Facebook.  That wonderful place where my friends share uplifting videos and stories and show off their happiness.  It's made me want to find a change in myself, to be a better person for my husband, for my daughter...  for myself.

I want to choose joy.

I've been a Christian all my life, but I've found that my beliefs have been changing a bit recently.  This blog is not about religion, but I'm finding it to be a natural extension of my journey.  It might get included in things here and there.

I am no one special, but I am working to make an improved version of myself.  This is my story.

And So the Journey Begins

Joy.  Happiness.  These are things we strive for, but it's rare that we really feel like we accomplish them.

This is one person's explorations into trying to find lasting happiness in life, one small step at a time.