Perfection is not Attainable

Hello, dear readers and happy Monday! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t happy. Mondays are for being tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed.

But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, every single week. Each Monday is our own personal reset button. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?

“For whatever it’s worth, I believe we’re born imperfect, and perfection, whatever that may be, is unattainable by us mere humans.”

— Liza M. Wiemer, Hello?

I’m not perfect, but I never thought I would be. I had been born too flawed and been too fucked up by my parents, and boys, and women, and love, and failure to ever be perfect. I felt sorry for myself, watching everyone on their way to being divine human beings while I am stuck with a life, a body, and a mind that will never be any better than it is now.

I have low self-esteem, obviously, and like all things in our minds, knowing it doesn’t change a thing. I spend a lot of time thinking about all the ways I don’t measure up. I think about how clumsy I am, and all the wildly imperfect things I say and the incredibly wrong decisions I make. I think about all the people who don’t like me, don’t care about me, or who are burdened by me. I think about how much I will never measure up, and I feel so small and so stupid, and I feel it nearly all of the time.

I know I measure myself against an impossible standard, against accomplishment no one has achieved. I measure myself against what people show, say, or post online without letting myself believe that they too have work to do toward becoming a better version of them too. I want to be perfect but I’m learning perfection is not attainable, not for me, but maybe not for anyone?

How can it be when we are set up so perfectly to fail against the standard?

Not one of us is born with a road map. We aren’t told what the right path to take is or how to deal with the flawed parts of ourselves that persist even after education, reward, punishment, and culture and the law. OF course, our parents tell us they know the way, and our teachers say they know the way, and TV and blogs say what we should do, but o one really knows, and no path will work for every person or geographic or economic location and level.

So we each waste a whole lot of life making a whole lot of mistakes on our way to somewhere we get never get to. You wouldn’t even recognize it if you did anyway since none of us can agree quite what perfection looks like anyway. Think of every contradiction you have ever heard from your parents, your friends, your teachers, your spouse, and your idols. Think of all the ways you have been told to live and all the ways you have hurt yourself trying to do it all. It just can’t be done.

There simply is no such thing as a perfect human. We haven’t even been able to accept being basic human. We spend all of our time repressing and suppressing who we are that we move further away rather than towards perfection. We can’t be our best selves when we don’t even know who we are. I would argue we’ve done nothing but be our worst selves in our misguided efforts.

So, I’ll say it again: Perfection is not attainable! It is something you can never achieve, and therefore you should stop trying so damn hard and feeling so damn sorry for yourself. We should let go of the dream human being and start working on being the most us, the most human, we can be.

You can only ever be a better you and only in some ways, not in all. There is always a give and take because there are only so many hours in a day and neurons in the brain. You gain something you lose something, and you can only hope that what you become makes you happier with yourself and your life than what you were before.

Perfection has gotten us into a whole lot of trouble and kept us from a whole lot of love. We hold so tight to it, we do anything for it, we give up anything for it, and we miss out on what makes us great and wonderful. We forget how good it feels to be comfortable with you are vs. how soul crushing it is to spend your life trying to be something you aren’t.

This week, take a moment to let go of perfection and get to know and accept yourself as you are now. Meditation and mindfulness can help with this. Mindfulness reminds us to live in the now, not in a past or a future that can’t be changed or may never come. Meditation teaches us to accept and gently direct our thought and wants. Take 10 minutes a day to sit and breath, be gentle and aware, or just forgive yourself for you next shortcoming and remind yourself that it’s normal and beautiful to be who you are now, flaws and all.

Don’t give up on improving yourself. Don’t give up on learning more about who you are and what this thing called life is. Don’t give up on working hard and finding your happiness. Just change your idea of what “perfect” is. Let go of it completely and focus on being a better you.

Start with just being a human. Feel your feelings fully and explore who you are. That in itself is a life long journey! Don’t waste time comparing yourself and trying to be something you can’t. You can be good. You can be a you that is open and aware of the world. You can be wise, and compassionate, and successful too. You can be loved, and admired, and remembered, but you can never be perfect.

You can only be you, imperfect, boring, beautiful you.

***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // Spring Break Started Early!

“Sometimes life is merely a matter of coffee and whatever intimacy a cup of coffee affords.”

Richard Brautigan

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up. I almost didn’t make it today! Fatigue is kicking my butt, and my medication still hasn’t taken effect yet, and that means I slept most of the day away.

