Tag Archives: What I’ve Learned

On waiting for perfection.

Ridiculous BeginningsI stewed over starting a “what I’ve learned series” for months before actually doing it. I think my desire to write about things I’ve learned comes primarily from the fact that I feel like I’ve learned so much lately. I also feel like our entire lives are based on learning. With each passing day, we learn something new. With each passing year, we grow into better versions of ourselves (hopefully). We are constantly learning new things about ourselves and this world we live in, and that’s something that I’ve felt called to talk about.

So here we have it…a post that’s hopefully a part of an ongoing discussion about what I’ve learned and what it means. Today, I want to discuss what I’ve learned in regards to striving for perfection. I have been known to wait to do things until it’s perfectly planned out. I may or may not have proofread things to death before ever letting them go. It’s possible that I’ve avoided certain things altogether because I didn’t feel like I had time to do it to its absolute best. I’ve definitely been called a perfectionist a time or two, and while having perfectionist tendencies can be a good thing, it’s certainly not a title that I love. Actually, I’ve found that the goal of perfection is often debilitating. Often, this mirage of perfection sucks up tons of valuable time or worse, prevents us from accomplishing anything at all.

I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point in the past year, I finally realized that I had to let some things go. I needed to learn to delegate tasks in order to grow my business. If I spent less time perfecting every little thing, I could get so much more done! Sure, every single person that I know might not get a beautiful birthday card with a wonderfully scripted message, BUT if just a handful of the people I knew got a card, that was better than none. If the card was basic and simple, it was better than no card at all. I finally realized that I was spending way too much time trying to do everything perfectly, such that most of my good ideas weren’t being implemented at all. A church sign once read, ”The smallest deed is better that the grandest intention.” I was full of intentions…not deeds.

If you, too, suffer from dwelling on perfection, what do you do to overcome it?? That’s a hard question and my solution isn’t too elaborate. You just start doing things. I had to learn to just throw things out there. Within the last couple of months, I’ve “just done” several things that would have normally taken me months and months to implement. For example, this year I mailed a Halloween letter to anyone I had a mailing address for. I ordered the supplies, drafted the content, and then basically turned the rest of the project over to my assistant. I didn’t even see them before they were mailed! (Those of you who know me pretty well know this was a HUGE step for me.) I did something similar with a Thanksgiving promotional piece. I created the plan/content and then handed over the reins. These were prepped and delivered while I was in another state! To take this a step further, I began working on and produced two different Christmas cards in less than 24 hours. Something of this nature would have normally taken me months!

Here’s the deal though. I accomplished four tasks in a short amount of time that I wouldn’t have otherwise done if I’d approached them with my usual mindset. I’ll admit, these four tasks could have been done better. However, with my usual approach, they likely wouldn’t have gotten done at all. This is especially true for our personal Christmas cards. I had to settle on something less than perfect because of time constraints. If I hadn’t sacrificed perfection, we wouldn’t be sending a card this year. Which is worse – a less-than-perfect card or no card at all? We all know how much I love paper products. For me, it was no card at all.

I did something similar with this blog. I spent months and months toying over the idea of starting a blog. I was doing all of the “research,” (In many cases, “research” is code for avoiding the jump.), but I was so caught up in knowing how to do every little thing, that I postponed starting it. Finally, I dove in head first with this post. If I would have known everything there was to know before making that first post, it would have never happened. Most of the time starting it the hardest part. After that, the pieces tend to fall together. Actually, I struggle with this on a daily basis with this blog. Most of the time, I have to make myself hit the publish button. Usually it’s with my eyes closed and a cringed face. You know…that one that looks like you’re about to get hit with a bat. The reality is, some of my posts have typos. Most of them could be written so much better. However, if I read every post 30+ times, nothing would get shared here. I’d change something every single time I read it and eventually I’d be so burdened by the roughness of it, that it would never get posted. Instead, I write, proofread a few times, and then cringe while clicking submit. I take a gamble with every post that it’s poorly written, no one will relate, and I spelled every single word wrong. However, it could be my best post yet. It could really make a difference for someone, and I could be thrilled to come back and read it years from now. (That’s a truly scary thought.) It’s worth the risk.

