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Spilt Milk

As a child, whether intentional or not by my parents, my impressionable ears heard, "If things aren't perfect, they are awful." You know as well as I do, things are rarely perfect. So, the result was a young girl who experienced anxiety before she even understood what the word meant. 

My eyes would zoom in on the one "B" on my report card, unconsoled by the sea of "A"s. I missed all the friendly faces, focusing on the one scowling in my direction. All the good things went unnoticed, as I only saw imperfections. And I was unhappy. 

I couldn't let the failures go. God, I hate that word failure. It should be removed from the dictionary. I was consumed with worry over making mistakes, however small. I would discover later, not succeeding at something is nothing more than an opportunity to learn or change direction. And worry is like paying interest on a debt you may never have. 

Do you know what turned me into a "recovering" perfectionist? Saved me from a life of unhappiness? My divorce. That's right - my divorce. The biggest failure of all ... in my eyes ... in my parent's eyes. But then, I looked into the beautiful blue eyes of my son and decided I could give him a joyful childhood, despite imperfect circumstances. And I changed my perspective. 

I looked around at what I did have, instead of what was missing. I started each day with gratitude. Laughed when I fell down, instead of cried. Taught my son the "Shake it Off" dance when he stumbled in life. We both adopted the "Do our Best" motto instead of the "It has to be Perfect" nonsense.

Now, when I spill milk, I wipe it up and move on. Maybe even giggle a little. 

 

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