I was once a prisoner of perfection. If I couldn’t mop the entire kitchen floor perfectly, I wouldn’t do it at all. If I couldn’t declutter my entire closet, I wouldn’t clear out anything. See, here’s the deal with perfection. Some people may look at a cluttered, messy home and think, ‘well, this person is definitely NOT a perfectionist.’ But, that’s not the way it works. The perfectionism is exactly WHY the home is so messy. A mom doesn’t have enough uninterrupted time to do projects to a perfect standard. And for perfectionists, “good enough” just won’t cut it. It’s got to be perfect.
Well, I escaped my prison. And I’m going to help you do the same.
A person once told me, “You don’t notice much on a running horse.” Now, at the time, I just didn’t get it. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my perfect standards were just for my benefit, and no one else’s. No one notices if you vacuum under the furniture. No one notices the dirt around the edges of the bathroom. No one even notices the dust on the windowsills. You are the only one who really cares about the details.
I remember one time when I just started having kids, we wanted to invite some friends over, but I canceled the plans because I had not cleaned the bathrooms. Can you believe that? I gave up hours of fun and fellowship with people I love and enjoy because of a dirty bathroom!!
Then I started becoming a racehorse. No one notices the color of the saddle or if it’s genuine leather. No one knows if the mane is conditioned or has little ribbons braided into it. All they are focusing on is the race.
Here’s the deal–are you going to live your life in the box at the starting gate or are you going to break out and start running the race that has been set before you? You’ve got to start embracing “good enough” when it comes to managing your home.
Case in point:
My husband asked me if I could sew on a few buttons for him. No problem, right? Right.
He handed me his coat jacket! Now, I don’t know top from bottom when it comes to sewing. All I know how to do is a straight seam on my sewing machine and replace a button on a shirt or put a patch on bluejeans. But a coat jacket? I was in trouble.
But forward I went (I’m talking like Yoda now). I had to buy all new buttons because they didn’t have any that matched the coat (even more trouble). I bought some buttons from the craft store and started sewing them on (right through the lining!). It was slowly going from bad to worse. Finally, I finished one sleeve. Sure, it looked okay from a distance, but if you got too close? Hooooweee, not a pretty sight. But, I had to finish it that night because he had a meeting in the morning.
I was about to move on to the other sleeve and then thought, ‘now, why replace all four buttons just because one is missing?’ So, I got one of the old buttons I had pulled off the old sleeve and just replaced the one that was missing. Now, his coat jacket had all its buttons, but the sleeves didn’t match!
I was about to get really discouraged and then I thought, “you don’t notice much on a running horse.’ I hoped Blair was going to do some serious running tomorrow! I showed him the sleeves and asked if he could tell a difference. He looked and replied, “no, why?” I showed him that they didn’t match and he was totally okay with it. Cool!
There’s a lesson for you. If you wait on everything to be matched and perfect, you’re going to miss out on some important meetings in life. Learn to get along with good enough. Oh, and if you see Blair out and he’s wearing a dark coat, please don’t call attention to the buttons on his sleeves. Thanks!
Are you a prisoner of perfection?