When we begin a new year, it can bring on many different feelings. We might feel relieved to be closing the chapter on the previous year; leaving behind the trials and stressors of the last 365 days. We might feel excited about a fresh start… a clean slate. Or we might feel overwhelmed… The pressure of New Year’s resolutions and making big changes based on the date on the calendar may feel exciting for some, but for many of us, it’s a lot. So, we’re entering this year with a new mentality: Embracing the Imperfections of Life.
Why hold yourself to a standard instead of enjoying life? Your kitchen cabinets may not be organized with pretty white storage containers or you may not have shed those extra couple of pounds this year, and while those goals or resolutions may work for some.. they might not work for you. And that’s OK! You don’t have to push yourself based on a number on a scale or the fact that your home feels lived-in instead of Instagram-worthy. In 2023, give yourself grace. Grace to embrace the messy, grace through the trials and stressors this year may bring, and grace to learn to not only become comfortable with the imperfections of life but to fully embrace them.
It’s important to treat others with the same grace we give ourselves. None of our lives are perfect… And honestly, that’s a beautiful thing. You may be surprised to learn that with a lot of the expectations we put on ourselves, others don’t have those same expectations for us! It’s easy to assume (because it’s so easy to judge ourselves, right?) that others may be passing those same judgments. What we may not realize is that our own perceived flaws and imperfections only make us human!
This is especially true with what we see as failures in ourselves. There is a graphic that shows how we could do 99 things right, but making 1 error is what turns heads. That 1 wrongdoing becomes the highlight, right? And why? We’ve done 99 things correctly… That’s 99%! That just goes to show that we are harder on ourselves than we are on common household cleaning supplies. We never look at the disinfectant wipes and think.. “Wow… they DON’T kill that 1% of germs.” We focus on that 99%. So, I encourage you, in this quest of embracing imperfections, to focus on the 99%. Look at all of the things you are doing right.
And.. when something inevitably goes wrong – because, we’re all human – don’t beat yourself up about it. We encourage you to do that for yourself, but if that’s not enough motivation, we encourage you to do it for your kids. Our children are great observers. They see that 99% and they also see that 1%. But kids rarely focus on that 1% – what does matter is how WE as adults react to that 1%. When we model for our kids that mistakes are OK – that we don’t have to punish ourselves over them – we can live with them, move on from them, fix them as needed, and shift our focus to the 99% and realize that the 1% doesn’t need to cause us unnecessary stress… What a gift we can give to them; to teach them that mistakes are OK. Everyone makes them. That they can live with that imperfection and also embrace it.
It won’t always (or probably ever!) be perfect, but it is all OK.