There is just something about the holidays that bring out the best and the worst in people. A person can simultaneously ring a bell for the Salvation Army while talking smack about a family member. Or volunteer to serve for a food program but body slam a stranger in order to get the last Fingerling at Toys R Us. We can slip into old patterns of behavior without making a conscious decision and so easily become someone we don't like.
This is where I find myself...in the weird time between Christmas and New Years where the majority of my world slows down for a few days, which consequently causes me to have more time than usual to self-reflect. I have been replaying the events from the last couple of weeks that were full of hustle and bustle, family gatherings, dinners with friends, co-worker get-togethers and realize that I have officially fallen off the wagon. The wagon of freedom from perfectionism.
Slipping into old patterns of behavior, like a favorite pair of jeans, just makes life better, or at least tolerable, when stressful situations are present. It's like there has to be a familiarity in the chaos, even if the familiarity isn't what is best for us. A way to regain control when we feel like we are spiraling.
I may or may not have obsessively cleaned my house while yelling at my children to stop eating (they were messing up the kitchen), stop playing (they were messing up the living room), stop peeing (they were messing up the bathroom), and stop breathing (well, because the sound was getting on my nerves). I also spent approximately three days wrapping presents with the cutest paper I could find and then hand-lettering each tag with a gold Sharpie paint marker (to class it up a bit). Then there's the holiday photos...if you have ever attempted to get a Facebook worthy photo with multiple children that have yet to open their presents then the words "holiday photos" just sent chills down your spine. It is literally a nightmare in which I am always surprised by the fact that the part I am playing in this drama is the lead villain. To say that I was p.o'd is an understatement. I mean what is so freakin' bad about wanting to have a nice photograph commemorating our familial awesomeness on social media? Pardon me, pretty sure I just threw up in my mouth.
What happened to my commitment to live authentically, not burdened by the approval of others or empty tasks full of busyness? Am I that easily distracted from my goal? I can't even make it three months into this journey without royally failing? And just as I'm officially ready to just call it quits and throw in the towel I am reminded of the goodness of God.
"How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?" (Galatians 3:3-4)
And there it is, clear as glass...stop trying so hard. Trust in God. Trust him to work good in my life. Trust him to have my back. Be concerned with pleasing him and not other people. This is not new information, but evidently I needed a reminder.
So, I'll pick up the pieces and begin again. As I'm sure I will do many times in this life.