"Perfectionism is slow death." Hugh Prather

Do you believe that perfection will make you happy? Do you subject others to your ridiculous standards? Do you "do nothing" because it won't be perfect? This blog is in dedication to the ridiculous lengths I go to in search for perfection, and the insanity I encounter along the way.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Meal Planning?

OK, I totally stink at this.  I have had good months, cut our grocery bill, then terrible months where all I am pulling out for the kids is hot pockets and chicken nuggets.  This is that current month.  So begins another journey.  If I can manage to do a little planning after that confession, so can you.  I have gone to other blogs to try and steal healthy meal plans.  But some mothers feel that if they are using whole wheat, than they are being healthy.  Don't get me wrong, but I am not going to maintain my waist cooking cheesy hamburger whole wheat macaroni or whole wheat donuts.  This mother either has a faster metabolism than I do, or she is not eating her own cooking.  If all I had to do was go to my Goosebury cookbooks copy 45 casseroles I would be in business.  But alas, that is not the case.  Why is NOTHING easy for me.  Some, but not all, of my recipes on the blog are truly healthy.  So I can choose from some of them.  But let's face it, 3 meals a day, 7 day's a week, 52 weeks a year...this is exhausting, overwhelming.  At least when I look at it during the one calendar week a month where nothing works.  Are you feeling me ladies?
I watched Julie & Julia yesterday since we are snowed in and good grief did it make me want to eat!  I immediately put Julia Child's cookbook on my wish list.  I have some great cookbooks that I will never eat from.  It is sad.  I wish I didn't care if I was fat, because I would really put down some good food.  It makes me sad that all the weight I gained when I first moved to TX was from Sonic and various every other day church events.  Apparently gluttony is not a sin in the bible belt.  I don't even have a memory of great food passing my lips as a result of that.
Gluten is totally off the menu.  I longingly look at the grilled cheese sandwiches the kids ate today and remember that with tomato soup on a cold day in my youth.  I'm not saying never again, but not right now as I try to get in better shape.  Unless I get more active, meaning more than 2 days a week, I have to REALLY watch it.  You would think that would motivate me, because I seriously love food, and yet it doesn't.
So, for now, I will attempt to TRY and put together some meal plans that people can actually eat and not get as big as a city block.  Stay tuned!


  1. Just keep moving. Not necessarily work out, bore yourself silly with aerobic routines and the like, but everyday walks, house pick up, stretching, laughing, and stair climbing. Get a mini trampoline and jump on when you think about it.

    The eating thing (for me after 40) is tough, but I have come to terms that I am not ever again going to have a six pack or buns of steel! I have a family that I must keep in line without driving us all crazy. I don't know how old you are, but once you reach 45 those images of the perfect, beautiful wife and mom will change. Those women who do appear to "have it all" suffer from some other angst. Anyone I know who is super fit and coiffed to perfection is simply too self indulgent for me to want to call a close friend.

    I don't have magical words of wisdom, but I went through a cycle of wanting to be my ultimate self...but my ultimate self isn't what I thought it was suppose to be. It's comfort with being happy with what I can realistically accomplish...who cares that I'm not the hottest wife on the block, the richest member at the PTA meeting, the craftiest host of my child's b-day party. One day being normal will be hip, having a pooch will show consideration for your family, and cutting your hair when everyone else sports extentions will show courage...

    This all may sound banal to readers, but I am happier for realizing it.

  2. Thanks for reading Kajsa! I am 44 by the way, and mostly poke fun at the lengths I sometimes go to, to "get it together". I really have to have a sense of humor or I would need therapy lol. Thanks for keeping it real! It's really how it should be :)

  3. I totally get that this is a venting venue and you're sort of poking fun at the whole parenting thing!

    BUT, as I tell my husband, there is always a buried pain and unrealized truth in joking around...which is fine to do to get it out of your system.

    My comment was to reach what I sense to be a deep unhappiness (maybe depression) of your current situation where you're at your wits end with finding workable solutions. I reckon we (those of us who are parents) all go through it to some degree.

    I know that I want things better than what I grew up with. I've tried mirroring the vision I had dreamed as a child of the "perfect family". It's been hell trying to make that happen (my husband had what I consider the "perfect family life"). My husband didn't have to struggle as a child (at least the way I did), so he has difficulty understanding what my "vision" is.

