I am not perfect. Deep down I know that's okay. But most of the time, I forget. I desperately want to be perfect. I want to be the best kindergarten teacher. I want to be the best mother. I want a clean stylish house that could be on the cover of Country Home. I want to be a good sister, daughter, friend, wife, neighbor, relief society pianist, and visiting teacher. I want to sew, quilt, bake, scrapbook, blog, travel, and create with the best of them. I want to look like I have it all together. I want to not be exhausted, stressed out, and crabby at the end of the day.
Am I happy? Yes. I have a wonderful life with a brilliant, hard working, and absolutely darling husband that I am very much in love with. I have a hilarious, spazy, beautiful 11 month old daughter that surprises me each day with how amazing it is to be a mother. I have a great job that I look forward to going to every day where I work with teachers that support me and make me laugh. I have an stellar family with parents and in-laws that dote on my daughter, feed us well, babysit for free, and offer unconditional love and very wise advice.
So, why do I judge myself so harshly? Why do I look at other people's blogs and websites and wish like anything that I was half as cool as them? Why do I think that the callings I have are so far beyond me that the people I serve with must wonder why I accepted the calls in the first place? Why do I wish I had better hair, teeth, clothes, furniture, and skills? Why do I feel so unworthy and incapable of doing a good job at anything?
I've come to the conclusion that the answer is not in anti-depressants (although that might be easier) but in an attitude change. My life will only be as cool as I think it is. I need to start believing it when people compliment me. I need to stop stressing out about my shortcomings and focus on my strengths. I need to realize that if my house looked like the cover of Country Home then it would require me spending all of my time and attention on the house and not on my busy baby and meaningful teaching career. I need to stop berating myself for not being the most skilled and creative crafter and just enjoy other people's achievements and creativity.
Today we had the opportunity to have the missionaries over for dinner. We had a great time sharing stories back and forth while we downed the beans and rice that Dan had made to pay homage to his mission. It was really one of the most enjoyable and fun dinners I've had in a while. The Elders brought such a spirit to our home and we all chuckled as Maggie ground the beans into her scalp and rubbed them down every strand of hair on her head. When Dan returned from taking our guests to their next appointment he said that the Elders had told him how lucky he is. "You really scored with your wife," they said, "All the other young wives around here are so high maintenance. But your wife is laid back and way cool."
Way cool. They said that about me. While sitting back watching Maggie give herself a legume conditioning treatment with my imperfect house, bad teeth, and burnt side dishes, I had actually impressed somebody. I guess that my imperfect, low maintenance life is actually a good thing. I'll have to remember that.