Monday, 31 December 2012

The year I realised that perfection = freedom

I've been a perfectionist all my life.  I remember when I was 9 years old, spending half an hour writing the first letter of the first word of a short essay I had to do for our Year 5 handwriting competition.  I think it was the letter "A".  I had to get it perfect.  Not to concern you, I wasn't as obsessive over the rest of the essay, for some reason it was just the first letter and then I was on the right track!  When you look at my worse-than-doctors-scrawl-handwriting now you wouldn't guess it, but I ended up winning 1st prize in this competition which I am still proud of to this day. ;)  LOL.  But the point is, I've always been like that. Spending half an hour to do the perfect 'A'.

So today is the last day of 2012 and as of the stroke of midnight tonight, everything will be fantastic.  All of the worries and stresses of this year will disappear for everyone and everything will be...perfect.  Can't wait.

Yeah, right.

At the stroke of midnight, things won't be perfect.  All that will change will be that we all have fresh hope.  And that is something that we can all do with.  I love how at the start of each year, everyone has such hope for the future and calls the impending year 'their year'.  There's nothing wrong with that.  We should all hope and be optimistic and be looking forward.

But if there's one thing I realised this year, it's that 'perfect' doesn't exist.  We can strive for perfection, but we will never get there.  And sometimes, that striving can come at a cost.  Life is a swirly circle of ups and downs and twists and turns and swishes and falls name it.  As I heard one wise friend say yesterday, sometimes there's reasons for things happening, and sometimes...there's actually not.  Revelations derived from circumstantial happenings can be life changing and I have moved in leaps and bounds from some of mine that I have worked out this year.

But there is other stuff that doesn't make sense.  And that's ok.  Because it's called "life".  Life is life and things happen.  As soon as I realised that this year, I lost some weight.  Off my shoulders.

Usually at midnight on NYE I want to have everything organised.  And this year was no exception, until yesterday.  I am very ambitious.  I have goals: life goals, annual goals, 12WBT goals, weight goals, resolutions, you name it.  I wanted to be set up for the new year, say goodbye to 2012- the most challenging (good and bad) year of my life, and welcome 2013 in a 'perfect' state.  Enter it how I intend to live it.

Tonight, NYE, I was supposed to be in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in a flower bikini.  That’s actually what I had planned.  Well, I’m not.  My year changed.  That’s what happens.  And anyway, none of my NYE’s have gone to plan.  Each year I drum it up to be the #bestpartyofmylife LOL.  There’s so many expectations.  Not very funnily enough I’ve never had the planned #bestpartyofmylife.  On previous NYE’s I’ve had to babysit a drunk busload of men on the side of the highway.  I’m vomited from a high rise balcony.  (#I’mclassylikethat).  I’ve had a fight with a friend.  I’ve been assaulted.  I’ve had food poisoning.  I’ve kissed random boys who’s phone numbers end up in my phone as ‘Lifeguard NYE party pash.’  LOL.  One of my NYE’s was so terrible that a story ended up in the newspaper about it.

So in keeping with my perfect entrance into 2013, I got home yesterday morning from boot camp and was going to sit down and write some stuff out.  Finalise my goals list.  Clean my house.  You know, be perfect and stuff ;)  Instead, I fell asleep in my damp and sweaty training gear on my bed – a very rare thing.  I was tired.  And I didn’t do any of the stuff I planned.  And that’s ok.

Because I realised this year that the best laid plans can unravel.  That you can be going along swimmingly, and then BAM! something hits you in the face.  That we have to adapt.  That we have to be flexible.  That life in it's rawest form, is beautiful.

Growing up, I was so busy trying to be perfect, that I forgot why I was doing it all.  I had friends and family tell me for years to slow down.  I acknowledged this but thought that I had until I was at least 50 to calm my pace. 
Doing too much is only detrimental to 'old' people.  One close friend in particular, told me to stop moving at a million miles an hour.  She said that she used to be like me, and told me to look how she ended up.  She told me this from her bed in Palliative Care.  She passed away a year ago.

This year has been insane.  The most phenomenal highs and lows all smacked together.  Some of it makes sense.  Most of it changed me.  All of it was needed.  I have so much going through my head.  But it's time to simplify.  And let things go.  And block out the noise.  And, relax.  I have some huge goals and I still intend to work my ass off to make them happen.  But I'm cool now.  I know 'it' doesn't have to perfect.  It actually can't be.  I wrote some new rules for me for next year:

Laugh until I cry. (I forgot how to.)
Train until I (almost) throw up. (Because it makes me feel good.)
Love endlessly. (I already do.  This was just a reminder.)
Smile. Just smile. (Because it's all ok.) :)
Work passionately. (Because I want to do what I love.)
Let go with no limits. (Vulnerability = liberation = freedom.)
Play like there's a water fight every day. (I forgot how to play.)
Wear my heart openly. (Continue to.  It's part of who I am.)
Protect personally. (I deserve to protect myself.)
Accept consciously. (There is freedom in acceptance.)
Seize boundlessly. (I've ignored opportunities in the past if they weren't planned.  No more.)
Aim beyond the moon. (Because if I don't get there, I'll fall amongst the stars.  And the moon.)
Live deservedly. (Because it wasn't until recently that I realised I do…deserve.)

I spent a while on this list to make sure it was...dare I say it...perfect.  Then I remembered.  I'll probably update this list.  Edit it.  Grow it.  I may reflect some more.  I'll still 'finalise' my goals lists, to do list etc. too.  And then change them.  And will try to achieve them all.  And I may not get them all done.  They’ll probably change tomorrow even.  I’ll learn some more.  Because that's what happens.  We change.  We adapt.  We accept.

It's been a big year.  I'm really tired.  I'm letting go of the confusion, the pondering, the reasons, the lessons, the why's, and the perfection, and just focussing on living truthfully, graciously and passionately, with the rules that I have set above.  I was going to say that I'm not there yet. Not where? I'm not at my weight loss goal or at other goals (yet), but I'm 'there' with life. Because I realised that it's not about achieving perfection. It's about doing your best with what you have. It's about living your best life. And I know now that it's an 'every minute' thing, not a NY thing.  You can be whoever you want to be, at any time.  It’s inside of yourself and you have to trust yourself.  Sometimes it takes a pink My Little Pony to teach us that.  Well, me, anyway ;)

Midnight on NYE doesn’t give us anything that we didn’t already have.  It simply exemplifies hope.

Live to the maximum.  And in the moment.  Accept.  Let it go, let it all out.

Grab your hope - as this is important – make your goals, create your plans, and party in the new year like we all should.  Dream HUGE.  You can do anything you want to.  And keep an open mind.  Because you know perfection?  It’s actually acceptance.  And acceptance equals freedom.

Happy New Year everyone.  May 2013 be ‘your’ year.  I know it’s going to be mine :) xoxoxoo

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