I'm on vacation with my girlies while Oliver is at a Local Government leadership summit (his name was on it's own banner downtown--"surreal" he said--still getting used to this wonderful work he's doing, I think).
Right now it's raining, and it's supposed to rain for the next three days, so instead of the great hike on the dunes, the island galavanting, the beaching, and all around big time play, we're sitting in our room surrounded by the craft supplies we acquired on an early morning Jo-ann's run.
Yesterday, as we were road-tripping here, I was a grumpy mess. "Pms" I kept saying while Oliver shot concerned glances at me and I tried to stuff all the anxiety I was feeling back down to where it came from.
What I didn't realize until just now, though, was where the anxiety was coming from. See, when I was young, my parents took us on amazing, and amazingly scheduled vacations. Just the thought of them make me quake with the inferiority I feel when compared to the "vacations" I take with my family.
My girls are beyond happy to be watching cartoons and coloring in giant coloring books on the floor on a rainy day. My parents, come hell or high water, would have braved the day and taken us to museum after museum, theme park after theme park, National forest after...you get the picture. We would have posed in front of every statue and,
There it is,
pounding heart, smothering guilt.
Why am I not better at this? Why would I rather go to a yarn store and buy (a-n-o-t-h-e-r) H crochet hook and (more) yarn than see the sights!?
I should have them at the children's museum, even if it did look like a shack...and I should take them to the opera house, even if Jules would make a scene.
I should have stayed at the lakeside playground longer this morning, and why didn't I just go to the Pirate Cove, even in the downpour, like the other families that looked miserable standing next to the closed down rides with their mini-golf clubs.
WHY didn't I plan better and then stick to those plans...hell or high water?
Get the picture?
Truth is, I appreciate all I saw and learned because of my parents. It is one of my deepest gratitudes.
Truth is, my children have plenty of time to see sights, to learn, to explore.
Truth is, they won't remember this trip anyway. I barely recollect Disney World at 6.
Truth is, this is about so much more than feeling like an inadequate trip planner.
It's about all those feelings of just not being good enough; at parenting, at planning, at follow through.
It's about feeling like less than enough.
It's about that feeling of not accomplishing enough.
I'm pretty sure we all feel these things sometimes, especially we perfectionists in the midst, and I'm no stranger to them.
This time, instead of analysis, I will trust my body and my heart to gently remove anxiety's grip on my wrists.
I'll let fun and creativity and snuggles do the work of processing.
This time, instead of pushing to be better, I'll trust that I am already okay, that this too shall pass, and that what feels perfect to us right now is exactly what we need.
Hoping your day is filled with what feels perfect to you and nothing else.
Anna Turner is the woman behind Little Hearth. She's an ordained interfaith minister, a writer, a believer in purposeful living and healing, a perpetual student, and a full time feminist mother.