  4. You could get a degree analyzing my content lol In answer to your observation, the answer is unequivocally (praise God for spell check) YES, this is, as my mother puts it "the season of my discontent". Anytime you add someone to the daily routine, you will be faced with yourself under a bathroom light bulb. Rarely does your Best Self surface. That's why it's "for better or WORSE" lol I really struggled with starting a blog, especially when I read so many blogs where the women are eerily well adjusted. And I truly believe they are. Not without struggle, but their coping skills are...well, I don't even know, they are just not reflecting that in a blog. And that's great, I can go get my recipe or organizational chart or tip on gardening or sit in on a daily devotional and be all the better for it. I think part of what this blog is for is 1) to help me recognize that I am not the sum total of one days feeling 2) that there are certain times of the month that I catastrophize (is that a word?) the little irritations of life 3) perhaps someone will relate and we will know we are not crazy, we are women. And finally, that if anyone relates, perhaps the things I have found to help me, will help them too. But you'll get the bombers too! lol Not that all women go through what I do to the degree in which I go through it. I definitely don't want to come across as discouraging or depressing, if that is the case I will shut it down right now. I think in my journaling as a youth I tended to write in the moments of greatest despair, while very insightful, still down right depressing, which is why I threw them all away! Perhaps I should be mindful of that here, otherwise, where's the progress, right?! I do believe contentment, in my life, is a choice. And there are some days where I do not choose it on any level. And then on other days, victory! I also married Dudley Do-Right and bless his heart on the days I don't. He waffles between trying to fix and throwing up his hands (though he has sat with me and had a good cry too!). We are a mystery for sure. My greatest desire is to choose contentment more often for both he and my children. And I believe if I were to look at the whole of my life, I am doing that more each day.

  5. You should lay it all out in the open! Who wants to read deceit and "glamour"? I found your blog while trying to get mine started. I got distracted in responding to you and haven't had the time to doodle around with my own.

    My main question to you (and anyone else venting in the blog world) is "who are/is the people that you feel inclined to emulate?" How are these people related to you? What makes them so worthy of your time?

    I spent a year, and thereafter off and on months, working out, reading health books, researching on google for the best nutrition, weight loss, work out, and overall health plans. After all that time I learned a lot, but I realized that I needed to figure out a balance because all that time working on my physical self (mostly to look great) my kids and husband suffered because I was so focused on my appearance and achieving the "wow" factor. It was all great FOR ME, but that year and months really showed that it was a life time maintenance gig that I could not sustain.

    I figured out (well somewhat) that after I shave the exterior down to the core, people who I found "fabulous" truly have a small, hollow soul (even the the church crowd). However, those who never flashed the "wow" factor have demonstrated genuine, wholesome beauty and kindness (most were not the church crowd). That just happens to be the coincidence in my life...I'm sure it varies among circles. I consider myself very spiritual, not religious because I've found it more peaceful and less judgemental.

    Overall, I found your blog while doodling around with my own. It was interesting to see a reflection of my old self (I know you're venting and not crazy). So I felt, for my own venting reasons, inclined to respond. But it would be interesting to know who in your life is it that you vision to be realistically like...we all have that person or "type" that we are flashed with before our eyes that makes us want to do better...and truthfully women do look to other women and role models despite what we publicly admit!

  6. I have women in my life who are organized, but struggle in their marriages, some who have what I believe to be physical perfection, but struggle with balance as you said, and the list goes on. And I respect and love these women. I don't judge that. Well, ok, maybe I do, because that is the nature of comparison, which is why it is so dangerous. Being honest! lol So as far as the "total package", you know, no one comes to mind! So I guess we can't be all things can we? I can tell you the areas in my life that are important - my faith, my marriage and my children. My health. My relationships. And not always in that order. When one gets out of balance because of the other, I know that I am being selfish as you said. I wish I could say that I am striving for self acceptance, while it is on my "to do list" frequently, I often realize that there are areas in my life that need improvement because they are causing me a great deal of stress. Being a slob, is stressful, being overweight (which I am not anymore) is stressful, not training my children is stressful. I love the Heavenly Homemakers site (she is a link), this woman has the sweetest spirit, she is funny without being too self depreciating, she has a spirit of excellence, she knows how to incorporate her family into a rhythmic routine that works for their family. That is where I got my chore charts from. I don't KNOW her KNOW her, so I can't judge by anything other than what her website shows, but I have a lot of respect for her values. I know that I will never be a wheat grinding, peach canning, organic gardening woman. But there are aspects of that that are very comforting to me. So I know there is a part of me in there somewhere, my creative self. I suppose my blog would not be the greatest witness for Christ if someone thought being a Christian meant we arrive somewhere in perfection! I have found that to be farther from any truth out there. My faith is in the acceptance of my brokenness. When I look at other "church people", I realize they are all being hospitalized as well. lol For me it is principles before personalities. Otherwise I would have no faith at all! lol If you get your blog started, I would love to take a "peek". I hope I was a welcome distraction and if nothing else, shows you what NOT to do! lol

  7. Well said. Acquiring balance is brutal, but I believe I've found it. It certainly isn't what some family members and friends find to be ideal, but I interpret that as an imbalance in their life! I think once they find balance (whatever that is for them) within themselves, they'll understand me a bit better.

    I haven't had a weight problem in my life, but I have certainly beat myself up in the past for not looking magazine worthy in a bikini! Truthfully, now when I see friends of the same age who look really fantastic physically I almost see it as freakish – not to mention those with cosmetic help (not referring to nose jobs because they broke it!). Freakish in the way that they wear themselves out with diets, personal training, high impact aerobics, and salon appointments. Ideally, that sounds like a dream to live, but calculating the time they spend (as I once did, so I'm familiar with the hours) there's no time for real life nor for the lives they married and brought into the world.

