Lighten up on yourself to have a better life
By Elizabeth Gilbert, O, The Oprah Magazine
May 3, 2010 10:18 a.m. EDT
FULL ARTICLE AT LINK
"Nearly all the women I know are stressing themselves sick over the pathological fear that they simply aren't doing enough with their lives.
Which is crazy -- absolutely flat-out bananas -- because the women I know do a lot, and they do it well. "
"So here's what I want to know: Can we lighten up a little?
As we head into this next decade, can we draft a joint resolution to drop the crazy-making expectation that we must all be perfect friends and perfect mothers and perfect workers and perfect lovers with perfect bodies who dedicate ourselves to charity and grow our own organic vegetables, at the same time that we run corporations and stand on our heads while playing the guitar with our feet? "
"As a result, we each race forth blindly into this new maze of limitless options. And the risks are steep. We make mistakes. We take sharp turns, hoping to stumble on an open path, only to bump into dead-end walls and have to back up and start all over again. We push mysterious levers, hoping to earn a reward, only to learn -- whoops, that was a suffering button!
To make matters even more stressful, we constantly measure ourselves against each other's progress, which is a truly dreadful habit."
"So let's drop it, maybe?
Let's just anticipate that we (all of us) will disappoint ourselves somehow in the decade to come. Go ahead and let it happen."
"While you're at it, take the wrong job. Move to the wrong city. Lose your temper in front of the boss, quit training for that marathon, wolf down a truckload of cupcakes the day after you start your diet."
"Fall flat on your face if you must, but please, for the sake of us all, do not stop.
Map your own life. "