Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Confessions of An Imperfect Woman

I read lots of blogs. Blogs on motherhood. On issues of faith. On scrapbooking. On raising two dogs. On being a spiritual pilgrim. On travel. On writing. On journaling. I read the Bible and other books and magazines and internet articles and watch the news and Jon Stewart and Oprah and The Office and ER. I listen to sermons and PodCasts and tirades and comedic radio programs. I take notes. I meditate. I ponder. I journal. I pray.

And then I try to do it all. To follow every piece of advice I read and hear. To follow every good eating and exercise regimen, to incorporate every spiritual discipline, to preserve all our memories on acid-free paper attached with acid-free glue sticks and subtitled with acid-free pens, and be the ideal wife and mother every moment of every day. Perfectly. Without mistakes. Without exceptions. Without falling off the wagon. Ever.

To that end,
I exercise five days per week.
I am regimental about what I eat and don't eat.
I read the Bible and pray daily.
I go to church at least three times per week.
I write thoughtful and inspiring blogs.
I love, honor, and cherish not only my husband and my children,
but also my mother and mother-in-law.
I read with and to my children daily.
I teach them Spanish and history and language arts
and the old hymns of the church, and
how to read carefully while always questioning
the texts they are devouring.

Except when I don't.
Except when I don't feel like it.
Except when I'm feeling human and lonely and sad.
Except when I want to eat milk chocolate pecan turtles and key lime pie and drink sweet coffee and diet Cherry Coke and mojitos.
Except when I take the day off from homeschooling and tell the kids they can watch television or play outside or eat whatever they want all day because Mom needs a break from everything and everybody.
Except when I want to run away from home and roam the streets of Rome.

I pretend to be perfect, except when I want to be really bad.
I attempt to remain devout, except when I want to abandon all my convictions.
I want to be gracious and kind and gentle, except when I want to be the steam engine that rolls through towns, careening around curves, and shaking fine china off of shelves in every stodgy and proper home.

Like a good girl, I have learned very well how to feel guilty for every failure, every foible, and every false front I put up. I have learned very well how to justify my selfishness, my fears, as well as my refusal to give up my selfishness and fears. And most of all, I have learned how to pretend to feel really bad for being bad even as I secretly enjoy my mischievousness with every cell of my being.

I love my life, my husband, my children, and my friends.
I live amazingly well, blessed in every area of my life.
I have never missed a meal or even come close to it.
I have traveled extensively and plan to do much more.
I read and write and receive letters, calls, and text messages from people I know and love, and I rejoice over each missive that I receive.
I am enormously thankful for all the blessings that God has poured into my life.

Except for when...

I think I'll go Google a few blogs and articles about women like me, people like me, for whom imperfection is more the rule than the exception. I expect that within 5 seconds, over 1,000,000 hits will come up.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello!
I'm Pat Morris a fourth grade teacher at Poly Prep. My class has been reading the novel The Watsons Go To Birmingham 1963. I am looking for former Poly students the kids could interview about the "civil rights movement" and about how Poly has changed since the 60's and 70's.
Would you be interested? If so
email me at pmorris@polyprep.org

Thanks!

Lisa from Ohio said...

Fabulous! I love your transparency! I get sooooo tired trying to follow *the rules* and keep it together all the time. A friend gave me the nickname Nerdy Renegade and it is a perfect fit! I try to be the *good girl* most of the time, but this renegade other side of me (the peace-loving, patchouli-wearing, stay-at-home, read, travel, loves-to-eat and sleep) fights for equal time. These shifts seem to go in months or years. It's become quite hilarious to observe. Thank goodness I have a patient and understanding husband :-0