Alison Law is a force to be reckoned with. Alison is a marketing genius. Smart as a whip- and kind! Alison, besides being you know busy with school, Alison Law Communications, and other things- also finds time to be a member of She Reads (where she lovingly made a master list of She Reads bloggers for Twitter- there is that marketing mind!) I asked Alison if she had time to write a guest post- and she agreed. And her post, about permission to be imperfect, is honest and heartwarming.
Alison Law resolves to be Imperfect in 2014
This Year I Resolve to be Imperfect
I am an achievement and self-improvement junkie, so the approach of a New Year sends my already-active brain into overdrive. As I write this—on December 31—my dining room table has become a cluttered command center of “let’s do everything bigger and better in 2014!” Business and personal finance books, goals worksheets and planning materials intermingle with new health insurance cards and New Year’s greeting cards. I hover on the cusp of greatness and I love it.
I can ignore my crime scene of an office and chores today because I’ll be reborn as a meticulous cleaning machine in less than 12 hours. I can eat these Totino’s pizza rolls (with real pepperoni seasoning!), corn chips and French onion dip until I pop today, because when that smartphone strikes midnight, a virtuous and health-conscious Alison will take the keys from me, and my calorie record will be expunged.
The reason that we stay up way past our bedtimes, wearing cardboard party hats and tiaras that leave glitter rashes on our foreheads, is that we (the collective pronoun) love change within our control. We’re in love with the idea of a clean slate, a fresh start and all the other clichés for tidy beginnings. Possibility is intoxicating. Potential is out there, just waiting for us to sidle up next to it and give it a scratch behind the ear.
That’s why I wasn’t a bit surprised to learn in this New York Times article that human beings get a bigger jolt of happiness from planning their vacations than actually going on the trips. Anticipation is a lusty bedfellow to the inner control freak who thinks she can plan everything terrific that can possibly happen in the next twelve months until it’s impossible for the mundane or bad stuff to coexist. This myth appeals to every part of my borderline-OCD personality, but it is just a horrible lie. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned (earned) in my almost 40 years of living on this planet, it’s this: when you resolve to be perfect—at cleaning, eating, exercising, etc.—you’re setting yourself up for utter failure.
Therefore, in terms of resolutions, I’m going to relish the reading and planning that always accompanies my greeting a New Year; I always learn a lot and appreciate those embers that keep my intellectual fires stoked. 2013 was a wonderful year in a lot of ways, but it had its painful moments, too. Enough moments to remind me that I need to leave room in my crazy life for the unexpected crazy. No planning can defeat the uninvited crazy, so I’m just going to make up the guest room and put out the nice towels for it. There’s still plenty of room for dreams and goals, but my aspirations have a better shot when I evict perfectionism and let the unplanned have run of the house.