{doing your best}

There are things you're supposed to blog about, like fun weekends, cool workouts and tasty recipes

But what happens when you seem to be overrun my non-blogger-topics, like the new shirt you bought and the chocolate popsicle you accidentally dripped on it?

{this guy!}

Or the sunflowers you bought and forgot to cut the stems so they died right away?


Or maybe the toilet that broke and you couldn't use for four days, so you ran to the coffee shop down the street every time?
{I'll spare you the photo}

Here's what I think you do. 

First, you laugh. Because who spills coffee and a popsicle on a new shirt, day one (did I mention the coffee before? Coffee, too!). 

Second, you say a little baby thank you prayer for bleach

And then you realize that life is not perfect. It's a series of highs and lows and in betweens. The lows make us grateful for the highs. And the in betweens make us grateful for the variety.  

Life isn't supposed to be perfect. You spill things, break things and catch frozen bananas on fire when you try to thaw them in the microwave and leave them in there for too long (uh huh). 

And you know what else? Sometimes we really mess up. Like real stuff; not just bananas. We make mistakes at work. We hurt people's feelings. We make the wrong decision. We are immature. Act selfishly.

But it's OK. 

Grace, not perfection.

My life seems to operate in a cycle. First, I say yes, yes, yes! to everything. I can do that, be there, deliver on this and lead that, too. And then all at once I hit a wall. A kind of exhaustion that leads me to dream of a week at the beach without my phone, and then immediately change my mind because I can't bear the thought of all of the things that would be waiting to be checked off when I get back. 

It's at this point that I get it in check. I declare Whitney Wednesdays. Unplug for one night. Say no to approximately one activity. And then I feel under control for a few weeks. And begin again.

It happened this week. I started Monday completely overwhelmed, and we all know overwhelmedness shouldn't hit until at least Tuesday. This impacted the feeling: should I feel like this on a Monday? You're supposed to be recharged on Monday. 

And then began my clean-up regimen:
Cleaning out my purse
Opting out of bible study this week
Saying no to breakfast with a friend Tuesday
And no to leading a new committee at church
And no to volunteering next weekend
And making six lists to organize all of the thoughts in my head

The no's and super organization felt way better. But I was mad at myself. Because this keeps happening. Why can't I get the hang of it? Why can't I just know my limits? 

And then it hit me:
Grace not perfection.

This is my issue. Some people struggle with getting stuff done. I struggle with an obsession with getting stuff done. And this is my battle. This is the area in which I will have to learn, time and time again. And that's OK. I will keep trying until I get it; until I break the cycle and learn that downtime is good. Unplugging is great. Nights alone are beautiful. 

But until I learn it, I will remind myself that it's OK to strike out sometimes. It's OK to say yes just one too many times before we learn to pause and say, "Let me think about it before I commit to that. Let me check my schedule."

And until then, I'll just keep trying - with beautiful highs and lows along the way. Because you know what? The popsicle was worth it. And the flowers were beautiful while they lasted. And the quick trips to the coffee shop? Just meant more excuses for iced coffees