Sunday, April 27, 2014


The things we need most are often the things we never saw coming....

A quiet Sunday, made quieter by the absence of the pre-church frantic hustle.  Raspy coughs and drippy noses suggested that perhaps snuggles and cartoons and unhurried parents would best serve as a healing respite.  So, we snuggled and slowed and savored not being stressed on what is called to be a day of rest.  (Not to mention that we were able, then, to avoid all the congestion from the marathon.)

Lunch, office work, laundry (always), some tattling, some tears.  Play time with the neighbors, photo editing, naptime for the baby.  Errands for daddy, and then...just before my mind turns to dinner and my eyes narrow at the clock and my ear strains to hear whispers from the nursery, he says,

"Why don't you go up to Mayberry for a bit, get a coffee, get away?"

Normally, I excuse the invitation away.  I testify that I'm fine, or, more often than not, that I'm too busy...there is too much to do....I don't have time to "get away," even for a cup of coffee.  I don't let him relieve me.  I don't let him step into solo-parent mode.  Somewhere along the way, I adopted a hidden belief that only I could do it, and by "it," I meant everything.

Someone wise recently told me that the opposite of self-respect was perfectionism.  It took me more than a second to wrap my head around that.  As someone who has long prided herself on being a "perfectionist," I found that insulting.  What would possibly be wrong with striving toward perfectionism, and how in the world did my pursuit of such inhibit self respect?

The more I considered her theory, however, (and I'll admit, there is some context I'm leaving out), the more I realized her words ring true, at least for me.   She asked me to picture how my life would be different if I truly had healthy self-respect, and this is what came to mind:
  • I'd let go of the notion that I could do it all
  • I'd let go of the notion that I'm the only one who could keep things together for our family
  • I'd make time, not excuses, for myself to exercise -- whether that meant going for a long walk/ride, or making time for the gym
  • I'd accept the offer of help, or time to myself, whether that offer was from another friend, a family member, Tiffany, or Jim
  • I'd stop saying "yes" to things I didn't want to commit to/participate in, merely for fear of disappointing someone else
  • I'd let myself enjoy naptime on Mondays, when it's just me and James at home, and let myself watch a show or read a book, instead of frantically doing chores
When I recognized that all the motivation behind those things/behaviors was maintaining my impossible standard of perfection, it was easy to see that I was doing myself a disservice.

So, circling back around to our germy, quiet Sunday.  Jim said, "go, get a coffee."  And you know what?  I said yes.