This is something that I stop to remind myself often: doing a little is better than nothing at all. It can be so easy to get caught up in the extremes. We either choose to do something perfectly, completely, and in the best way possible; or we put if off, move it to the back burner, and don’t even give it an attempt. I’m someone who loves to plan and make new resolutions. Whether that’s a new exercise regime or bedtime routine, I spend a lot of time considering what exact plan will most closely help me to achieve my goals (in this case, likely a more fit body or less exhaustion). But actually implementing such a schedule is another story entirely. Sometimes my plans get stuck at the day-dreaming stage, and are never actually adopted. Sometimes I attempt to stick to a new resolution, but find myself too drained by the regime or distracted by other things. Only rarely does the new plan, or even certain pieces of it, get fully integrated into my life.
I’m sure this is due in large part to my perfectionistic approach to life – if often feels easier to avoid something all together, if I’m not sure that it will turn out perfect. Maybe others don’t struggle with this problem quite so much. But I think we all face that concern, at least now and then, that it’s not worth doing something at all because we feel that we can’t do it right.
I’m trying to convince myself that sometimes, it’s ok to give up on, or at least loosen my definition of, this idea of “right.” When we lower the expectations that we’ve placed on ourselves, we give ourselves freedom to do whatever we can manage. We also relieve ourselves of the guilt that comes with feeling like we’ve fallen short. I went through this very thought transformation when starting this blog. I used to keep another blog, but didn’t write there regularly. I would feel terrible that I wasn’t consistently posting, particularly because I love to read blogs and felt that it was something I should be excited to do. The pressure I felt to find something to say, along with the notion that each word I wrote or image I included needed to be perfect, overwhelmed me and scared me off of writing anything at all.
I took a different approach when starting Glitter & Grace. It may seem like a terrible time to start a new endeavor: I’m in the midst of getting acquainted with a new job and looking for a place to live. I don’t exactly have a lot of free time on my hands. But I felt a yearning to write, and could think of a number of topics on which I had ideas to express. So I started this blog. I simply told myself that I would write when I had the time and desire to, as well as something to say. I didn’t put any pressure on myself to post a certain number of times per week. I didn’t limit myself to feeling like I had to write about a specific topic. Instead, I gave myself the freedom to write about whatever came to mind.
By acknowledging that doing whatever little bit of writing I can is better than not writing at all, I’ve actually written a lot more than I probably would have expected of myself. I often find myself taking furious notes on the subway of ideas for a post, because I’m so excited and I don’t want to lose my train of thought. I’ve admitted to myself that my photos, taken on my iPhone, aren’t perfect, and that’s ok. I even adorn some of my posts with other people’s photos, because it’s really the writing I care about. And even though I feel like I should maybe add another paragraph or two to this post, I’m going to let myself leave it at this, because it’s late, I’m exhausted, and something is better than nothing at all.