I have a friend, let’s call her Rachel (because that is her name). Rachel is perfect. She is a perfect mother, perfect housewife, and above all else, a perfect friend. Like the kind of friend who will bring you Pepto at 5am because your kids are all throwing up. Sometimes I get a little embarrassed around her (okay, a lot embarrassed) and just so you know, I don’t embarrass very easily. Embarrassment comes because I am not perfect. I am far, far, galaxy far away, from perfect. She will walk into my cluttered home and start sorting, cleaning, and dusting. Nonjudgemental tidying mind you, because as I said, she’s perfect.
So nothing shocked me more than when she posted “something” on her facebook. Her posts are usually full of sunshine and rainbows. She’s homeschooling six kids (out of necessity) and the posts are always filled with bits of homeschooling wisdom, and lovey dovey notes to a husband that works very long hours.
Until last week.
When she posted this:
When she posted this:
“In case anyone wonders, I am NOT perfect. I had many frustrating moments today that pushed me to the point of wanting to run away. Lucky for my kids, I just ran away to my car, where I could regroup. Though I try to maintain a positive attitude MOST of the time, I DO have very challenging, very frustrating moments. Please don't think that because my posts are mostly positive, that my life is perfect or that it must be easy for me to raise 6 kids. We ALL have challenges. Life isn't about what happens to you, but about how you respond to what happens to you. Today, I didn't respond well. Tomorrow I'll do better.”
She later went on in comments to tell us “regrouping” meant screaming at the top of her lungs in frustration. After I wrote her a little empathetic note, I started giggling a little. She had just validated the feelings of every mother. Picturing Rachel sitting in her car, screaming, made me giggle even more. I had never thought to try screaming in my car.
Of course Rachel had a better tomorrow as Anne Shirley would say, “tomorrow is fresh, with no mistakes in it.”
I’ve been thinking about this as I struggle with edits. The second manuscript is so much tougher than the first, my beta readers are much more apt to scribble long angry paragraphs in the margins. There is much more red in the columns. Instead of fueling me, the nice little notes of encouragement remind me of how much I’m not doing. How I should be doing that much more. There is an expectation, of me, of my characters. The pressure to get it perfect.
Today has been a bad day. Today I have to let it go. Today I’m taking a page out of Rachel’s book. I will scream my heart out. I will remind myself that I am not perfect. I will regroup. I will try and maintain a positive attitude.
Tomorrow I will get through these edits.
Tomorrow will be better.