Hi, I’m Michele.
I don’t struggle to keep my house in order. I live a calmer existence when I can see my floor and countertop, so I regularly clean them off.
I’m notoriously organized. I can tell you where to find what and when we’ll be where.
I exercise a great amount of discipline. I go to bed when I’m tired, which often means before 9 and nearly always before 10. I wake early and spend regular mornings of solitude and study the Bible.
I spin a good tale. Whether about fetching a pot of cold soup or finishing a half-marathon, I love the act of bringing people with me into a memory or a story – my own or someone else’s.
I read everything. Currently small slips of paper mark my place in 5 books, one of them being an Old Testament commentary, another on the history of the world according to food and one a fiction novel I might marry someday. I follow and regularly read 108 blogs.
I think existentially about things like screen time, food sources and word choice with my kids, among most everything else. I think, think, think and 90% of the time I make a decision based upon those thoughts. I dig for root causes and prescribe remedies to challenging situations in my life. If I don’t like something, I think about it and change it.
I apologize for these tendencies when they’re revealed. (Even just listing them for the Whole Wide World to read made me want add footnotes of explanation). For some reason, I feel shame about the person I am, even when these things bring about positive results in my life. I don’t desire to change them, yet I don’t desire anyone know about them either.
Now my faults? You know them. I’m not a Pinterest mom. I refuse to cut the peel off my kids’ apples, let alone their sandwiches into cute shapes. If we ate sandwiches, that is. I’m not a floor mom. I don’t get out of my chair to be a part of the adventures of building and exploring and imagining. I encourage from afar and give them siblings for such play. I lack follow through and I’m rarely thoughtful.
These things, I’m quite free with people knowing. I’m fine with such shortcomings. I apologize when they hurt feelings and I own up to them.
In the name of authenticity, I don’t hide my faults. That’s what we do, right? To be real, we tell people all the ways we fail.
Our veiled attempt at honesty is robbing us the joy of a peaceful existence. These habits aren’t authentic, they’re deprecating. How can we possibly be better off by apologizing for the ways in which we’re trying to make the world, or at least our own lives and homes, a smidge better that we found it yesterday?
Friends, I don’t need more of this. I don’t need people – specifically women – to dwell on their failures in order for me to feel better about my lack of perfection. I need people who are doing their thing, who found their spark and live ablaze. I’ve been on this earth for 34 years now, I’m pretty confident that perfection doesn’t exist. Can’t we just agree to be imperfect and move on? I’m positive we can be honest about our faults without making a slide show out of it.
Sitting in Faultville and comparing maps of the city will get us nowhere. Let’s just agree on our starting point and get in a caravan headed to Bettertown. I promise that each of us knows at least little bits of the path, so together we’ll make it. Unless we all keep lying about the beautiful ways in which we were created for good. If you withhold from me – from us – the gifts of your life, the way in which you reveal the nature and love of God in your very own flesh and soul, we might run out of gas.
The things you do well, the tasks and projects for which you secretly give yourself a gold star, are fuel for the human spirit. If not for all of humanity, let me say they are inspiration for your children, for your family, and me. I don’t need another person to show me how to live in shame, wishing I were better at this or that and in the meantime neglecting who I really am. I want to surround myself with people who don’t apologize for the ways in which they’re living well. I’m fine with my faults – I need folks who will help me accept the best part of me.