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I have never been a perfectionist.
I spend most of my days makeup-free with my hair in a wet bun.
I prefer candid pictures, even the ones with the weird expression on my face.
I have no problem wearing sweats to the grocery store.
Whether is's a class, skill or recipe, I have no expectations of greatness when I try something new.
I do not get paralyzed with Writer's Block (though I do sometimes get paralyzed with laziness).
I don't think my day of mostly healthy eating is ruined if I eat a few cookies.
I do not spend hours getting ready.
I practically live in my robe.
I've gone to a few adult painting classes and I've found the experience incredibly fun, though I never created a masterpiece.
I've published imperfect essays and lived to tell the tale.
I'm not afraid of self-care the way so many (way too many) women are; I have no problem saying no to a social invite if I know that what I need more is some time to rest.
I'm not overly concerned about what others think of me now that I'm in my thirties.
I'm wearing no makeup and sweating profusely in my last two years worth of Facebook profile photos.
I care about food presentation enough to try and spread out my colors but not enough to try and cut my food in cute shapes, clean up the spills on the side of the plate, or try to make it look restaurant-worthy.
I don't make my income as a model and therefore do not think I need a model's body.
I do not make my income as a photographer and therefore do not think I need to take more than one picture to get it right.
I rarely use filters on Instragram.
If I'm moved to make something delicious and homemade for a potluck I will; if I'm moved to pick up a salad from the deli or a bag of chips and some salsa, I'll do that instead.
I don't feel the need to be perfect and I definitely do not feel the need to present myself as perfect.
I'm not perfect and I'm totally okay with that.
Enter pregnancy. You see, here's the thing about pregnancy (or at least the particular pregnancy I am experiencing): I'm so very tired. My energy level is on par with someone who just smoked a lot of weed and is now binge-watching seven seasons of a TV show. My energy level is on par with some of the residents I used to work with at a retirement center, the ones who would shuffle in their walkers for only a few steps before needing to sit down to catch their breaths. My energy level is nonexistent.
What I'm saying is this. I never made any attempts to be perfect before I was pregnant, but now that I'm here even my super basic way of living feels a little too high-maintenance. I do not want to extend any of my precious energy toward any of the following: making semi-elaborate meals, going grocery shopping, doing chores around the house, getting dressed, chasing after work assignments, or getting everything organized before the baby arrives.
This is what I want to do with the precious amount of energy I do have at my disposal: Sleep and eat. I want to sleep as many hours per day as possible and I want to eat whatever food happens to be most readily available. I want pizzas delivered to my house. I want to wear a mumu. I want to ignore my hair and sometimes skip my shower and I want to do all my work while slightly reclined on the couch (which I'm currently doing) instead of sitting upright in the office. I want to be fed. I want the laundry and dishes to magically clean themselves. I want to turn on the Food Network and read weird celebrity gossip and eat ice cream sandwiches.
I've never been a perfectionist but until pregnancy I was always a Good Enough-ist. The kitchen didn't have to be sparkling, but all the dishes would be put away and the counters wiped down. I didn't have to look flawless, but I would put together some semblance of an outfit before going out. I didn't need to be a gourmet chef, but I put effort into making foods with lots of fresh ingredients. I didn't need every post to be uh-mazing, but I did make an effort to consistently post on my blog three times a week.
Then pregnancy came along. Good Enough has become a thing of my past. Now I'm more about Just Do One Productive Thing Each Day. There are so many days when I feel like that one thing is all I have energy for. If I get to the grocery store but don't return all my emails, good enough. If I take a shower but never actually get dressed beyond a robe, good enough. If I get my work done but only after pausing for a 3-4 hour nap, good enough. Maybe my standards are low but my energy level is even lower, so I say good enough, good enough, good enough.
I'm so thankful I've never had the desire to be perfect. I've always enjoyed making cupcakes even though I've never learned to frost them in a way that looks anything other than drizzly. I've always enjoyed writing and I don't allow myself to be crippled by the fear of rejection; I just send my work out and see what happens. I've always enjoyed running and it's probably because I'm not measuring myself against anything — I'm just getting out there and enjoying the fresh air and the time to think.
If I felt like I needed to be perfect — or even great or heck, even good — right now, I think my pregnancy would be miserable. But I'm just not into that. I'm not into torturing myself for the sake of presenting myself well to others. I'm not into feeling like I need to be more than I am. Right now I am tired. Very, very tired. Tired people should rest. Tired people should not spend entire days on their feet, running from one thing to the next. I'm a tired person, not a perfect person. Today I got this blog post done, and today that's good enough for me.