Thursday, August 14

The Bare Naked Truth of Emily Is Not Perfect


PERFECTION - the action or progress of improving something until it is faultless or as faultless as possible. 

I use the word perfect a lot. To describe what I am aiming for. A perfect home. A perfect life. Be the perfect mother and wife. Have the perfect body. Be perfect. All the time. Have it all together. All the time. 

I actually used the word "perfect" in my last post (you won't see it there because I changed my wording). The word sneaks up on me when I least expect it and plays with my brain until its all that I see. Seeking perfection for everything around me so that my life can be more put together, better, well rounded, happier even. I mean, that is the lie my brain is telling me, right? That to achieve the faultless life, have the movie 'perfect' - picture perfect moment, that then, only then, I will be truly, truly happy? That others will finally want to be my friend? That this blog will finally reach the popular charts because I will have all the answers and have my life in perfect shape? I mean, come on, everyone can relate to perfection more than a house that has way too many baby toys and laundry unfolded on the couch, right?  

My mother was actually the one who brought this to my attention. That I use the word perfect too many times. What is perfection anyways? When I wrote that word yesterday I meant more that I wanted to get my house more together then it is right now (one couch doesn't even have legs on it at the moment - oops, and there are no pictures on the wall). Now that I think about it, the underlining truth is that I do seek perfection. That a house, dirty and messy, needs excuses and apologies. 

This needs to stop. Who cares if the carpet is stained, the toys are askew, the dishes haven't been done, or supper is late (and is definitely not a pot roast - sorry honey). Isn't it more important that my child is loved, played with, happy? That we make memories and have wonderful moments together with friends? That I am happy?

Why am I slaving to this idea of perfection? Why can't I strive for happy? Or wonderful? Why am I not striving for what's needed, what's loved, and what's appreciated? Am I really going to let that fact that my house is not perfect hold me back from having friends & family over? Am I going to let it stop me from being creative? Am I going to deny my daughter a life of giggles, happiness, playfulness, and wonderful moments, as I seek out this perfection thing? No to the play dough - too messy. Smile - you are on camera - no - smile - come on - pretend you are having a good time. Really?

I am not perfect. Never was. Never will be. I pretend to be. Gosh, do I ever. So much that there are times I look in the mirror and wondered who I am turning into. I pretend to have all my 'ducks in a row.' That I am the best at this or that. I make the best meals and I have the best house. That I don't cry over stupid matters because I am an emotional mother who hasn't slept in 18 hours. I am not perfect.  I don't even know how to write sometimes. Honestly, there are times I don't even know how to structure a proper sentence. WHERE DO I PUT THE COMMA, UGH? And I have let that beat me up before. Actually, I have cried when proofing my words after they have been published, having found multiple errors. I am not perfect. I want to stop thinking I need to be perfect. Who cares where the comma is? Why does the comma have more meaning than what it is I am actually trying to say? Do I need to be embarrassed by it - no. I am learning. And that's okay.

If you look for perfection, you will never be content. - Leo Tolstoy 

I don't need to be perfect. Food can burn, laundry piles can fall (seriously - I have a lot of laundry to deal with today - can you tell?), and swept floors can wait for another day. I would rather sit and have coffee with friends or family, make Bug laugh, make myself laugh, be happy, be merry, live a life that I really want to live. A life of happiness, health, memories, growth, learning & relearning, mistakes, and messy living rooms. This world isn't perfect, so why am I pretending to be?

And if there are those in your life that make you feel like you need to be perfect, that you have something to prove, maybe its time to let those people go. Life is too short. Too short to be perfect. To play that game of "I host better than ..." "did you see what she did the other day ..." "ohmygosh she has dishes in her sink..." I have played it before and I was not a happy person. I pretended to be. I was pretending to be perfect and happy - a contradiction if you ask me. Let them go.

When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. - Donald Miller

There. I let it out. The bare naked truth of Emily Is Not Perfect. Who cares about perfection.

If for some reason the word "perfect" slips your lips as an measurement of how well you are living your life ... stop! This is just my opinion. Let go of the need of perfection, and embracing a happy, wonderful, livable life. The end. 

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