Saturday, March 14, 2015

Not perfect

Day 14 of 31 days of writing!
I almost didn't write this March. This challenge, usually one of my favorite (although certainly always difficult!) times of the year, loomed ahead, daunting and unattainable. Ultimately, I put on my game face and charged in, knowing that I needed to reclaim my writing life.

But when I did, I told myself what I tell my students every March: that even if you don't write every day, you'll end up writing more than you would have otherwise. You'll play with words in new ways, grow as a writer, make new connections, and strengthen old ones. You'll start to see the world in a different way, a writerly way, which means being more thoughtful, more observant, more alive.

For the first week, I was going strong, even through tortuous testing and days I didn't want to write. And then, on Monday, it happened: I just couldn't write. Schoolwork ran right into a band meeting and there was just no time.

Maybe I could write during the meeting, if it got boring? Just a quick slice? I could bring my laptop... no, that would make me feel like I HAD to write. I'd just bring my iPad, and if I wanted to, I could blog on there. Yes, that could work! 

But it was a great meeting, one that I'd hoped to slice about later this week. There was no way I was going to take part of myself away from such important, thoughtful conversations with my band family to blog.

That was it. After three perfect Marches, this year's chance at perfection was over after only 8 days. For a lifelong perfectionist, that was a new, uncomfortable feeling.

But missing one day isn't too bad, right? After all, I'd told myself before I even started that I probably wouldn't make it this year. And while I'd hoped to make it farther than 8 days, now I had an idea for my next slice!

But Tuesday was the last of 10 grueling days of testing. I was so excited to get back to teaching, but I was also absolutely wiped out, overwhelmed with how the testing had interfered with my real work, and discouraged by the fact that I'd only have three days with my students before Spring Break. By the time I got my plans ready, I could barely keep my eyes open.

I'll go home early (anything before 5 is "early" for me), take a nap, and then blog after dinner! I'll be refreshed and ready to write! 

I napped for two hours. Husband made dinner and dragged me out of bed to eat it. While that woke me up a little, I could barely put together a coherent thought, let alone a sentence, and my eyelids were heavy before I'd even been up for an hour. It turns out that skipping a second day is even easier than missing the first.

And while I got myself in gear on Wednesday, the next two days brought more napping, a severe need to get caught up on work, and even giving myself permission to just snuggle up to Husband on the couch and let him hug away the stress of the past few weeks.

Sometimes, letting yourself not be perfect is the most perfect choice of all.


  1. Thanks for this reminder! We all need this permission sometimes!

  2. Sometimes, letting yourself not be perfect is the most perfect choice of all.
    Thank goodness you allowed yourself some room to breath. Perfection is a trap, and an illusion. Your last sentence said it all. Thanks for sharing this vulnerable, touching piece.

  3. I will echo Greg's words! I love reading your words, but resting and spending time with family is still much more important! I still have 3 more weeks before spring break!!!

  4. Great lesson! Perfect is boring and your health is more important. Good job for taking a much needed break!

  5. When the choice is write slice or snuggle with husband, no question, snuggle wins every time. You said it, if you don't write every day at least you will write more than before. Write when you are able, life happens and you must enjoy these days.

  6. I am glad you wrote this March, even if you can't write every day. Your blog is what first introduced me to the TWT blog and the SOLC challenge. I love getting to read your posts and see what you and your students are up to. I have tried to comment on a few of their blogs as well. Rest, relax, and don't worry about perfect. You rock!


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