Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Good Enough?

I have this image in my head of who I want to be. She is glorious. She has a clean house, cooks well-balanced, healthy meals, including breakfast. She bakes fresh bread and makes clothes for her kids. She plays with them outside and walks to the park on a regular basis. She volunteers at her kids' schools and at church and she never misses an appointment or meeting.

She wears beautiful clothes and accessories and she's heavy, but not as heavy as I really am. She reads - lots - and crafts and plays scrabble on rainy afternoons. She always has fresh lemonade in the fridge and cookies in the cookie jar. Lest you think she's just Donna Reed, she's seen every horror movie ever made, knows more than any one person should about zombie mythology and is minorly obsessed with Charles Manson. She's a little rock and roll, is what I'm sayin'.

And I'm increasingly afraid that I'll never be her.

It seems like with every passing day, I'm a little less connected to who I want to be. And I'm trying to accept that. I'm trying to be okay with the idea of living in this life forever. Of failing at being both Donna Reed and rock and roll. Of being good enough.

I know how this sounds, it's sort of crazy-pants self-pitying, isn't it? And yes, I will admit to a certain amount of pity party here. But it's also just something I'm deal with.

I'm probably never going to have a perfectly clean house. Never. I may never master baking bread. My kids will probably never wear any of my creations. Except for that one sweater that Maren wore as a baby. Maybe scarves. And hair clippies. And maybe pop-tarts for breakfast will forever be balanced out by real dinners and lunches. Maybe I'll never be who I think I can be.

And maybe I will.

But the long and the short of it that I have to stop worrying about it so much right now. I have to learn to not beat myself up over every failure. To smile and accept that life is just this - doing the best you can. Or, as Dawson says in Dazed and Confused, "All I'm saying is that I want to look back and say... I had the most fun I could while I was stuck in this place." Let's just ignore everything else he ever said, shall we?


Suze said...

I think we all have feelings like this, of counting all our supposed shortcomings and shoulds and woulds. I do it all the time. I know I probably look a little bit like Donna Reed on the outside (except in dirty old Keens and a bike helmet instead of apron and heels), because I bake bread and spend a lot of time with my kids, but there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about what I've had to let go of to do that. I don't feel like it was entirely my choice, either, not that someone forced me into motherhood or anything, but the economic reality of our lives really leaves me no other option. I was really wallowing in self-pity last week. And you know what? It's okay. It's okay to be sorry for yourself as long as you don't completely lose your grip.


Jessi said...

I think you hit the nail on the head, though, that you've had to let go of a lot to do what you do. The thing is that it's just not possible for me be everything. What I want for myself is to stop holding myself to this standard where it's all failure and accept that I do have to let things go. It's a matter of deciding what I want most.

Thanks for the support. Permission to feel sorry for myself is more helpful that you'll ever know. Also, knowing that someone else is there, too.

P.S. You're way more kickass than Donna Reed.

Eric Rutledge said...

This has nothing to do with your post. Infact I did not read it, sorry!! But I have finished the book Under the Dome. It was great, but I thought it could have ended better. I wanted to see Big Jim Reanne brought to justice. Anyway, that is not why I am writing. I need to know if you have read The Walking Dead Books and if they are worth the read or just wait to watch the next season.
You can email me at ejbmurr@yahoo.com

ann said...

This is probably going to sound completely and utterly hokey, but I don't suffer from these woes nearly as much as I used to, by the grace of God. I'm learning to appreciate the good stuff about myself, and to recognize that it's only by the grace of God that the good stuff is there. (I'm really not trying to minimize my own effort--I've put so much of it into some changes I've made lately, but I really do believe that it is by the grace of God. Sorry I don't know a less cliche way to say it.)

You are an awesome chicka. I'm glad you are who you are. I agree that all you can really hope for is to figure out what you really want, and then to just let the rest go. Can I say again that you're awesome? (I keep thinking how wonderful it is that your three year old knows the word slay. I think of that several times a week. ha ha ha)

I love you.

Jessi said...

Ann - Thank you. You are pretty awesome yourself. :)