The Pitfalls of Perfection
originally written  17 June 2005
My house is a mess.  Sure, we just moved...to another country...houses are smaller...storage is limited...yada, yada, yada.  Fact is, I have trouble staying on task with my house.  I manage to keep up with the kitchen duties and the laundry (barely).  I also manage to keep things clean enough to keep the Health Department from visiting.  : )  But the clutter, the moving boxes, all the stuff in them that I have no clue where to put...all of this is getting on my nerves.  I can come up with all sorts of reasons why our place is still a mess.  All are logical...life is just busy!  However, I also know that the main reason the things are still sitting there is because I don't want to deal with them.  I am a perfectionist by nature.  The downfall of that is when I don't think I can finish the task completely (and to my satisfaction), I will just not start.  Or I will start but get distracted with something else I'd rather be doing (and can have some success with!).  Here's a typical start to my unpacking method here: open box, unwrap one item, get discouraged that there is no where to put it, get online (because surely there must be someone who has emailed me).  : )  The unpacking has not been all bad.  Sometimes those items unwrapped are gleefully welcomed back into our home with fond memories and a permanent home.  Those are the fun moments!  I am just about to the end of those and am facing those things that are always left at the end...the stuff you seem to collect but don't know why...the stuff you can't get rid of because "you might need it someday"...the stuff that (honestly) if you threw away the entire box, you would probably never even miss any of it!  Our family is progressing fine without any of the "stuff" in those boxes...do we really need it all? I struggle with my desire for a perfectly organized, cleaned and decorated house.  This has been an underlying goal of mine for so long and, yet, has escaped me for so many years.  Our house used to be clean and organized many years ago.  Move away from that one BR apartment, add nearly 16 years, three boys, a dog, and numerous military moves and life changes dramatically.  : )  I want improvement, and I will get that if I keep plugging along and not give up. Will I ever have a perfect home?  Nah.  But I am finding that doesn't matter so much anymore.  What I desire more than a house worthy of a magazine cover is a home where the people that walk through the door feel welcome and loved.  If I can achieve that, then I will have accomplished something truly valuable. I have been in homes that are picture perfect but they are not always comfortable.  I want guests (and my family) to feel comfortable & relaxed here.  I want to find that balance where our home is clean enough to be comfortable in, decorated in such a way that reflects our personalities, and warm enough to welcome guests at any hour.  Perhaps it's not just the perfection issue after all.  Perhaps what I really need to do is examine where I am getting the image of of what our home should be.
Miss Perfection needs to take a backseat...
my family needs my attention.
I know everything will get put away eventually.

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photograph by: Shirley/Hunstanton/Jun 2005
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