Is there something you should just hit “publish” on? Is there something that you’re waiting to do until you have a perfect plan? Is there something you haven’t been able to mark off of your list because you keep analyzing it from all angles? If there is, take some time to really think about the time you’re wasting. If you jumped in head first today, would you really regret it? Would it be detrimental to your life? Most likely not. Instead, we’ve been wasting valuable time waiting. Waiting on the right time or the right plan. Waiting on perfection. Well, I’ve decided that imperfection is beautiful. Imperfection is real. Maybe, just maybe, putting things “out there” without them being perfectly polished might make you more relatable.  (Please say that my typos make me more relatable. I’m counting on that.) I haven’t mastered this yet, but I’m going to keep working on putting more things on the “deed” side of the balance and less on the “intention” side.

“Life is a game in which the player must appear ridiculous.” – Isabelle in Downton Abbey. Don’t be afraid to look a little ridiculous sometimes. That’s just life.



On Starting a Family

smiling babyI was sitting in the Starbucks drive through one morning and watched a pregnant lady stroll by in front of my car. She was probably 6 or 7 months pregnant.  She was as cute as can be and looked so happy, laughing as her and her friend walked by. I’m sure her feet were probably swollen and she might not have slept well the night before, but she looked genuinely happy.

As I sat there waiting for my coffee, I realized that I don’t really have that overwhelming desire to be that woman. Don’t get me wrong, I do want kids. (As a matter of a fact, I want 5!) However, I realized that I don’t long to be pregnant. I don’t get that empty feeling in my stomach when I see a mom holding a new baby. I don’t lay awake at night thinking about starting a family. I do want a family, and I do look forward to being a mom someday, but I just don’t long for it.

On the other hand, when I see a woman in a suit speaking at a conference or leading an important meeting, I do get excited. There’s something about having a successful career that wakes me up inside. I have big goals and even bigger dreams, and I could talk business all day! When I look at myself in a futuristic way, business is what I see. As a matter of a fact, I can’t ever remember seeing myself at home with adorable children tugging on my apron. When I think back to my childhood thoughts on my future, I remember seeing myself standing before a projector in a Fortune 500 company, explaining some revolutionary breakthrough I discovered. Since I can remember, my idea of success has always centered around a predominant career.

The more I thought about my focus on career goals instead of family goals, the more guilty I felt. After all, I do want a family. I do want to bake cupcakes for school parties and go to every soccer game. The fact that I want to make a name for myself in the workforce doesn’t at all mean that I don’t also want to be a wonderful mommy some day.

As I thought more about this struggle between work and family, I realized that thousands of other women probably battle this same thing. I realized that each and every one of us have different goals or timelines for our lives and that none of them are “wrong.” Some women want lavish careers. Some want to be at home everyday raising beautiful babies. Some want both. Some do one or the other and some do both. Some moms bake after-school snacks from scratch and some pick up snacks from the drive through.

It was in that moment that I realized that it’s ok to want both. It’s ok to focus more heavily on one or the other, or it’s ok to fight for a balance between the two.

The fact that I’m not longing to have children right now doesn’t mean that I’ll make a bad mother someday. It doesn’t mean that I’m less of a woman than the lady standing next to me with a sweet two year old looking up at her. It just means that I’m different. And you’re different. We’re all different, but we’re all still amazing in our own ways. There’s nothing that we can’t accomplish, regardless of what those goals are. Whether you’re a stay at home mom or a successful business woman, it doesn’t matter. You’re still a wonderful, amazing woman who has the opportunity to make a difference in the world. The difference that you make may come through in cupcakes and kissed bruises, or it may be through a successful marketing campaign. Either way, you will make a difference to someone.

