I’m back. Somewhat crazy but determined to write even amidst the absolute mania that November likes to throw at me on an annual basis.
I felt like this week that everything was breaking around me. Have you ever had one of those weeks? Where literally so many items and household necessities just stop functioning and then one must pursue the administrative fixing and replacing process that, (let’s be frank for a moment) is just very average and ordinary. Well I had one of those weeks. My honest response was to sigh and rant at the heavens for a moment. I just didn’t have time for it. My next step was to practice gratitude for all the working things I do have that work (Thank you Jesus)
My next step was to try and navigate how I would possibly make everything right.
I tell you all this not for a sympathy vote, really I am absolutely fine, but rather to share something I learnt in the process. I must admit, tentatively, that I have learnt this before but what I have come to realise about life is that we learn and relearn things and that is perfectly normal. I’ve learnt to be grateful but I relearn it again and again. I have learnt to celebrate the successes of others but I relearn this again and again. I have learnt that I am better with others but still a learn it again and again. You get the idea.
Yesterday as I was driving around trying to navigate my “fix it list”, I literally felt a quiet whisper within myself say. Just do one thing at a time. Now I know right, it seems pretty obvious but it hadn’t occurred to me until that moment that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t have to have everything ‘fixed’ all at once. I would 100% survive a week or so of inconvenience and maybe life would be less frenetic and the pressure would disperse if I just approached one problem at a time and called in the right people to help me with my need.
This epiphany got me to thinking about the whole of life. Am I the only one trying so hard towards the perfectly working life that I am becoming overwhelmed and frantic in the process? Is the pursuit of the perfectly perceived life slowly creating more and more problems for us to fix? The more time I spend observing humanity and the more time I take to listen to people, the more I realise that we are exhausting ourselves trying to fix the ‘broken’ things all at once. Truth is, we are never satisfied. If you’re a women living in suburban North Coast there’s this unspoken pressure to create the perfect life. (Seriously is it just me?) We need to be in perfect shape at all times, especially through and after pregnancy and other big life events. We need to be fit and pursuing some kind of athletic stardom. We need to eat healthy, preferably vegan nowdays, and if not vegan then ultra super clean. We need to cancel out the wine drinking with excess amounts of juice detoxing. We need to be experts at something. From yoga, to motherhood, to business, to dinner party hosting we must at all costs become the best. Because even if we don’t say it, life is one perpetual competition. We must not age at all. We must endeavour to lead perfect homes while holding a full time job. We must be mindful and grateful and in our spare time we should be the best kind of friend and work hard to make a difference in our community.
Now don’t stop reading. I am not having a rant at the average women (and maybe man) on the North Coast. I love this place and her people and genuinely want to see a shift in culture and see transformation happen over my life time. What I want to comment on, however, is our crazy pursuit of the perfect life. The life that has everything fixed all at once. The instagram worthy existence, where everyone is a model, entrepreneur and expert on fitness or family or both.
How do we stop? How do we go about being without the striving? How do we accept things like ageing and imperfection with grace and humility? How do we stop the competition and comparison? Because I am desperate to feel less subtle pressure. I want to live with a sense that I have not failed when everything isn’t perfectly in place. I want to be free from the lies that ensnare and the fear that holds me back. I am no longer content scrolling through social media and wishing that I was someone or somewhere else. (I know we all do and feel this).
I honestly believe, especially at this time of year that we need to fight the urge to hustle the perfect holidays, family, christmas decorated house and family photo. What is the point really, of frantically and miserably prepping for festivities and gift giving and picture taking? Of going into crazy debt to fund the perfect summer reality? Of longing after someone else’s life when our own is right where we are supposed to be?
Would you not feel more pressure reading this, would I have made you realise and think for a moment. Just a moment, that maybe there is more. Maybe there is more than the lives we have created here in Suburban paradise. Maybe just maybe we are being beckoned onward into pressure free, life filled existence here on earth. Maybe we’re being asked to leave the much that we know for more. More freedom. More wholeness. More passion. More faith. More fun. More authentic connections. More messy dinners. More simplicity. More forgiveness. MORE.
As you can see my heart is full of a desire to live beyond what we may see. It’s not my moment to criticise but rather my thoughts around what real living could look like. I have not arrived and there is still so much of the “fixer” mentality within me. I’m on a journey, I feel, of considering what it would mean to leave my much for more… SO much more. Maybe we’ll meet up somewhere on this discovery of more along the way.