Those of you who know me know how hard that was for me. After all, I'm just so darned...perfect. (cough, sputter, choke)
Fine, I'm sitting here while my tornado of a toddler destroys my house (I've just looked behind me and it's Kleenex carnage...apparently I left a Kleenex box within Stitch reach), I haven't showered in days (eeeewwww...) and the dog-hair dust bunnies are nibbling away at my toes. The dishes aren't done, the dog wants out, and Bear could probably use some breakfast. So what am I doing? While blogging, of course, because I feel compelled to share my new-found freedom from perfection with you.
Perfection, I've decided, comes in many different forms. My idea of perfection and your idea of perfection are probably pretty different. In fact, I can guarantee they are, because my standards are apparently pretty low.
Anyway, this Christmas season I gave myself permission to be less than perfect in three main areas:
Main Area #1 -- Fudge
I've always tried to
Main Area #2 -- Work
As a freelance writer and editor, I work when the work comes in. As many freelancers can probably understand, I've basically bent over backwards for clients in the past. Need it yesterday? Sure, no problem. I'll work all weekend and neglect my family...whatever it takes to get the job done. Heaven forbid I should ever say no. Heaven forbid I should ever put my needs first. But this Christmas I said forget it. It's my turn. It's my time. Bear is off school for two weeks, so I decided to take a two-week "vacation" where I didn't do any work. Keep in mind that when you work from home like I do, you're always at the "office," so it's really easy to feel guilty about doing something for yourself. This year, however, I've put aside the guilt and I'm not allowing myself to do any more than send the occasional work email. I even told a client that I was taking two weeks off. If other people can take vacations, why can't I???
Main Area #3 -- The small stuff
I've decided that a lot of my stress is self-induced. Yup, you read it right -- I am my own worst enemy. This year I decided to stop sweating the small stuff, the stuff others most likely wouldn't care about. For example, for the past few years we've had an open house at our house on Christmas Eve. It's always a really nice time, and I really look forward to it. This year was no different, until I started to make my grocery list of the stuff I would need. As I wrote down the ingredients for the dip that is a staple at our house, I stopped. Would I really have time to make that? Probably, but at what cost? At the cost of getting stressed? Would anyone notice if the dip was absent? Probably. But would they leave? Probably not. Would it ruin their evening? Probably not. Would they judge me? Probably not. Are there good dips available at the grocery store? You bet. And so that's what went on my grocery list.
So my lesson this Christmas? It's OK to be less than perfect. We create our own expectations of "perfect" for ourselves, and then we try to live up to them. But would making fudge or dip have made me a better mother or wife or sister or daughter? Nope. Would trying to work against deadlines with two little boys at home be a good idea? Definitely not. But removing my self-imposed stress so that I could relax and enjoy my family a little more sure was.
Cause let's face it...when Momma ain't happy...ain't nobody happy. (Cause Momma gets really bitchy when she ain't happy...just ask TheODDDad.)