When I miss something with work, a detail of some sort, it’s terribly frustrating. Perfectionism is a plague upon the human soul…I know this. I used to preach about this.
But it’s a disease I have all the same.
“I’m trying,” is what I usually tell myself. In this pandemic, being torn in a million different ways, everyone gathered in the same space, the ability to have attention diverted is multiplied by an infinite number of possible distractions.
Or when it gets to be 5pm, and your kids come up the stairs to the home office, calling your name. “You’ve been in here all day!” they say, even though you’ve come down the stairs multiple times in response to multiple calls for assistance, or to make lunch, or to turn on the sprinkler, or to…
And so that 5pm stopping time can’t really be stopping time anymore. You look at them and say, “10 more minutes. Promise.” “Hurry!” they implore.
“I’m trying,” you say.
Or the weekend comes, and you’re wracking your brain trying to figure out how to do something as a family when you can’t really go anywhere. You look at your parenting gauge and you realize you’re already running in the red, because there’s really been no time off…for anyone in the house.
“I’m trying!” you tell yourself as you stare into your eyes in the mirror.
And that workout you had to skip? “I’m trying,” you say, pinching an inch.
And that morning you slept in because you stayed up too late the night before watching episode after episode on streaming TV because it’s the only damn time you get a second to yourself anymore. “I’m trying,” you groggily sigh as you rise to make breakfast.
And not working 24/7 because now the commute is 4 minutes instead of 40 and that long list of possible projects to fill up the empty itch that normalcy used to scratch (though, if you’re honest, it didn’t scratch it that well, either) calls to you? “I’m trying,” you say as you sit down again at your desk on Saturday morning to just “do a few things…”
“I’m trying” is about the best any of us can realistically do these days, but I’m done saying it.
I’m done saying it because it suggests that we’re lacking here. That there’s some sort of official mark that we’re missing.
Look, in a pandemic, we all need to seriously embrace a total reevaluation of every benchmark, every previous measure of success (and, maybe, when this is all over we don’t move those marks back).
Every measure of success is now history, Beloved.
Instead of, “I’m trying” I’m resolved to instead say, “OK.”
Because, really, it has to be OK right now. It’s OK right now. I’m not striving to meet previous benchmarks, I’m OK with these new ones. I may not love them, but fighting against them is swimming up a stream that will overwhelm us all if we keep it up.
And you’re at the end of this really short post, thinking to yourself, “It’s going to be hard to stop this kind of mindset.”
And my response?