I have a confession.
It turns out i am a human. Who is flawed. And (gulp) imperfect.
There’s something about the holidays that just leaves me feeling raw and vulnerable. I am sure I am alone in this. I am sure no other flawed, imperfect human struggles this time of year!
Let me tell you about my judgment spiral. Wait, let me back up. I need you to know first of all that I am INFJ. That is a meyers-briggs personality assessment because I freaking love any time of psychology/self-help/woo-woo assessment.
You will notice there is a J at the end. J is for judgment. As in, I am a judge-y Judy. My husband-the-scientist is an INFP–“P” stands for perceiving. Which means conversations like this occur (as it did last night):
Me: It isn’t always bad to be judge-y. Sometimes you need to make a judgement about something!
Husband: Do you?
Me: (Horrified) You are joking when you say that right? YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!
Husband: No I am not joking. [editor’s note: He wasn’t joking. I KNOW RIGHT??]
Me: Oh, I just judged you for NOT JUDGING. Damnit I have a problem!
Now let’s back up one week. Let me set the scene.
Our babysitter was here watching our kiddo during the final week of the world’s longest break because I had to work (for real) and my husband had to work or else he would go certified stir-crazy (also true).
The sitter came and watched our kid in our house. Our messy, grimy, needs-deep-cleaning-so-bad-I-can-taste-it house. Our sitter–a self-professed “OCD neat freak” — was likely breaking out in hives all week after being forced to be in the grime. Of course that was what I was imagining.
Every morning before she came I cleaned like a madwoman, cursed about whoever didn’t put their shoes away, decided my husband and child were the World’s Messiest Human Beings, and generally felt my stress level go up ten notches.
Dear people, this was because I was worried about what my 22-year-old babysitter thought of my messy house. Yes. A young woman who has no children, no spouse, no full-time job. WHAT THE ACTUAL :!@#IE?!
Oh, might I add that I assumed she was judging me. It is also possible she showed up, shrugged her shoulders, and carried on without a thought. Either way, why do I care?
Well, I care because at the end of the day I am ashamed of my dirty house. ASHAMED. I mean that is a powerful word right? And why am I ashamed? Because my dear, loving mother kept the most immaculate, clean, neat, tidy house you can imagine. My dear mother who would care for everyone in our house from the moment she arose to the end of the day, 11pm at night, sitting and folding laundry while finally doing something for herself: watching some tv. WHILE FOLDING LAUNDRY.
Guess what I do. Are you ready for this? I work all day, and after putting my kid to bed, sit and watch tv. WITHOUT FOLDING LAUNDRY. I let it pile up like nobody’s business. Or, I sit and write (like now!) rather than clean, or I sit and paint rather than clean.
As I type this I hear my mom in my ear. Tears well in my eyes as I type this: Sarah, you are being so hard on yourself. She also adds, with a chuckle, that housekeeping has never exactly been my strong suit. (She would also be correct. I have always preferred writing, painting, and day-dreaming to sock-matching . My daughter, who very much likes her socks to match, will sometimes come over and say quite-seriously: “Mommy, good job! Your socks match today!”)
Yeah, I might have a self-compassion problem. In fact, I do, according to self-compassion.org! (An actual website with an actual quiz.) Yes, it turns out there is a quiz for it. Because the universe has impeccable timing, Brené Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” arrived yesterday, and I flipped directly to the self-compassion chapter which had a link to that website listed.
http://self-compassion.org/. Drum roll for the results….
Yeah…I’d say that maybe the word for 2017 will be self-compassion.
Me: HI, MY NAME IS SARAH.
Everyone else: HI SARAH!
Me: I AM A HUMAN! I AM IMPERFECT, LIKE ALL THE OTHER HUMANS!
Everyone else: WELCOME TO HUMANS-ANONYMOUS, SARAH!
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