If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you might have noticed I jumped on the whole 100 Happy Days Challenge (I actually didn’t even realize this was an actual website until I just Google’d it for this post… whoops?). I’d been debating it for a while as I love the concept of pulling something positive out of every day. I read an article (that I now can’t find, but it’s somewhere on my Facebook wall…) that finally pushed me to do it. I figured, post-partum is both stressful and isolating time (yes babies are wonderful, but they are also the other things I said too), and maybe this would help keep me both grounded and positive.
Guess what? I suck at it. I’ve been doing it since March 9th and I’ve successfully posted 19 days worth of happy photos.
Does that mean the other days weren’t happy?
Nope, not in the least.
You see, I’m also using this as an exercise in imperfection.
I’m a perfectionist by nature. If you aren’t a perfectionist yourself you might not realize how debilitating this can be. You avoid things because you don’t think you can execute them perfectly. You abandon things that you started because of a minor flaw or mistake (it’s RUINED forever now, so what the hell is the point?). You know you can’t possibly be the best at something so you never bother trying.
My perfectionism manifests itself heavily in “streaks”. Having things happen in a row – or not happen as the case may be – are a huge, weird point of pride for me. I’ve given up exercise programs far too many times because I missed a day, so what was the point?
I might be sucking at the 100 Happy Days thing in the traditional sense. But the goal is no longer to post a photo everyday for me. This is a challenge for me personally, to let it go (hence Elsa. I have a toddler you guys, it was only a matter of time until I made a Frozen reference). To let go of giving up just because something isn’t perfect.
It’s a life lesson, and a parenting lesson. A skill I’ve struggled with for a long time. Look at that Play-Doh. It hasn’t been the same since she did this. I gritted my teeth and let her do it. All the colors, mixed together. Inside I was screaming, but my inner Elsa made me take a deep breath and remind myself she’s two-and-a-half, and Play-Doh is not the expensive. And she’s expressing her creativity.
So, I’ll keep doing my Happy Days challenge, with a week between pictures at times. And I will refuse to let myself feel an ounce of guilt over it.