Change is in the air. We’re in that awkward time of year when it’s still super hot out, but the evenings are quickly becoming cool. When stores are a mess of back to school fashion and bathing suits on clearance. It’s not quite Fall and it’s just barely still Summer.
For over-achievers like me, this means it’s time to make massive to-do lists (before school starts), vow serious life-style changes (no more desserts) and dream about reform and organization (alphabetized bookcases!). Oh, the great plans I have made…
Here’s my off-the-top-of-my-head list for the next week: clean out closets, organize desk, print and frame pictures, write letters to parents and grandparents, learn the Hindi alphabet, finish paperwork, figure out a new phone plan, write future blog posts, read three books, organize our calendars, make homemade pesto, deal with the scary pile of stuff in our bedroom, and spend time with as many friends as possible. And this is meant to be on top of work, ministry, marriage, exercise and sleeping.
The person I strive to be everyday is, I think, mythical. She’s athletic, funny, smart, quadra-lingual, sexy, organized, generous, crafty, punctual. She hands every thing in early, she makes homemade bread, buys local and organic. She doesn’t support slavery, has her hard drive backed up and has finished decorating her apartment. She doesn’t need sleep, doesn’t need caffeine and never gets distracted by social media. This is the person I fail to be everyday. This is the person I will never be.
The strangest part about this is that I’m fairly efficient and a hard worker. But I’m also effusively social and spontaneous. And I do love sleep. So I climb into bed every night, staring at piles, listing off tasks un-done and willing myself to wake up earlier and try harder.
And you know what? I’m tired of it. I’m tired of being mad at myself for not regularly (ever) sanitizing fridge drawers and for not continuing to learn German. Varun, my wise and encouraging husband, says I need to remind myself of who I am in Jesus. (Remind me to print and frame something like this). And you know what? He’s right.
Knowing who I am gives me the freedom to recognize and accept who I am not.
I’m not the kind of person who mops her floor much. (Much means more than 1 X in 6 months).
We’re not the kind of people who get excited about sports events like the Olympics or Superbowl, nor do we know the difference between the Oscars and the Emmys.
I’m not the kind of person who can succeed in any DIY project. I don’t paper maiche, I don’t find cupcake recipes off of Pintrest and I’m never going to open an Etsy shop.
I’m not a schedule person. There is no “We usually eat supper at…”
We’re not the kind of people who go shopping together. We don’t go on dates to the mall. Or the farmer’s market. In fact, one person in this couple buys the clothes for both of us.
I’m not the kind of person who replies promptly to emails. I have emails starred for reply since April 2011.
We’re not pop culture people. Don’t expect Varun in skinny jeans or me to know more than one Nicki Minaj song.
I’m not the kind of person who remembers birthdays, gets cards to you on time or sends gifts. This goes for Christmas too: there aren’t mass mailings of Christmas cards or handmade gifts.
We’re not a super romantic couple. (Am I allowed to say that?!?! This is an upcoming post topic). Of course we love each other and have a blast together. But there aren’t a lot of long-stem roses and little black dresses happening here.
I’m not the kind of person who wipes out the kitchen sink. Or cleans my trunk. Or vacuums my car.
Whew. This was super freeing. I could go on, but then you would fall asleep on your keyboard. And I don’t know if you’re the kind of person who cleans their keyboard or not, so best not to drool on your laptop.
What about you? What kind of expectations, ideals, habits or virtues do you not have/meet/possess? How do you manage your self-criticism and frustrations?