    Being a slob isn't what I'm trying to advocate, nor am I promoting a particular lifestyle. It seems we share similar paths though I feel being a few years older than you, I know from recent experience what you're venting (joking) about. It's like adolescence for the 40s, we all go through that “phase” but because we live in different places, work in different careers, have different children, have different personalities, etc. to contend with, the events in these phases will alter.

    I wish I had sought a therapist to dig deeper into my mind, but at that time it didn't fit into my big plan to be “perfect”! Now I realize that being perfect isn't possible nor desirable anymore. There were many incidents that finally accumulated and I saw a huge glimpse of what made people comfortable around me (and I comfortable around them) – it was the mere, simple fact that they had many healthy flaws. And these flaws were “perfect”! It was like a beautiful Monet which is seen as “perfect” through the blurry, smudged, crooked lines. If each paint stroke had been precise, then the image wouldn't be appealing... (I'm aware that analogy isn't astute but rather trite)... but that artist's work is an example of how “perfection” should be defined...we can all be “perfect” if you really think about it!

  8. Beautiful analogy. I will tell my husband to squint if he wants to see perfection :) And I will do the same for him, I will have to remember that, very good..hmmm (reflecting) I have wasted many hours too, and while I wouldn't pass up a freebie, it is not a priority, obviously, or I wouldn't have room to complain! lol I think the real tragedy is that all the effort put into the outside doesn't produce peace on the inside, and yet they (well, me too, but I am recovering!) still travail. By all means, set goals, overcome adversity etc. etc. Achievement from hard work is a good thing. But I am pretty clear that the kind of regimen you are talking about is not some "personal best". It is more like quicksand, a race against the clock, an attempt to connect that is false. Maybe not every time, in every case, but...a lot of the time, in many cases. Yes, this I do understand. Don't fret too much over the lack of couch time. I wish I could get those years of navel gazing back. It is really just an exercise for you to answer your own questions with confidence and it sounds like in many ways you have done that. Most of the therapists I encountered were trying to get their own questions answered, how healthy is THAT! But that's just me, and this is my blog so I can say it! lol
    This is just a side note. You know, one of the reasons I started this blog was after an "aha!" moment I had reading a book on disciplining your children. I can have some pretty hard self talk, so my assumption was that I hated myself. And then I read "failure to live up to your own standards results in self-condemnation and guilt", "we can not be led out of that feeling with praise". Now, another person could read that and have a really negative response, and I realize I am not able to convey the context here as it would be too long. But for me, it was like a burden lifted. I didn't hate myself, I had a standard that I was wanting to achieve. Now, perhaps that standard was unrealistic. But it was not self hatred that drove me, it was self love. I wanted the best for myself. And no matter how many times someone would try to tell me otherwise (with praise), I was not subdued. When I was at my heaviest, people would say "You are beautiful" or "You don't need to lose weight" That did NOT make me feel better. I KNEW I was overweight, inactive and a diabetic waiting to happen. So I finally did something about it. This was a truth in that area of my life. In other areas, the standard was impossibly high, and not a worthy one. Those are the rocks I was talking about. What's left.

  9. The "momma ain't happy, nobody's happy" standard gave me some mojo as I tried to live up to my high standards for myself! I am happy for that narcissistic phase in my life because I learned a lot from it. I realized that after I achieved more happiness for myself, I was expecting everyone to feel my new positive aura, thus begin the awesome happy family bonding which that quote promises.

    I learned that keeping myself in "perfect" form in order to be happy (so everyone else will be happy), made everyone resentful. Resentful mostly indirectly. There was such frustration around the household..."No, I can't join you all, I have my kickboxing class," "Oh, sorry but I need to get my hair retouched." "Hmm, can you all wait until I finish body scultp II?" "My trainer needed to move up our session an hour, I'll be home as quickly as possible." I made no time for anyone because this was suppose to bring happiness...you know, the perfect body and mind..and of course hair and nails.

    Do I look like a slob now because I don't live at the health club anymore? No, not to me! I keep my hair cut and highlighted, I don't have acrylic nails now, but my manicured short nails look chic and elegant. Do I have a six pack and firm butt? No. But my metabolism stays high because I move all the time and nibble all day on foods that I love...I haven't gained weight since the slam down of gym life, but I don't look like an athlete either.

    I agree, you should strive to be the person that is naturally you. If you know that you're overweight because you're living an inactive/unhealthy life style, then it's mandatory that you focus on that problem to get you to that desired place (it seems that your already in that mode). You'll find that medium between the ultimate physique that you acquire in the first part of your change and the "slide" that WILL occur when you're getting bored or discouraged. That roller coaster will take you on a surprising ride with a few whip lashes. But you'll find that medium that works for everyone in the family. As your kids grow older, they'll need you more (especially in their teens) until they're adults. And then you'll have to adjust your routine once again to accommodate them.

    I think your blog is great. I should get mine started instead of taking up your space to vent my thoughts!

  10. Thanks Kajsa, come and comment anytime! Be sure to invite me!