Choosing a title.
That’s been my biggest challenge thus far. I talked myself into and out of probably a dozen different titles in the course of a few minutes. I was trying to find something that defined without labeling, directed without pigeon-holing, zigged without zagging. No easy feat.
Finally, I settled on the title you see above. Do I have it all together? Not a chance! Am I scattered? Yes, but not so much that I’m flaky or unreliable. Does my job/home/volunteer schedule need the superhuman powers of Supermom to keep it all running? Absolutely!
There…that wasn’t so hard, was it?
So, maybe it’s not the PERFECT title for a blog. That’s ok because I have made the decision to put my perfectionism on the shelf this year. (Thanks FlyLady for the inspiration!) Progress is my mission this year. Does that mean that I will let people see my house in less-than-perfect condition? Yes, yes it does. In fact, I did so just a few nights ago when I invited my neighbor/homemaking accountability partner into my house that I had not prepared for anyone but my husband and kids to see. Let me set the stage for you:
My husband had cooked a feast for supper (translation–every dish in the kitchen is now in the sink) while I was at work. We had eaten quickly and run to visit my grandmother for a few minutes right after supper (translation–those dishes that were not in the sink were on the table). My laundry folding habits had not been very effective lately, so we had 3-5 full laundry baskets sitting in front of the laundry-covered couch. (More to come on the laundry wars later…) The baby had been having a great time playing in the den just before we left, so his (clean) diapers were littering the entire floor.
And I invited her in.
And I encouraged her to stay and look around.
You see, I have been working for the last several weeks on decluttering my house. I have been working so hard on this project that I have already donated over 15 bags (the 33 gallon black trash bags, mind you) of clothes to our local thrift store, plus several boxes, bags, and loads of other stuff. She had seen my house at its worst (one of those accidental sightings that you try to avoid so that your friends and neighbors don’t think you’re a hoarder or anything…), so she could actually appreciate the progress in spite of the mess.
She saw the empty space in front of my coffeepot that usually is covered in papers. She saw the dishes sitting on the table that used to be covered in the perpetual debris of daily life to the point that we could only use a small portion of it for meals. She saw that the “mess” in my house was just a result of life today. She saw my progress. She applauded my efforts. She blessed me more than she knows just by enjoying a glass of wine in my slightly scattered kitchen while our kids played in the bedroom.
Perfectionism has been my ally and enemy for as long as I can remember. It has pushed me to try harder than most people, but it has also caused me to freeze and procrastinate out of fear of failure. It is the reason that I have achieved much of what I have achieved, and it is the reason that I find myself trapped into patterns that I do not find fulfilling or rewarding. This is my year for reclaiming my life from the constraints of perfection.
I am not perfect. I do NOT have it all together. I never have. I never will, and that’s ok. I am slightly and delightfully scattered.