Do you ever feel like all the hard work you do isn’t quite good enough? Are you one of those people who got straight A’s, but you are frustrated because you don’t like how you signed your name on the top of the third out of eight tests this semester? Do you continually look at all the work you’ve done and say to yourself, “Well, _______ would have done it better, and he would have had better results.” If you are the victim of perfectionistic, obsessive, over analytical thinking, then you are reading the right blog today. I am writing this one for you.
Every once in a while I’m a perfectionist. The true perfectionist would laugh at me and say, “If it’s only once in a while, then you’re not a perfectionist.” But there are a few things I am a perfectionist about. Within my ministry, I analyze things to death. (In the first year and a half, I filled two or three moleskins with every detail I could find about my ministry, and I would fill the rest of it with wisdom from outside sources). Sometimes this has been helpful, and other time’s a hindrance. I don’t analyze things as much as I used to though. Here is something I realized about myself recently though: I don’t have enough fun.
Seriously. See that? I describe my lack of fun with the word seriously. Now, I enjoy being with people and spending time with them, but as far as just having fun, there is often a nagging thought in the back of my mind. “What purpose will this fun serve?” Sometimes it is “Have I done enough to deserve having fun?”
Well, here is what I’ve learned. When I don’t create times for fun for myself, I don’t have a whole lot of fun in life. When that happens, I start going sour. So I go, go, go, go, go…and after all of that going, I am exhausted and frustrated. So I’ve started celebrating along the way. Here is the magic question I ask myself, and I ask others after sharing about doing hard work or reaching a goal.
How are you going to celebrate?
If having fun is new to you, then let me give you some ideas that worked for me.
Go to Sonic and buy yourself your favorite drink of choice. This is your own private celebration, or you can invite someone to join you.
Make a playlist on your iPOD or make a mixed CD that you listen to as celebration music.
Reward yourself with your favorite desert.
Or if you’re really bold, invite some friends to go celebrate with you. When you get to the restaurant of your choice, and they ask you what you’re celebrating, say to them,
“We are celebrating that I am changing my life, and in so doing changing the lives of my children, and their children in the process. I am creating a great life, and I am leaving a wonderful legacy for those behind me.”
Then have some fun with your friends. If you’ve been working hard, you deserve it. What about giving yourself permission to enjoy life? What could you gain by having fun more often? What would having fun give you inside? What would having fun give to those you care about? Do something and celebrate. That is how life goes when change is fun.