Not Perfect. Just Better.


Look, lovey: The holiday season is teed up to make you feel bad about yourself. I’m sorry to point it out (under the “if I can’t see it, it can’t hurt me” philosophy, this is anathema), but it’s true.

From Christmas cookies to the sucking vacuum of emptiness at the festive table where Someone Important used to sit, you’re on an obstacle course of self-pity and self-hatred. Blend that with those memories that lurk just below where you can reach them (the memory that says “but you LOVE Christmas; what’s the matter with you? This is the happiest time of the year! Remember?”), and you’re on a tightrope, my little calla lily.

But here’s what I have to offer you:

You don’t have to be perfect.

That’s lucky, as perfection is (say it with me) unobtainable. Be real: You’re going to eat Christmas cookies. You just are.

You’re going to look at an old family photo that’s been sitting on your dresser for years and suddenly burst into tears. If you hadn’t loved so much, you wouldn’t have been so happy – setting you up for the inevitable let-down now. That’s just the way it goes, and the longer you live, the more you have to lose.

So lower your standards. For heaven’s sake; why are you so hard on yourself?!

You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be better.

You didn’t work out yesterday. Maybe for a LOT of yesterdays. So what? Here’s today, all ready for you.

You’ve let sugar take over. You’ve become sugar’s co-pilot; maybe even the weak, never-listened-to navigator in the back of the plane going “Uh, guys? I don’t think we’re on the right flight plan,” while sugar and its preferred co-pilot, fat, are high-fiving in the front seats and calling each other “bro” like frat boys.

It happens. Eat the cookie. Get over yourself. Tomorrow is another day. And so is the day after that.

Just be better, not perfect. Do a LITTLE something for yourself. Take a walk. Hire a trainer. Skip dessert ONCE. Just once. You can skip dessert once; I know you can.

You don’t have to be perfect.

Just a little better.

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Full disclaimer: I LOVE Christmas, and am quite determinedly enjoying it this year. I’m meeting my sister at my mother’s house to do Mom’s tree, and I’ll have my decorations up before my brat gets home from college, so I am not annoyed by the fact that he has no interest in the holidays and refuses to help. I’ll listen to Burl Ives and Chris Isaak and I’ll deck my halls, fa-la-la-la-la! Hope you’re happy this season, too!