“What keeps you from doing blog entries, Joan?” I wrote out-of-seemingly-nowhere this morning while journaling.
Logical question really, since it’s been 5 weeks and 3 days since I’ve blogged–on either blog: http://www.reliefofimperfection.blogspot.com orhttp://joancwebb.blogspot.com. Yikes! What is that about??
Well, probably it has to do with several things. But. . . in my journal earlier today, I spontaneously wrote: Hmmm. I’m afraid it will be ‘lame’–not good enough. Well, that’s a kick, huh? Good enough is okay, JC.
That is a hoot, since I’m the one who writes, speaks, coaches and lives to encourage others–and myself–to embrace the “relief of imperfection”, thus reducing procrastination. . . and so on and so on. You know how it is. Well, do you?
Anyway here goes. Even before I get all this social networking, blogging, internet marketing, online communication figured out (which I am working on and one of the other reasons I’ve not blogged!) I’ll go ahead and blog–imperfectly.
First, I’ll start with a little follow-up on my last blog (on March 10, 2009!). I had a great time at the Christian Book Expo in Dallas on March 20-22, even though the attendance was lower than expected. It was incredibly well-done. Professional. Great workshops. Absolutely superb nightly worship services. Good interaction with all that were there. Wonderful Christian Book Awards dinner. Here’s a few pix that help me remember the good times:
I autographed copies of my book, The Relief of Imperfection: For Women Who Try Too Hard to Make It Just Right, and 99% of the women who stopped by said, “Oh, that’s me. Honestly.” And then they shared some of their stories with me. I loved it! One woman I met wore a sweater that “perfectly” matched the book cover. We had our photo taken together. As she walked away, I said, “Watch my blog. Your picture will probably show up on it.” And then it took me weeks to upload her lovely photo. I wished I remembered her name.
Chris Simms from Regal Books managed the booth and it was great to get to know him a little. Saw pix of his lovely family, heard stories about life on the road introducing and selling “books” and learned from his wise suggestions.
Loved spending time with author Vicki Kuyper. She’s a friend and colleague who is full of fun and authenticity–and a really good writer! And she happens to be from Arizona, too. I attended her workshop where she shared about her philosophy that “God is a Slippery Fish.” Vicki has written over 40 books. Her latest two are from New Hope Publishers: Breaking the Surface and Wonderlust.
also attended a workshop by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn, authors of the incredibly popular books, For Men Only and For Women Only. Fun to listen to their stories and fascinating research about the differences between males and females.
Well, that wasn’t so bad for my first “good enough” blog in 5 1/2 weeks! If I were chatting with a life coaching client I’d say, “Congrats! Now keep going. You can do it!”
A great Mother’s Day gift. The new devotional book, It’s a Wonderful (Imperfect) Life: Daily Readings for Women Who Strive Too Hard to Make It Just Right have been released from Regal Books.
Here’s what some have said, “With humor, grace, and insight, Joan C. Webb helps women escape theexhausting tug-of-war they feel when trying too hard to make their relationships, work, home, emotions, body, dreams and spirituality “picture perfect.” Through short three-minute readings and great coaching exercises at the end of each chapter, women will learn to let go of the joy-stealing need to make everything just right.”
A great follow-up to The Relief of Imperfection, these user-friendly devotions help re-enforce the truth that it is okay to cease over-trying, over-doing, over-caring, over-scheduling, over-thinking, over-worrying, over-helping and to relax and enjoy your moments.
Check it out at www.amazon.com
I (Joan) love stories from women who find relief from trying-too-hard-to-make-it-all-just-right. I met today’s guest blogger, Sara Nelson, at the AZ American Christian Writers Conference where I recently spoke. We became friends on Facebook and yesterday I read this “note’ on her FB page. Sara agreed to share her story on my “relief of imperfection” blog. Read, enjoy, and smile!
Guest Blog: The View from Up Here
They say hindsight is 20-20, but for me, hindsight is microscopic, capable of turning the most miniscule mole hill into a massive mountain! This microscopic view is perfectionism. I used to think of perfectionism as a strength. I might have argued that its the driving force to success. It pushes me to excel, doesn’t it? No! Wrong! Instead, I’ve discovered perfectionism pushes me down, not up!
This morning I dropped in on my student teaching classroom for a little while, just in time to work with students in Math, and I started to feel all choked up and sentimental about the time I’ve spent with them.Just think! A few weeks ago I was in tears over Math and tearing my hair out over Science! And in February I really didn’t know if I was going to make it through to the end? How far away and long ago that seems!
While it may be easy to look back on student teaching NOW and think, maybe it wasn’t really so bad, yet, AT THE TIME, it really was an uphill struggle. It really was one of the most difficult challenges I’ve ever faced! So, from the perspective of today, having climbed the mountain, what have I learned? What is my view from up here?
Years ago, we stayed at an armed forces recreation resort in Germany. It was off-season, and the buses that normally took tourists to the top of the mountain weren’t running, so a group of us decided to hike to the top. For most of the way up the mountain, it was foggy, drizzly, and cold. But, eventually we walked out of the fog. The top of the mountain was bathed in full sun with a magnificent blue sky overhead. Yet it wasn’t the sunshine at the top that inspired me nearly as much as the view looking back. A snowy-white blanket of clouds covered the valley. Not a trace of anything else could be seen.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned from student teaching is about maintaining perspective. Everyone—EVERYONE—tells me I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, but I shake my head at them in disbelief. I point to my flaws and faults and failures. It’s as plain as day, people! Look at how far I’ve missed the mark! Seeing things any other way has always been next to impossible for me. But, now I understand. I get it!
Let’s face it. No matter what, there will ALWAYS be something I should have done that I didn’t do. There will ALWAYS be something I should have done better. There will ALWAYS be something I should not have said or done, or something I should have said or done in a different way.
Perfectionism is like hiking up that mountain all those years ago in the fog and drizzling rain. Perfectionism sees the worst. It focuses on the gray and dismal. It is cold and unforgiving. But, what a difference is the view from the top of the mountain! Like the fog that covered the valley, I’ve discovered my mistakes and blunders fade. They do! Whether it’s by grace or simply time moving on, after awhile, the mistake that seemed so hideous last week is a less than a speck today. What peace I’ve found in leaving perfectionism behind! This is by far the greatest lesson I’ve learned from student teaching. I didn’t know I’d be saying this, but the thing that seemed most difficult to me has become one of my greatest victories and greatest joys.
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.