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!

15 thoughts on “Not Perfect. Just Better.

  1. I love your blog posts, Aunt Pru! It brightens my day when I see you’ve posted something new. I hope your holiday season is cheery and bright. ❤️


    1. You’re so lovely! I love watching your path via Facebook; know that i’m cheering for you from the peanut gallery, young NicNac! Jonathan would have been very proud of you!


  2. Enjoy your cookies and decorations (and never mind the brat, I bet he’d eat a cookie if it was there). I hope you have a wonderful, sparkly, light-filled Christmas.


      1. Pru, Sooo fun to read your posts, AND get your Christmas “update” yesterday. I am excited (much to Rusty’s chagrin) to find out that he is practically a neighbor now. Please inform him that I will soon be his favorite second Uncle twice cousined (or whatever it is).
        I think you have my e mail address now (?). Please write, so I’ll have yours. Would love to catch up and find out how to connect with Rusty.

        Merry Christmas to all. Doug


  3. A lurker here, chiming in to say that I appreciate your posts and miss them when you’re “away.” For someone I’ve never met, you’re oddly often in my thoughts as I navigate my own journey toward health and well-being. Thank you for capturing so well both the peculiarly personal, yet oddly universal, struggle of discovering and encouraging our best selves.

    I hope all is well with you and that you are starting the new year refreshed and ready to slay dragons!


    1. Donna, don’t ever think that comments aren’t important! You totally re-energized and inspired me with your generous and kind comment; I’ve been feeling like I’m a bit of a nuisance with my posts. In a recent experiment when I posted every single day for a long time, I watched my readership consistently tank. Fewer people read if I post more often. This is demoralizing… so your comment has hit me at the exact right time! Thank you for taking the time to comment, and to let me know we’re in this together!


      1. As a confirmed introvert, it goes against my nature to “speak up,” but it seems selfish to stay silent and make you do all the work! I’ll do my best to join the conversation more often.


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