Cutting Me Some Slack


Latest posts by Dara (see all)

by Dara Simpson

I was born a perfectionist. I want everything to be just right at just the right time.

In my head, this is totally possible with the right amount of effort, planning, and execution.

In reality, that sometimes just isn’t the case.

Regardless of your sacrifice and prep, life happens. Your preparedness and optimism are sometimes no match for traffic jams, flat tires, unexpected visitors, disgruntled clients, power outages, toddler tantrums, delayed flights, and so on and so on.

When life happens, as mentioned above, the perfectionist in me immediately gets worked up. It’s my nature to get annoyed, upset, pouty, frustrated, and want to allow whatever it is to ruin my whole day.

But what I’m continuing to realize and learn in both my personal and professional life is that it isn’t failing when life throws you unanticipated curveballs. Failing is when you allow them to keep you down and break your stride.

Balancing motherhood, work, and fitness is a funny thing and quite the challenge. For example, I had three goals this week: make my daughter’s back-to-school transition easy, have a successful business trip, and stick to my clean-eating commitment.

When I realized I only had enough bandwidth for two of these three goals, can you guess which one was quickly trashed?

Yep, eating better was the first to go, as the other two clearly couldn’t be back-burnered.

Although I still made relatively wise eating choices, using the adjective “clean” would be quite the stretch.

But it didn’t ruin my week. I had a solid two-day start with eating right, then Wednesday happened (i.e. airport food, then entertaining clients, and you always order dessert when entertaining clients), and then I cleaned up my act for Thursday and Friday. And the best part is that now my weekend is looking pretty “clean,” too!

See the old me would have let the mid-week mayhem rip up my diet plan and run straight for McDonalds…because when I fall off the horse, I like to fall hard. BUT the new me acknowledged the minor detour and climbed right back on that healthy horse to ride. So instead of having five crapping eating days in the week, I only have one.

It wasn’t perfect, and it certainly wasn’t according to plan…but it was better than expected.

Learning how to cut myself some slack here and there is making me a better friend, a better mother, a better wife, and a better businesswoman. Beating myself up over life wasn’t getting me anywhere and was frankly leaving me with a permafrown.

I’ve recently been applying this to my commitment to fitness, as well. Again because of kids and work schedules, getting to the gym sometimes just isn’t in the cards. And finally, I’m OK with that. Instead of being mad when I realize I’m going to miss that Pure Barre class or won’t get that much needed sweat from Hot Yoga, I just roll with. I’ll try to make up for it by squeezing an extra gym sesh over the weekend or even just disregard it altogether and spend any extra reclaimed time by sitting down to relax with a good book, which can be just as therapeutic as exercise if not more.

Winner of the Mother's Day Giveaway!

So while being dedicated to things in life is necessary, sometimes you just have to let go a little when things start to go sideways. It sounds counterproductive, but in actuality it sometimes is just the break you need to recharge and attempt it all over again tomorrow.


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