Thursday, May 27, 2010

Super Woman's Kryptonite


As I was backing out my driveway this morning I suddenly became racked with it.

I looked at my yard and thought of all the things I could do to make my house magazine worthy. The hours I could spend creating beautiful gardens, trimming the grass to the perfect length, building gazebos and decks, painting. All the fixing. Creating a masterpiece of flowers and rock. Molding the earth into my art piece. The hours of work that I could be doing and instead I was driving away from it all.

As my house faded away in the rear view mirror I had visions of laundry and dishes dancing through my mind. Vacuuming and dusting seemed urgent. I pictured the state of my bedroom. Dreamed of what the house would look like painted, fixed up, manicured to my specifications. New tile, new draperies, new counters.

Of course as I drove the lists of things to do turned into never ending scrolls. I felt so guilty that I was driving away from all that responsibility.

We live in a world of guilt where we are not allowed to be content with mess or clutter. Perfection must be achieved. As women I think we are haunted by guilt. We want to appear as the best mom, wife, house keeper, career woman, gardener, baker, cook, seamstress, perfect package of a woman.

It's the super woman syndrome.

Personally I own a cape that is how bad I have it.

I want all my ducks to sit in a nice neat row and quack in unison. I don't know why. No one taught me that I think it's inherent. Maybe menstruation and pain during child birth isn't the curse of the woman. It's a curse but not the haunting figure that we battle with each day. I think that's guilt.

Sometimes I find myself lying in bed in the wee hours of the morning feeling guilty that I am resting and listing the responsibilities I should be fulfilling in my mind. Trying to be the behind the scenes person so that my life can run like clock work. No room for glitches.

I tell myself I want to be the best I can be. The problem is I don't strive for my best I strive to be the best. As I recognize that I am trying to change. I have challenged myself to deal with less than perfect. I am trying to be more at ease with life and if you come to my house and dishes aren't done, too bad. If I don't get my grass cut I don't care. I can verbalize it but deep down, even as I type I feel physical pain.

Life would be much more enjoyable if I could be at ease. If women could be at ease. Things would be different if we didn't walk in those steps of constant guilt and could just enjoy the moment. There is a standard that in reality is so unattainable and yet we feel we have to meet it.

Who set the standard anyway?

Life will never be perfect and by the way what is perfection?

Maybe that is the problem. We have this idea of what perfect is and yet it doesn't exist. I have to examine my life and answer the following questions:

Am I happy?

Am I healthy?

Am I loved?

Am I taken care of?

If those questions are answered with yes than I have perfection. I need to be able to forget about the extra 10lbs, the $ amount buffer in my bank account, the pile of laundry in the middle of the floor and focus on what is important.

If I spend all my time feeling guilty about the little things that in the end don't matter I am going to miss out on a lifetime of happiness and fulfillment with the ones who do.

It will be a journey, lifelong I am sure but everyday I strive to be the best I can be and live guilt free.



poppy love said...

Oh I know what you are talking about. I feel crappy every time I leave a "perfect" home or read a "perfect" home magazine. Maybe guilt is not my thing but jealousy is. I get so discontented with my lot that I forget how much I am blessed with the things you listed. Presently I am looking at, and being disgusted with, the mess on the counter that was not there earlier today after my power clean. Why can't anyone "Maintain" dammit! But then I look to my other side and see the happy family chilling out over a nice cup of tea and interactive tv and I am reminded of what my priorites should be.

Leah Joy said...

I absolutely resonate with the jealousy. I feel that when I have been at someone's home, or whatever I am envious of.
I am trying to teach myself that it is OK to have signs of life in your home, because people live there. Like you said I find comfort in seeing my family enjoying themselves, each other and our space and that means more than a clean counter. Thanks for the comment