The clouds outside aren’t helping. It seems our warm, dry weather streak is over.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that thanks to the break in the warm, dry weather I got an extra day of spring break. The local news predicted blizzard-like conditions, so school was canceled which means I got to stay home too.

But here in Denver, Colorado what happens in one part of town can be very different from another. Some parts of the city got hit bad, in my area we got mostly rain, and by early afternoon the slush had melted and dried. I have a feeling out district will take a hit with the public for this one, but it won’t matter. It’s hard to decide whether or not to brave the conditions and hope for the best. The public forgets that safety is most important, especially in the Transportation department.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though it’s officially spring break, I still have to work but it’ll be easy work: organizing, filing, spreadsheets, cleaning up, that sort of thing. I can’t exactly afford to lose five days of pay, but I can afford to lose some, so I’m just working six hours a day, and only three days out of the week, Monday thru Wednesday.

Thursday and Friday, my girlfriend and I are planning a day trip out-of-town and a day in-town. Thursday we’re heading to Denver Art Museum for a very geeky Star Wars costume exhibit then out for seafood and sangria. Friday we’ll be heading up to Boulder for the day. I’m not sure what we’ll do up there, but I’m hoping for lots of shopping and more good food.

***

Last week wasn’t so bad. My route wasn’t running, and I managed to steer clear of having to do extra work, so that was good. I had hoped to spend all that free time working on a whole bunch of writing projects but, it turns out, I only had time and energy for one.

I entered a fiction contest at The Writing Collective. You can read it if you like but it isn’t my best work. I found out about the contest a little late and between work, my guts still acting up, and a last-minute dinner and drinks date with a cousin who got laid off from work, I didn’t have time. I wanted to give up, but I thought maybe I should try anyway. I thought I should do my best and see what happens. *shrug*

I also finished my first submission for Aloe. I’ll be submitting it today, but there is no guarantee of acceptance. If they agree to publish it, I’ll wait a few weeks before working on another. If they don’t, I’ll get started right away on another.

I’m hoping that this week I can finally get back on track around here. I have a ton of drafts to finish and the A to Z challenge is just around the corner, and I have barely got any ideas together. I have a theme, which I have yet to announce, another thing I’m behind on, but I have nothing written and a few letters lacking a topic.

***

If we were having coffee I would tell you that we’ve come to that time, I have to go. After spending the day in and out of naps, plus sweating over cleaning and writing, it’s time I took care of myself. I’m thinking a nice cold hard cider and a long hot shower, at the same time!*

I hope you had a great week. I hope your weekend was nice and relaxing. I hope you’ll take a moment to drop by the comments and let me know how you are doing and what you’ve been up to.

Until ext time :)

*Some might consider a “shower cider” to be outside the spirit of the “shower beer.” Unfortunately, beer doesn’t agree with my stomach so cider it is and I don’t care what those people think.

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

We Know Not What We Do, I Hope

Hello, dear readers and happy Monday! I know, I know, Mondays aren’t happy. Mondays are for being tired, and grouchy, and remembering all the things you don’t like about your life. Mondays are for wanting to crawl back into bed.

But, let’s try something different. Let’s think of Mondays as a chance at a fresh start, every single week. Each Monday is our own personal reset button. Let’s take this opportunity to do it differently. Let’s make the changes we want to see in ourselves and the world, okay?

“No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.”

— Mary Wollstonecraft

I’ve been having a really hard time coping with the state of the people and politics here in the United State since the election. There are many of you, and many people I know in real life, who would tell me it’s long past time to get over it, but every morning I watch the news, I scroll my feeds and timelines, and I get progressively more afraid, more cynical, and more depressed.

It feels like there are so many people who want to hurt the poor, the lost, and the vulnerable. They want to hurt our environment. They want to hurt people who look and live differently from they way they look and live. They want to line their pockets and laugh while the world burns. I am convinced, but what I can’t understand is why.

I hear two voices shouting out at me through opinion pieces and blogs. One says not to listen to them, not to give them one moment’s consideration. They are the enemy and they must be guarded against at all costs. The other says to understand them. See the world their way. They are afraid, they are ignorant, listen and reassure them. They only need time and love to come around.

My heart likes the sound of the latter, but my anger tells me I am stupid and pushes the former course.

I’m highly suspicious of any calls to understand, and appeal to, people who refuse to understand or appeal to the needs of those less fortunate than them.

