Striving Towards Imperfection

Tonight, at family dinner time, I posed this conundrum to my son and husband, “Since I used to work 12 hours a day, and now, I work, roughly 8 hours a day, and am trying to do better about work-life balance, it’s physically impossible to cram the same amount of work into that much less time.  Yet, I still have so much work. What should I do?”

Their answers were roughly the same.

My 12-year old said, “Just do what you can and don’t stress about it, if that’s possible.”

My partner said, “I think you’re just going to have to let go of some things and be okay with imperfection in some areas of your life.”

They are wise people, my son and husband, and so I asked, “How do I not stress about not getting everything done since I’ve built my life around productivity…or rather, how do you guys do it?”

They shrugged.

My husband said, “We started early. Lots of practice.”


I got my first Chinese test back today — 97.5%. On both homework packets (pictured above), I’ve gotten 96%.  I know this “not stressing about things” and “being okay with imperfection” is going to be a journey since an A (instead of 100%) still annoys me.

But, I think what they’re saying is really that it’s a shift in perspective for me.

I am so, super excited about the research I’m doing and the people it’s allowing me to connect with (as collaborators and participants).  Doing interviews and hearing people’s stories gives me so much life.

I am loving learning Chinese.  I can feel my brain growing and am so grateful for the way it’s allowed my son and I to work together. I’m so grateful for his help, support and tutelage.

I am loving that I am not a slave to technology ALL THE TIME. I appreciate turning off my e-mail program multiple times a day.  I love family dinner time.

I still often work 12-hour days.  It’s not like I’m slacking off.  I’m just changing my pace.

And, I’m happy because I feel like my time is aligned with my values, with my commitments and with my goals.  My work has been intentional even if it hasn’t (exactly) been as externally as “productive.”

It’s time to tuck in my 3-year old for bed so I’ll go now, grateful for the imperfections of a too-full life, and the perspective to appreciate it.

One thought on “Striving Towards Imperfection

  1. Every day I ask God, “What is your will for me today?” That helps me let go of things not done or things not done perfectly. Also, I don’t follow any productivity experts because most if them dont know anything about trauma and productivity. They’re mostly people that hate leaving things undone and think they’ve found the secret to life.

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