This Gal’s Gonna Keeping Crossing T’s and Dotting I’s

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A couple of weeks ago, I had a little breakdown on my way to Baldwin Middle School. Not because I didn’t know one of the children had a student council meeting on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday, but because I used to be someone who didn’t drop the ball all the time. I used to cross t’s and dot i’s, but, for several reasons, that isn’t the case anymore.

I completely understand that not every t has to be crossed and not every i has to be dotted. Thankfully, there are people who have taught me that I don’t need to be perfect to feel worthy. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I once gained a lot of self-worth from that part of me. I liked that I was once more dependable, thoughtful, and organized. And while I’m still all of those things, right now I can’t invest as much time into those parts of my character.

Starting my own business was a huge shift in how my time was allocated. And, of course, there are the four little twerps—they’re not taking up any less time these days. But, I also think I’ve made decisions, conscious or not, to lower my standards to make the ‘perfection shamers’ in my life feel more comfortable. Rather than being true to myself and how I like to engineer my life—I’ve played along and pretended that I’m not bothered by the things I’ve neglected to do.

There was a time when my perfectionism was, without a doubt, causing its own storm of chaos in my life. It was imperative for me to walk away from it to see the havoc it was wreaking on, not only me—but all of us. Having experienced the magic of how much peace comes with lowering my standards, I have no intention of returning to my old ways. But, I think it’s time to be honest about whether I have time to do the things that matter to me with the level of detail I feel most comfortable doing them. I don’t mind lowering my own standards to live a more peaceful life, but if I have too much that I feel responsible for, I might be unintentionally lowering my self-esteem as well. And that’s just not ok with me.

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