What I mean is, if you are angry because full equality under the law and fair and respectful treatment for immigrants, Muslims, women, and the LGBTQ+ community has become an important issue in American politics, I think the last thing we should be doing is giving you more time to explain why people who have suffered and fought for so long should slow down, take a back seat, and give you the floor. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

I am weary of anyone who says you can’t eat, you can’t feel warm, secure, and safe because they need more. There are real consequences for people when you won’t let go of your ego or a small amount of your money. When people say they need something, they need it. End of story.

But as weary as I am, as much as I don’t want to spend my time understanding and coddling, there is part of me that longs to understand and the only thing that makes sense is that people just don’t know any better. They can’t help themselves. They really think they are doing what is right.

We have so much privilege we have become so blind to it. We spend more time protecting our luxuries than we do protecting human life and dignity. We are all guilty of it. Some more than others, but every day more and more sees the light. There is hope, I hope.

I recognize that may be a lie I am telling myself too. Maybe part of me just wants to, has to, believe that the world isn’t that cruel. People can’t be evil for evil sake. Even if the universe doesn’t care and there is no rhyme or reason to any of this, we have to have reasons right? We have to, deep down, want to do what’s best, for love, for our families, for our country and our sense of right and wrong. Right?

So, this week, I’m exploring what lies are worth telling myself. What leaps of faith are worth taking. What aspects of human nature are not worth looking too closely at.

My instincts tell me none. My instincts tell me wherever humans are involved things are always complicated, and there are never easy answers. There is always a spectrum and it is rare we fall to one side or the other fully. People aren’t all bad, but they aren’t all good either. People’s intentions must follow the same patterns I suppose.

So, this week I guess I am exploring what that means to me and in these times, where we are so divided, so angry, and so willing to turn a blind eye or let loose our rage, we should all explore what that means for us, about us. How do we find common ground? How do we listen and teach? How do we change hearts? How do we do it without losing our own sense of right and wrong?

This week, ask yourself what are the value the value of rose-colored glasses and leaps of faith in humanity? Contemplate the motivations behind why we treat each other the way they do. Look within yourself and question how it makes you feel when another person says they need things that you cannot understand. In what ways do people who live differently from you make you afraid?

I want to know what evil lives in me and why I think it will lead to happiness. I want to know that about all people. I want to know how to fix it.

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

— Anne Frank

***

If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // A Bad Week that Wasn’t so Bad

“A friend of coffee is a friend of mine.”

― Death Wish Coffee

Hello, dear readers. Thank you for stopping by for a bit of coffee and catching up with me. I did my best to get going early this morning. It helped that I had to be up anyway. My stomach waking me up every morning around 5:30, just in time for medication and work, is my new normal. Unfortunately, my gut isn’t aware that it is the weekend, so here we are. The weather is gorgeous so I have the windows open and the cold brew already made.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this past week was not the best but sometimes when you get through a bad week, when you do your best and get everything done that you needed to, it feels like a good week anyway.

Work was frustrating. I can’t go into a lot of detail but imagine if you had a goal or task that took place over the course of months every year. Imagine are awesome and complete your tasks on time, every year. Then imagine that instead of getting to celebrate, relax, or move on to the next task, you were reminded by your boss that you were part of a team and that your job was to complete the work of other employees who hadn’t completed their tasks, every single year! It’s infuriating! But I’m taking care of myself. I set boundaries. I’m not going to stress myself out or overwork myself to complete this task.

But I’m taking care of myself. I set boundaries. I’m not going to stress myself out or overwork myself to complete this task. The get a couple of hours, two days a week, and that’s it, and from now on, instead of just checking in with my team, I will check in with other teams so that I can be free in April, as was always my goal.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you this week was a slow writing week. For most of the week, when I wasn’t working, I was just too tired. My health still isn’t back 100%, which reminds me, I finally had a consult with my GI doctor a whole month after my diagnosis! I’m angry it took so long, but I’m happy to have more information and a plan. It also helped that she started out by apologizing.

I’ll be honest, though, a lot of what she said was a bit depressing. She really made sure I understood that ulcerative colitis is for life. I can never stop treatment, and I can never lose my insurance. If I lose insurance treatment becomes too expensive. If I stop treatment, it may not work when I have to start again, and I will have to start again because ulcerative colitis is for life.

So, I’m back on the steroids, but at a lower dose, and an anti-inflammatory drug that I will take every day for the rest of my life. It will take a few more weeks to know for sure whether this plan will work or not but I’m hoping it will. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll have to move on to harsher drugs, and no one wants that. I’d much rather be taking these pills then giving myself injections or going in for infusions every few weeks. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that even though I didn’t post much, a few writing related things did happen. I had a piece published on Femsplain. I worked on a few things for Aloe, and, I found a fiction contest to enter if I can get my shit together.

