Lately, I have been finding myself pushing myself hard, but without much success at completing anything. What’s going on? Do I have too many projects to ever finish? Or is it too hard to finish something, let go and move on? What does it mean to have un-read magazines and un-sorted odds-and-ends sitting around?
At first, I blamed myself for my inability to focus – jumping from project to project. Then, I realized that my lack of focus is not to blame. What all of these little piles and projects remind me of is growing up in my parents 19th-century farm house. Projects meant activity. Projects were when my family spent time with each other. Projects were when we learned to work as a team. My house looks fabulous when it is all picked up and sparkly clean. But when there is some clutter, it looks cozy and warm – just like the home I remember.
Until I understood what the clutter meant to me, I criticized myself endlessly, putting myself down for being sloppy. House cleaning became a chore. Now that I understand it, I am able to clean just because it is what I do to make my life the way I like it. There is a level of clutter I will not pass, and I admit to regular purges of stuff. (The Christmas project sent three garbage bags of clothes and household items to a program that finds housing for homeless people.
The other insight that I had was that I was not making or taking the time to read the magazines that were piling up, so I decided to stop turning on the TV one night a week. Not only am I catching up on those magazines, I find myself watching less TV on other nights. I have had more time to read, and I find that I enjoy the quiet.
I have been reading a book called “The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brene´ Brown, Ph.D. Brown teaches us to embrace our human, imperfect selves, and let go of shame. By doing so, we are able to treat ourselves with kindness and generosity. To turn our negative cognitions into positive beliefs. To love ourselves.
Have a great week – and don’t forget to love yourself.