Deep down I know that I’m writing my own story and that I’ll always be thankful for sticking to my guns and following my own timeline. However, sometimes it’s hard to not be discouraged when people question your plans. It’s hard to not feel inferior when people ask, “when are y’all going to have kids?” Yes, having children is the next apparent step in our story, but it’s not a step that we have to take now. If you’re curious, I don’t plan to have kids until I just can’t stand not having them any more. (Obviously, I know that we can’t plan everything in our lives. Actually, I’ve always said that my first child will most likely have to be unplanned.)

I mentioned starting a category here on the blog for things that I’ve learned, and I think this is a big one. I’m slowly learning that it’s ok to not follow the norm. People will likely talk and ask inappropriate questions. And inevitably, someone will unintentionally make you feel bad about yourself at one point or another. It’s ok. I’d rather live my life in a way that I feel passionately about than succumb to tradition.

If you want to have lots a babies right away, please do! If you want to travel the world, do it. If your dreams revolve around finding the next big thing, keep searching. If anything, this post is about celebrating, and more importantly, respecting the differences in our dreams. We don’t have to all look and act the same. We don’t have to want the same things, and we don’t have to follow the same path. We each have a purpose in this world and the paths to get there will most definitely be different. That’s what makes this ole life so interesting!

Today I charge you to not judge people for being different. Instead, make time to celebrate the difference among us. If at all possible, try to encourage the women around you, even if their dreams might be a little different than yours. They most likely need it.

Thank you, Naomi, for letting me borrow a photo of your sweet Adley.


Saturday OutfitI’ve had a couple of Saturdays off lately and it’s been fantastic. One Saturday, I wore Matthew’s old t-shirt all day with leggings. I even wore it with a cute jacket to grab dinner at The Fieldhouse that night. Add a pair of sparkly sandals to a baggy shirt and leggings, and you have yourself a real outfit. (Kids, don’t try this at home.)

Another Saturday morning was spent doing laundry. First of all, I actually sort of like doing laundry…except for putting it away. I do NOT like putting it away. Deep down inside, I actually like having those days where I can do the laundry start to finish. I feel so accomplished! I am learning, however, that I don’t like it when I have to do a load here and a load there. I’m realizing that clothes tend to end up getting left in the dryer and it takes us much longer to put the clothes away when they’re done this way. Therefore, let’s all get excited about days where I can do the laundry start to finish. They’re the best. (Side note: I read on a blog once that taking pics of your messes in black and white make them look so much more attractive. So true! Try it!)

dirty laundryThis brings me to another topic. I’ve mentioned “things that I’m learning” a few times in the past. I feel like I’m constantly growing and learning new things about myself or the world around me. Sometimes they’re monumental like my discovery about self-guilt. Sometimes they’re a little more trivial, like it’s best for me to do all of the laundry at one time. I really want to try to discuss these discoveries with you guys, even though sometimes they’re hard to put into words. Therefore, I’m creating a new category here on the blog for “What I’ve Learned.” Again, you may find life-changing, amazing things here. Or it may be just that I realized that I only like carrots if they’re cooked. I think paying attention to both the large and small discoveries in life is monumental to your personal growth. Writing about my own discoveries helps me to process them. If you learn anything new about yourself, I hope you’ll share along the way too!

picnic basketAfter wrapping up the laundry that Saturday, Matthew and I went to hear Code Blue and the Flatliners at Landry’s Vineyard. (They are a group of musical doctors which makes their name so hilarious to me! They’re also very entertaining. We seldom miss their performances at Landry’s.) I felt so lucky that Matthew and I both happened to have that Saturday off. For a couple that works as much as we do, this was something to celebrate in itself. We had a great time at the vineyard and look forward to the next event. You can find the concert schedule on their website, and we’d love to see you there!

This Saturday, I’m looking forward to the ULM Homecoming game. Matthew and I are season ticket holders which makes me feel like such a grown up. What do you usually do when you have Saturdays off? If I keep up this streak of having time off, I might need some suggestions!