I want my life to be perfect.
I want my children to be happy, confident, and living up to their best potentials. I want everyone to be healthy all the time. I don’t want anyone to ever feel upset. I want my house to be clean and organized. I want to feel connected to my husband, but also to have us both feel the freedom to pursue our own individual interests. I want to be able to spend time with my kids but to have breaks when I need them. I want to never worry about money. I want to stay attractive without being consumed by trying to look younger. I just want everything to be…well, perfect.
There is a whole industry out there that makes us feel like we can have it all. We can be organized, and youthful, and happy, and carefree if we only know that secret strategy thrown at us by different blogs, magazines, TV shows, and social media. We can DO IT ALL: be moms, and yoga gurus, and career women, and chefs, and interior designers. We just have to put in the effort, and we can figure out how to have it all! Simple as that.
Except it’s not as simple as that. And when things fall apart, I feel like I did something wrong.
When my kids stumble, I feel like it’s my fault. There must have been a parenting decision I got wrong or a negative outcome that I should have anticipated and helped them avoid.
When money is tight, I should have budgeted better or saved more.
When my house is a mess, I should have worked harder to keep systems going that keep it from getting that way.
When my kids are sick, I should have been more diligent about sanitizer and hand-washing or shouldn’t have ignored that cough for so long.
When my husband and I feel overwhelmed and crabby, I should have figured out a babysitter, or found a hobby for myself, or let my husband get some alone time without wondering when it’s my turn.
When I want my life to be perfect – or expect it to be – I am miserable. It’s only when I let go, and stop comparing myself to a “perfect” model that I actually feel relaxed. Because guess what? Life is not perfect. No one’s life is perfect. When things are going well in one area, it’s probably falling apart in another. That is not only ok, but it’s also normal. It’s real life.
In real life, people get sick. Houses get messy. Family members bicker. Money gets lost. We get old. We suffer losses that knock us down. We simply don’t have the power or the ability to make life perfect for ourselves and the ones we love.
But life is also good. People are healthy. Kids make messes and have fun. Arguments are solved, and we love one another more than ever. Our laugh lines deepen, and we make happy memories. We work together, lift each other up, and stop comparing ourselves to what other people have.
Really, I don’t need my life to be perfect. I just need to remind myself of the blessings of the present moment instead of looking around for what’s missing.
Is trying to make life perfect driving you crazy? What are you most thankful for right now?