I also changed a few things around here. Nothing big. I added a new page for work I’ve had published Elsewhere. I tweaked my About page and updated my Now page too, and I set up an account for donations/tips on Ko-fi. I don’t expect to get much now, but after I start working on some bigger projects I’m hoping to get a few bucks here and there to help keep my going. And finally, I spent a ton of time gathering ideas and information and talking with like-minded folks on both the Buffer Community and Femslack.

The Buffer Community is free if you would like to join but Femslack will cost you, or you can do what I did and write for them instead. It’s worth it!

It’s nice to feel like a part of a community—especially when it’s a secret “members only” one—and to know there are people I can ask questions of or vent to should I every need it. In fact, I’m thinking about setting up a community of my own in the future *wink, wink*

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this coming week should be easier than the last, which means I plan to be hanging around here much more. I have a ton of comments piled up and awaiting replies—I’m so sorry!—and a few posts drafted and waiting to be shared. I want to catch up on the comings and goings of my blogging friends and find some new ones to follow too.

It’s the last before Spring Break too. I don’t have any big plans yet, but my girlfriend and I are hoping to find something big to do. We’d love to get out-of-state for a few days, but I’d settle for just out of the city if I could. Even that might not happen, though. We need a dog sitter first and our usual, my little sister, has school that week. Sigh.

I can’t tell you how badly I need this vacation. I am going crazy doing the same things day in and day out with nothing new to stimulate or inspire me. I don’t care what we do or where we go as long as it is away from work, home, and everyone I know.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, we have come to that time. I love chatting with you all and if given half a chance I could probably go on all day long but there are rooms to clean, pets to care for, and shopping to be done, not to mention all the writing itching to get done. So, I’d better get off the internet and out into the real world.

I hope you had a wonderful week I hope you had a relaxing weekend too. Please, take a minute to drop a note in the comments and catch me up on everything that has been going on.

Until next time 🙂

I don't understand how she can sleep with her nose buried in her own ass like that 😝

A post shared by Lisa Blair (@zenandpi) on

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? 

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

The Week’s End // A Roundup of Important Reads

Hello friends and welcome to the weekend. I’m a little late, as usual, but if you’re still looking for some interesting reads to check out while you relax, look no further, I got you covered. Here are the things I found important, inspiring, and interesting enough to share this week:

Desert wildflowers cover the ground around the Amboy Crater in the Mojave Trails National Monument on March 15 in Twentynine Palms, California during yearly bloom.
Wildflower Bloom Carpets Southern California in Vivid Color

So disrespectful and utterly embarrassing.

Trump’s budget is both heartless and pointless.

Is America great again, yet?

Resistance made easy.

Six years war.

The best we could do.

The largest humanitarian crisis since the end of the second world war. We have to help.

Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal died this week. Read her viral essay and her books.

Missing Richard Simmons” makes me uncomfortable.

Safe, inclusive, conversational.

I haven’t eaten at McDonald’s in years, but I almost ran out for a Big Mac and Shamrock shake this week :)

What do you think? Have you read, watched, or written an interesting thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out!

***

This list was originally sent out along with today’s newsletter: Positivity is not a Cure + some of my own existential musings. Check it out and subscribe, or buy me a cup of coffee, perhaps? 

Featured image via Unsplash

If We Were Having Coffee // I Waste Every Weekend

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments just now.”

― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

Hello, dear readers. I know it’s late and I’m sorry for that. I had so much to do. I had to clean the house, do the taxes, and a very special dinner to make, not to mention the accidental nap I took. Next thing I knew, it was dark out, my alarm was telling me to get ready for bed, and I still hadn’t talked to you. I’m here now, though, I couldn’t let the weekend go by without our bit of coffee and catching up. I hope you don’t mind.

From what I hear, depending on when you are reading this and where from, there may be some of you across the country who will be needing a nice warm cup. I don’t want you all to be jealous, but here in colorful Colorado we are experiencing more spring like temps and will be for a while. It’s nice, but there is always the nagging fear of drought conditions. I’m afraid warmer temperatures and less water are going to be our new norm here.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that this week has been so, so long. We hired a new employee class at which means I was busy training and teaching. I like this part of my job, and the extra hours/money it provides but damn does it get in the way of writing. I was able to get a few notes down, and this coming week I’m hoping to expand them into blog posts here and pieces for Femplain‘s new project Aloe.

