It has been some time since my last blog post. I decided to take a break from writing and put down the pen for awhile. I am looking forward to resuming this blog and hope to post more regularly going forward. Comments and feedback always welcome!
There’s so much freedom in loving our weak spots.
Chris from Firefly Writing
Bless our humanness dear friends.
Sometime ago I received a newsletter from a woman who leads an innovative organization devoted to helping people release their creative streak through writing. The title of the lead article was Things I Suck At!
That’s a downer I thought, but I was intrigued and read further. The author recounted that over the past year, she had committed to being honest about her flaws and not getting hung up about them. The pressure of always being positive, and organized, and doing the right thing was frankly tiring.
It was a reminder that we are the whole enchilada – the good, the bad, and everything in between. Not to be used as an excuse for sloth, gluttony, or recklessness. Not to be dismissed, concealed, or avoided. We simply are who we are. There will always be aspects of our lives that need a little work- bumps to be smoothed out and lessons to be learned. It’s what makes us both endearing and irritating at the same time.
The urge to ignore those flaws and bury them deep somewhere runs strong in a society that values perfection and constant happiness. Think of those dreadful advertising photos of smiling couples in some luxurious setting who are supposedly 60 but look 40. Really???
I used to think that by this stage in life I would have most things figured out; I would have eliminated or at least found a way to minimize those things I wish I didn’t do but do anyway. And yet, there are still times when I mess up or give up or fall into the same old unproductive patterns. It’s all very humbling.
In the third stage of life it’s tempting to say, “So what?” and use the excuse that it’s too late to change. On the other hand, we can also be unforgiving and harsh in judging ourselves: Why didn’t I deal with that issue sooner? Why didn’t I start exercising? Why didn’t I save more money? The voice in our heads can be unrelenting.
Perhaps the only way forward is to be kind with ourselves (my word of the year) and shift our perspective to see those flaws for what they are-nothing more and nothing less. Kindness softens the rough edges of self-criticism, blurring the lines between what we love about ourselves and those not so lovable pesky parts. It also enables us to take an honest look at ourselves and let go of the baggage of unrealistic expectations.
We all mess up some times. We are also doing the best we can.
In the spirit of full disclosure, here are a few of my flaws- things that do not necessarily reflect my best self. I am sure family and friends could easily add to the list.
- Underestimating how long it takes to do something. The result is a habit of being late and not always meeting obligations in a timely manner.
- Getting distracted by all manner of things. I can be focused but I can also easily get off track. Blaming social media only takes me so far. A thought pops into my head and I follow it down some rabbit hole. It’s difficult to accomplish something if you keep switching gears.
- A love of “not the best carbs”. Fresh bread (with butter of course), doughnuts, and chocolate brownies call to me. I do believe there are times when consuming sugar is therapeutic. Regardless, it’s hard to justify sugar as a staple in the diet.
- A propensity to clutter. A love of paper in all its forms (books, journals, fancy stationery, post its etc.) leads to an accumulation of paper which ultimately means I can’t find what I’m looking for. I can spend a lot of time looking for things or lose them altogether.
- I forget dates which means I forget many birthdays and anniversaries. Sigh….
- Not putting a priority on my writing. There are so many excuses but none of them matter. Sigh again….
Addressing all of the above is a work in progress – done imperfectly and resisting guilt. The priority for me is tackling the clutter every so often -which frees up space in both my work area and my mind for more important things- like writing!
The gift of this life stage, is that we are more likely to accept ourselves as we are and (hopefully) know we are entirely lovable. All we can do is move forward without getting bent out of shape. I like to think of flaws as quirks of our nature that need a little re-calibrating from time to time.
As someone once said, many things are true at once. We are more than our flaws and we are more than our accomplishments, but both make us magnificent! Don’t you just love it?
Bless our humanness.
This blog post was inspired by a newsletter from Chris Fraser, founder and writing coach extraordinaire of Firefly Creative Writing – (https://fireflycreativewriting.com/)- a great place that cultivates one’s writing talents and supports all kinds of writers.