One of my all-time favorite quotes is one by Louis L’Amour:
“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. Yet that will be the beginning.”
Apparently, I like that quote a lot, but the true meaning of it hasn’t sunk in my thick skull. Maybe it’s because I’m competitive with myself, maybe it’s because I strive for perfection (and have my whole life)…whatever the reason, I realize I get in this tunnel-vision mentality, trying to hit self-imposed deadlines, egging myself on, always thinking, I will be well when ______. When I shed more weight. When I shed more shyness, especially around guys. When I shed the fear of writing creatively. More, more, more. But that’s what L’Amour has been trying to tell me all along – there will always be a more. Maybe not always more weight to lose, but always room for improvement in taking care of myself. And more opportunities to meet new people. And more words. I know myself well enough to know there won’t be any shortage of stories to tell.
Striving for these things isn’t wrong; being competitive with myself, in moderation, is healthy. But the irony of it all is that the harder I try to find a finish line with wellness, with being more this or that or whatever, the more I lose sight of the real reward: being present in my everyday life, as healthy as possible.
And so I realize…it’s time to let go of the frustration I feel when I don’t take as good of care of myself as I want, or I do get shy, or I don’t write that really good idea down. Wellness is a journey, meant for me to wander…some days two steps forward, three steps back. Now it’s time to focus on what I am doing right, and not constantly pick on myself when I’m not a top performer. True perfection doesn’t really exist, anyway. I’m human, after all. I wonder what my life would look like then? Maybe my new goal should be more about imperfection than perfection.