I spent most of yesterday with my Sista Perfectionista. It was awesome! I don't know why, but this is what I think of when I think of perfectionistas everywhere. A FANCY HAT. Perfectionistas can carry off fancy hats--strut--and make them look good. This is odd because I have a GIGANTIC head...(no seriously--it is huge) so I am not likely to be found wearing a hat. I will not analyze it too much. For now it is a hat.....(maybe I will go get one.....)
The week started out with a list of reasons why she felt it would be difficult for us to get together. You know---life gets in the way with swimming lessons, library story time and getting ready to go to a wedding and kids with colds. I know how it is. I don't judge. We squeezed in a long nap-allowing phone call (nap provided by her 2 year old) and a couple of long, self reflective texts and were pretty happy with that.
Next week, my mom is coming for a visit, Halloween is happening, The Spouse is out of town, Body Flow, Zumba, last week of class at the hospital....I was already lining up my reasons why next week was no good for me. We stay away from weekend usually. That is reserved for family time. Whether it is giant pancake big breakfasts or day trips or just playing house-keeping-baking-cooking-catch-up---weekends are often sacred family time.
Yesterday I had no plans. I was challenging myself, at the encouragement of my therapist, to not plan a day and see what happened. Often I fill those days with all the five minute chores I have been avoiding (like cleaning off my dining room table---see yesterday's post) and look around at the end of the day feeling exhausted and irritated because I had "wasted" the day.
After my youngest on the bus---and a quick meditation I was sitting checking e-mail when a text came through:
"So this is ridiculous...But want to come help me organize? I am finally feeling inspired to just do it."
Meditation always helps me think clearer. It allows me to quiet my mind and be more mindful of what is important; how my body feels; how my heart feels.
First of all asking for help is a huge shift in the perfectionista culture where we often feel like we have to have control, be able to do everything ourselves and shame and guilt that we don't "have it all together" prevents us from reaching out for help. It was an invitation to look behind closed doors, to laying bare dark places for questioning, inspection, evaluation and judgment. Perfectionistas fall into thinking traps of mindreading, forecasting, personalization, black and white thinking---during and after.
She was willing to risk all this. I had to go. I wanted to go.
So I said yes, with many !!!!!! and then called her to tell her I was putting on my shoes and heading out the door. I had nothing on that needed immediate attention and if she would make me one of her fabulous smoothies for lunch, I was there!
The day flew by! Her daughter had been up at 5 that morning and was exhausted by 12:30, so easily went for a nap. With coffee in hand, we headed for the basement and the bins and piles, gathering more on the way. There was the battle of sentimentality vs. practicality (if you haven't touched it in 5 years and you still want to keep it....) Sentimentality won a lot. But a few more things got added to the piles on the bed in the spare room for donation.
We moved through flustered and overwhelmed as she realized we were actually going to need to work on two closets to get the best use of space, to second guessing, to decisiveness and a sense of accomplishment.
|Not her closet--I forgot to take a pic but it looks this good!|
Along the way, lost items were found (THERE's where I put it!), new items discovered (I must have gotten this from my mom in a bin! SWEET!!!! This is like Christmas!), I learned some things about fabric as we thinned, folded and re-binned and best of all, I learned more about her. She gave me a water colour painting kit she would never use, and promised to make me some pillows when I found a fabric I loved among her bins. We even ended up with a few minutes to bask in the glow of organization and sit and talk about how amazing we were before she had to get her daughter up.
While I remind myself that life and recovery and all of this is a journey, and not a destination. I kind of felt like I reached a milestone yesterday.
Yesterday, I was the person I had always envied. Someone who had friend who would be vulnerable and allow me to be there for them. Something about working WITH someone on a project always inspires me ---maybe it is the energy of likeminded individuals working toward a single outcome---but whatever it is---it brings you closer---it gives you that amazing sense of connection that is so hard to put into words. We were tired, we were satisfied, we were relaxed and it all felt normal.
We chatted on our way to get her son from school and spent a few more minutes gabbing in the kitchen while the kids climbed on their dad and played on the family tablet (and I think I saw my phone in little hands!). It all felt so relaxed...and normal....I didn't want it to end.
But end it did, as I had to go collect my own munchkin from after school care (he hates if I am early so I was in no rush). My Sista Perfectionista 'stitch witcheried' a hem on some pants I had bought when we were together ("If they are too short, I can fix them! Look at the hem on there!). Woah, that was easy!
On the way home I cranked the radio, sang and 'car danced' as I patiently waited out the huge traffic jam I found myself in. (Oooo let me try THIS exit---it will be quicker! Ummmmmmmmmm not so much.)
When the journey is life, it is nice to mark some milestones along the way.
Consider this one marked.