This week, I go back to the doctor for what seems like the umpteenth time. I'm there every three months for a checkup, and it's something I hate to do. Being a perfectionist, I struggle with the constant feeling that, for my doctor, I can never be good enough -- and I can't. At any given time I find I can only work to improve one thing, and something else inevitably gets left behind. If I'm working hard to stick to my diet, I end up not working out enough. If I'm working out five days a week, I'm not watching what I eat carefully enough (usually because I'm starving after all those workouts!). If I'm working hard on a writing project or a new writing skill, both workouts and diet go by the wayside. Needless to say, my doc is never completely happy with any of it.
That's not to say I am completely happy with it. If I was, I wouldn't dread going to see him so much. But this year my goal has been to accept imperfection, to realize that no one is perfect -- especially me -- and to be okay with the process instead of some nebulous end result. The yin yang symbol is my daily reminder that no light is completely devoid of darkness, and yet no darkness is completely devoid of light. It's okay not to be perfect as long as I'm striving to improve, and on my darkest days, I am never a complete failure either, no matter how much I might feel like I am.
Yin yang is all about balance. Balance by its very nature cannot be attained if I am perfect all of the time -- and all that perfection would probably make me arrogant anyway. :) If I am perfect in one area, another must naturally fall away. It's that whole "you cannot be all things to all people," except applied to myself. I can't do it all, no matter how much I want to. I'm trying to realize that, accept it, and not beat myself up about it like I have for the last 39 perfectionist-driven years. So when I go into my doctor's office this week and he looks at me and asks how I've been doing, I'll say I've been doing okay and mean it. I'm not required to be anything else. I don't have to be fantastic. I can just be okay -- a work in progress, as we say in the writing world. That work leads to some really great stories, and I look forward to the process. :)
Great minds think alike! Head on over to my sister Dani Wade's blog and see what she has to say about being a WIP today!
*Above picture courtesy of DonkeyHotey on Flickr.