I used to try to do things perfectly and as a result, not much got done. OK, that’s not entirely true- I did go to college, got married, had kids and in general those things turned out pretty well. But there are a lot of things in life that I struggle to do perfectly, like a perfect house, perfect dinner, perfect dress size and perfect response to every smart aleck remark that comes my way. OK, the last one is not entirely true- my life is pretty full of lovely people who enjoy my company and vice versa. That particular blessing I count every day. But like a lot of the people I know and work with- we all really try to get things right, the first time. Most of us have no patience or time for imperfection.
There are these trolls in my mind that say- you can’t have people over- the house is a mess! You can’t have a dinner party- it’s too much work! You can’t wear that dress- you need to lose 20 pounds! As a result some things I just let slide because trying to do them perfectly seems insurmountable. But life is short and sometimes you just have to make the choice to live, to see your friends and lower your expectations. Most people live like you do and the friends who love you, do not care about the little piles you have tucked in the corners. If some of the basics are covered, like a clean bathroom and a cleared table, then you can have people over. Because my husband likes to host friends, I’m actually forced to socialize in my home on a regular basis. He does most of the cleanup- I focus on the clutter and dusty surfaces, which you can imagine, just mortify me. I realized that if I invite people over for an evening- you really can’t see that much dust, if I miss a couple of spots! By lowering my cleaning goals to less than perfect, I am much more able to achieve my aim and it removes alot of stress.
Being imperfect is an achievable goal and that includes dinner. My kids now know that if I announce after tasting that it’s “pretty good” then they know it has passed muster and that I am satisfied with the results. I rarely declare that dinner is excellent, although my Spanish rice has actually been quite good and I quietly revel in my efforts. Doing things imperfectly takes the pressure off and I am more likely to do or try things, like working out or learning a new skill. If I expect myself to not to very good at it, then anything I do is just terrific! As so I leave it at that and accept it with grace. I encourage you to do the same; cut yourself some slack and more will get done. Doing it do it imperfectly, is perfect enough.