What is perfect? It’s such a personal thing. If I were to ask you to describe your “perfect” day, it would most likely be different from the description I would give. What about the perfect man, or the perfect meal, or the perfect weather? The media is always trying to impose their definition of perfect on to us. Movies, television, and magazines all tell us what kind of cars to drive, homes to live in, clothes to wear and how we should look. I think that happiness comes when you find what is perfect for YOU, and being true to yourself and accepting the uniqueness that is your life. It’s very easy to get caught up I what others think.
You know the feeling when you hear the knock of an unexpected guest on your front door; you look around at the toys all over the floor and dishes piled up in the sink? The thought occurs to you, “Just stay very quiet and maybe they won’t think we’re home!” The thought of someone judging your housekeeping skills on this one moment is almost too much to bear. A few years ago when my husband and I were considering selling our home, my husband brought a friend of ours over to the house to give us an idea of what improvements would need to be made on our home in order to make it ready for market. This particular friend is a real estate agent, and we both valued his professional opinion. Their surprise visit caught me off guard. It had been a busy week, and many of the household chores had not been taken care of.
As he brought our friend upstairs to look at the bedrooms, I was mortified. I’ll spare you the details, but the house was messy. I gave my husband “the look” that told him that I was completely humiliated. If he just could have given me a week’s notice. He told me “guys don’t even notice a mess.” Believe me, this guy does. His home looks like a model home. I’ve seen it. Everything organized and clean all the time. At least, that’s how it looks to me. I felt completely exposed as a stood there in my hallway with nothing to hide. All our stuff scattered about for the world (our friend) to see. I just knew that he must think that I am lazy, and that every time he would see me in the future, he would think it again. As I asked that he “please excuse the mess” he was very polite, but I could read his mind. “Whoa, what does she do all day? How can they live like this? What slobs! My wife won’t believe this.” I could just feel his judgment being heaped upon me. But the truth is, my husband was probably right.
That night as I lay in bed reviewing my traumatic event of the day, I started to smile. “This is real life” I thought. Why was the house such a mess? Because I chose to help the kids with homework, take time to prepare a nice dinner, read a book to a child, drive my children to and from all their various activities, shop for things the family needed, help at school, and on and on. Yes, there is a time for cleaning house. But when life starts coming at you fast, you just have to handle things as they come. I realized that I don’t need the house to be perfectly clean for me to be happy.
QUESTION: What one thing will you accomplish each day?
CHALLENGE: Realize that everything doesn’t have to be perfect.
Thank you, Heather! There is much to be thankful for in our lives…I appreciate you bringing it to perspective.You are such a great example.
This article originally posted on April 11, 2008.
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