All You Can Do

“All you can do is all you can do, and all you can do is enough.”
A. L. Williams

I got this fabulous quote from my brother, Zed.  It’s perfect for someone like me, who is a perfectionist and an overachiever, especially when it comes to wanting to fix the world and all of the people in it. Fortunately, I’m not one of those who goes around telling everyone that it’s my way or the highway, though sometimes it’s easy to think that way. I’m the kind that tries to keep everyone happy, as though it’s my job to make sure that every person in the room never gets depressed, gets their feelings hurt, or feels anger.

I learned to do that job well when I was a just a little kid. I felt I had to do everything perfectly and exactly as I was told to do it.  If I didn’t do things the prescribed way the first time, I usually had to do them over and over until I got the results my parents were looking for.

I remember spending a long evening when I was about eight years old, learning about fractions. Dad made me stand on a chair at the kitchen sink, filling measuring cups until I learned that four quarts equaled a gallon, four cups equaled a quart, and two cups made a pint, and so on.  I remember how annoyed he was that I didn’t get it quickly enough for him.  I recall that it was snowing outside and all I could think about was getting outside in the morning to build a snowman. Cups, quarts and gallons were not of interest to me.

During one of my “How to Clean a House,” lessons, Mom, wore a white glove to show me that I hadn’t dusted in every little nook and cranny.  Because it felt like I failed to do things exactly right, I began to compensate by trying to do more than I needed to. I felt that I could never do enough, which led to the belief that I, myself, was not enough.  It’s taken me more years than I’d like to admit to figure out that doing more and more and more to satisfy everybody else’s expectations doesn’t make me happy.

It’s been a lesson well learned. I’ve been on a long and delicious journey this past week, learning more about myself and that letting certain things go is well worth the effort it takes to put them to rest.  I’ll be back in a week, but in the meantime, take a whiff of the lovely roses I’ve sent your way. (-:

These roses are especially for my granddaughter, Casey, who at twenty-four has breast cancer and is an inspiration as she travels down an uncertain road with courage. 

This entry was posted in Addiction, Childhood, family, Healthy Living, Matters of the Spirit, Mental Health, Navigating Through Life, Perfectionism, The Garden and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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