I’m super proud of myself for getting through it with a good attitude, though. I kept my energy up and told myself that since I knew it had been coming, and it is what I signed up for, I just had to suck it up and get it done. And if I had to do it I had better do a good job. There’s not much worse than having to spend the day doing what you would rather not, except doing it badly and having to hear it from your boss or redo it anyway.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that right now, I am very frustrated with myself. My goals most weekends are to work on blog posts for the coming week, work on a couple of pieces to submit somewhere, and work on some art and zine stuff. I never get any of that done. Every weekend without fail I waste about 80% of my time and this weekend was no exception.

During the week my day job keeps my time structured and makes it easy for me to focus on what needs to be done when. My weekends need more structure then I guess. I try to do everything at once. I write, I do the dishes, I watch TV, I spend time with my girlfriend, and I catch up on sleep. I never know which thing I should be doing when, so I do them all, all day.

It’s strange to say I get more done for myself when I am at work than when I am at home, but I realize I am far from ready to work for myself or from home. I need discipline and a plan.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the other half of the problem might be my emotions. I have been all over the place for months now. Part of it was being sick, then the medication, and now, I don’t know what. It’s hard to even tell you exactly what is going on.  I am hopeful, and I have plans but my motivation waxes and wanes randomly and my self-esteem has taken a dip. I’m not sure what to do since I can’t put my finger on exactly what is wrong, but at least I’m aware of it. Sigh.

I have a feeling this coming week I won’t be feeling much better. Between daylight saving time and another busy week lined up at work I have a feeling, there will be more frustration and less satisfying work. I have a doctor’s appointment too. I’m hoping to get more answers about my ulcerative colitis diagnosis, and some help since I do think my symptoms are coming back now that I am off of the steroids.

Keep your fingers crossed, and send some good vibes my way, please?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that Samurai Jack is back!

If you don’t know who or what Samurai Jack is you should head to Hulu and watch every single episode or head over to Adult Swim and catch the stream over there. The show first aired somewhere around 2001 and ran for four seasons before ending. The ending never felt right, and the show creators have decided to make so many millennial dreams come true by bringing it back after all these years and giving us Jack’s story the proper ending it deserves. Last night the new season premiered and it was everything I hoped it would be. Beautiful cinematography, silliness, sadness, and some serious fight scenes!

I used to watch the show when I was 15 or so, with my little sister. I can’t say I was the biggest fan then, but like so many things, I didn’t realize that the 30 minutes I had to watch that show were among the few happy memories I had as a kid until I was already an adult.

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that the very special dinner I had to cook turned out wonderfully.

When my girlfriend and I were first together, we used to cook together all the time, but as we got older, it fell to her for the most part. I’m terrible at it, and it feels too much like a chore while she is good at it, and she enjoys it. It felt natural for her to do the cooking and I the cleaning but I miss us laughing and jostling around one another, working together to bring a meal to the table. So, I planned for us to make potstickers, an old favorite we used to buy premade from the store, from scratch.

We started late, and the going was more complicated than I had anticipated—the story of every project we ever start—but they came out beautiful and tasted delicious! Maybe I’ll find something else for us to make next weekend?

***

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that, sadly, we have come to that time. I have to head to bed now, or I’ll be dragging my feet tomorrow. I hope you had a great week and a relaxing weekend. I hope your coming week is better than the last and that you will stop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to.

Until next time :)

***

Check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or buy me a cup of coffee perhaps? :)

Written for to the Weekend Coffee Share link-up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via Unsplash

The Week’s End // A Roundup of Important Reads

Hello friends and welcome to the weekend. I’m a little late, but if you’re still looking for some interesting reads to check out while you relax, look no further, I got you covered. Here are the things I found important, inspiring, and interesting enough to share this week:

Day without a woman
Day Without a Woman

Support diverse stories.

Because diversity isn’t easy.

Is America great again yet?

Trumpcare

You may want to marry her husband.

In conversation

Biology > Ideology

Extreme vetting is already a thing

It’s not a fucking debate!

“In moonlight, black boys look blue”

Life sucks

Daylight savings is stupid.

Super cute printable self-care checklist :)  // @Aloebud

What do you think? Have you read, watched, or written an interesting thing this week? Has something on the internet made you feel strongly? If so, drop a link in the comments, we’d love to check it out :)

***

This list was originally sent out along with this morning’s newsletter: The Silence in our Stories + some of my own existential musings. Check it out and subscribe! :)

Featured image via Unsplash