Brea's Story - Stop and smell the roses

"I had a planner to detail every particular aspect of my day."

Starting in middle school, I had a planner to detail every particular aspect of my day, from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to sleep. My room had to constantly be in order, and there was “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

From middle school on up through college, anything less than an “A” in all of my classes was unacceptable. Every morning, afternoon, evening meal and snack was planned a month in advance to perfection. Before giving birth to my child, I was an extreme perfectionist.

Fast forward about 2 years from college, and I gave birth to my daughter. My perfectionism didn’t go away because I had a child - to some extent, it got worse. Naturally, being a parent, I wanted only the best for my daughter. Her hair had to be done a certain way, I had to approve of all her outfits and matching accessories, she was only allowed to eat certain foods, and so on.

As you can probably imagine, I was only able to keep this up for so long. Making sure that I was “perfect” 100% of the time was not a huge deal before, but keeping up with a baby too?!?! It wasn’t totally impossible, but MAN was it tiring and overwhelming!!

One day finally, after being perfect for so long, I just felt burnt out. Burnt out to the point that I no longer kept up with my planner, I stopped meal planning/prepping, stopped going to the gym, and of course, I still took care of my daughter, but I definitely didn’t care anymore about what our hair looked like or what we were wearing while I was doing it. This five or six-month period of just going with the flow and allowing each piece of every day to fall wherever it wanted to, was the best mental break I had ever allowed myself to have in my life.

The point is, life will go on, no matter what. Your responsibilities will always be there. Your children will always be there. Your worries and concerns may very well always be there. Whether you’ll spend it fast, meticulously planning all the details of your day and making sure everything is “perfect”, or leaving some moments of the day up to your imagination and leaving room for things to be imperfect, makes all the difference.

Now, I try to live more in the moment and cut myself breaks. Making the effort to complete a journal entry every day on the Gratitude app has helped to mold my perspective on the way I view life in its totality. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be moments where attempting to be “perfect” is necessary, but that’s no way to enjoy life 24/7. I’m grateful for this app because it’s helped me realize there is nothing wrong with slowing down, taking breaks, and stopping to smell the roses.

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