I’m Learning… It’s O.K.

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Edited May 2019: We were a part of a wonderful Classical Conversations community for the first eight years of our home education journey. Now, due to poor state leadership and questionable corporate business practices, our family has elected to “consciously uncouple” from our association with the organization and we cannot recommend any others get involved at this time. 

The problem with having a perfectionistic bent to your personality is that you are very seldom satisfied… with anything.

Over the last few weeks, my dissatisfaction has centered pretty fully on homeschooling. It’s not the Classical Conversations program we work through in community – far from it! It’s my own ability to be the primary educator for my children.

Every day I become exasperated, I fault myself. When I look at my children and they’re still wearing pajamas at 4 p.m., I fault myself. If it’s a squabbly day around the homestead, I figure a way to blame myself. When the dust bunnies creep out from under the sofa and I realize I can’t see myself in the bathroom mirror for all the fingerprints and toothpaste splatters… I fault myself.

If I’m not careful I create a soundtrack of all the things I’m NOT doing, the areas I fail, the frustrations I sense, the lack of will power I feel I display. I can play that soundtrack at a moments notice because I’ve practiced singing that tune for years.

Two weeks ago I was so discouraged I found myself in tears with my husband and praying for direction.

Through that humbling experience and the conversations of some precious friends, I learned something:

It’s O.K.

Really. Everything is O.K. I don’t have to stress out to the max, prepare for the worst, and assume the world is coming to an end if my kids aren’t working two grade levels ahead.

It’s O.K.

Imperfect progress is still progress – and it’s O.K.

That realization has literally changed my attitude in the past days. When I start tensing up and listing my “not done” items I give myself a mental shake and remind myself, “It’s O.K.”

All I need to do is the next right thing… the right thing that is necessary to fit this next five minutes, fifteen minutes, hours, and day. Just do the next right thing – and it’s all O.K.!

There’s a small chance that the stress of the last week has you feeling like you’re spinning your wheels.

Can I encourage you? It’s O.K. Really. Whatever is in your life and keeping you up at night can be released for a moment while you do the next right thing. Forget the five year plan, give yourself grace, take a deep breath, and gently, lovingly remind yourself that it’s O.K.

Whatever “it” is.

Do you find yourself challenged by your self talk?

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2 thoughts on “I’m Learning… It’s O.K.

  • November 27, 2012 at 9:08 am

    Me too, me too! I may or may not have even sent an inquiring email to the local charter school (yep). I never fault the kids – it’s ME who is constantly coming up short. I feel ya and I get it.

  • November 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    I don’t have children to take care of or teach, but I do struggle with perfectionism. I constantly yearn for affirmation that I am doing everything correctly. I panic whenever I think I can’t meet someone’s expectations, which is always. Everywhere I look this semester I find my own shortcomings, and I am desperately afraid I will fail, even though I feel I have given all I have. Thank you for posting this today. It really did help.


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