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Blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram can be inspiring, beautiful places where we go for new ideas.
They are shiny, well photographed snippets that highlight the best of someone’s life.
I don’t know about you, but every once in a while I end up comparing those highlights to my bloopers and get discouraged. When I am down, it’s easy to look at those little glittery squares and quickly feel like I am not enough. I’m guessing if I feel that way, you might too. Do you hear that little voice inside saying “Your house isn’t enough, your marriage isn’t enough, your kids aren’t enough, your skills aren’t enough, you aren’t stylish enough, you don’t have enough, your projects aren’t good enough, your vacations aren’t enough. You just aren’t good enough”?…
So, you arrange the subject, light the scene just so, and only share what looks good.
What doesn’t show in that 1 x 1 frame is the giant pile of dirty dishes in the sink, your bedhead, and the fact that you just stepped on another stupid lego and let out a cuss word that your toddler is going to proudly repeat for your mother this evening.
In our heart of hearts, we know that everyone else is just like us, so why the heck are we so scared?
We are afterall, you know, human.
In that vein, I’m about to get real.
When I was growing up, my dad was big into personality tests.
I’ve heard about Lions, Owls, Monkeys, Reds, Blues, and everything in between until I could repeat it in my sleep and pick out someone’s personality totem in 20 minutes.
My dad, my grandmother, my mother-in-law, and my daughter are all beautiful, stunning reds, or Lions as my dad likes to call them. They are strong, powerful, passionate, Type-A people who make waves and get things done. When they get the wheels turning you better hop on that train or jump out of the way!
I admire the way they lead, act, accomplish, aim, and don’t back down from a fight.
My mother is a blue, or in dad speak, a cocker. She is thoughtful, considerate, and is a relationship builder. She is loyal, kind, and all heart. She is the peacemaker and she gives the best hugs. My brother, the technological one, is an owl: precise, a thinker, an analyzer. He’s the one I go to when I have a problem to work out because he has a way of taking it apart and then laying it all out and helping me see each individual piece in relation to the whole puzzle.
Me on the other hand, well, I guess you could say I’m an orange. I’m a lion with flying monkey wings and a long tree swinging tail? A red/yellow split. My heart and head are in constant battle. Half of me says, “Work Hard” while the other half of me says, “SQUIRREL!” There are days when I get so much done and feel like I’m on top of the world. And then there are days and even weeks that I couldn’t focus if my life depended on it. These past few weeks have been very much the later.
Call it ADD, call it monkey at the zoo, whatever name you choose, it’s me.
When I was going through school, I was always put in the front row. Not because I was brilliant, but because that was the easiest way the teacher could help keep me in-line and doing what I was supposed to. Nearly every report card said, “Great student. Bright. Daydreams. Has a hard time staying on task.” My dad would repeat over and over the words “Stick to your task ’til it sticks to you for beginners are many but enders are few…” I tried so hard but sitting still made me feel like my legs would run right off my body.
That holds true to this day.
I’m not happy with choosing one thing and working hard at it until it’s done then sitting back to admire my work.
I want to do ALL THE THINGS! I want to learn all the things, and go all the places, all before lunchtime. But then, in all honesty, I get distracted and don’t end up doing ANY of the things. Confrontation makes me feel trapped and then my brain implodes and my mouth explodes as I frantically search my mental files for an escape route. My basement, car, and garage look like a project bomb just went off and it all needs only one or two more steps to be finished. I’m pretty positive that I feel 14 different emotions and have 916 different thoughts in 43 minutes, but aliens wear pink shoes and John Wayne is my favorite. What do you mean I make you dizzy? I think I’ll paint my kitchen. Come on people, keep up.
I am horribly impatient and terribly clumsy.
I fall up the stairs at least twice a day.
NO light is safe in my home.
And, during the really bad times, I shake.
Which is usually when I break stuff. You’d think I’d learn? ;)
Why am I telling you this?
Because there are days that I seriously wonder if I am going to mess up my kids.
How will my husband react when he comes home from his long, hard trip to find 17 unfinished projects in the garage, a partially unloaded dishwasher, a 5 year old with one disheveled pigtail on the side of her head, cookie dough on the counter, and half the master bedroom full of clean clothes on the floor? How will my daughter make it through her own “red” struggles? Will my girls ever go to church with matching shoes and pretty hair?
And for the love, how will my routine craving, steady as a rock son describe his mother in therapy someday?
I am my own crazy carnival ride.
Can I ever be enough?
Yesterday, a friend posted something on FB that went along the lines of ADD being a gift from God. It took every ounce of control I had in me not to reach through the computer screen and cyber punch her in the throat. Was she smoking crack? How could what I am EVER be a gift? I was angry about it all day, and well into the evening.
After a sleepless night and some really awful dreams I turned it over to God, “Lord, I am not enough.”
But, as always, He surprised me.
I was reminded of how much I love my family. How much of myself I give to those around me. How I bend over sideways, backwards, and upside down to drop everything and help. How I have been blessed with a strong, steadfast husband who is rooted down deep, so my whirlwind of learning, exploring, music filled, artsy-fartsy, adventure can give my children wings.
With a body and brain constantly in motion I have a million ideas and can think on my feet. I can motivate, lead, and influence in ways that other personality types just can’t. I have enough press forward and get up and go to get the ball rolling but then enough fly high to keep the journey fun.
My good balances out the bad and it’s up to me what I want to see and magnify in myself.
You see, I am not perfect and neither are you, my friend.
But the truth remains, we are both enough.
We have strengths and weaknesses. Gifts and curses. But no one could take our place.
So, next time you look at those shiny, squares of perfection and feel a twinge of sadness, push those feelings aside and wow, that’s a giant strawberry, let’s make nutella dip, oooh, green! That dresser has to be green… PAINT ALL THE THINGS… I should buy a beehive.
Well, you get the idea.
You are enough.