Saturday, May 12, 2007

Letting Go of Perfectionism

This first part was written Friday...

The other day I posted about letting go of perfectionism when I created the sign for my kitchen. Here's another example of accepting imperfection and enjoying something even when it's not just right. This is a pretty silver tea pot that I found on a "free" table at an antique shop. Yes, free! In my world, antiques for zero dollars are a good thing.

It has a tarnished place on the front that won't come off even with cleaning, and although it's hard to see, one of the feet is broken off. I've balanced it with a tiny stack of cardboard pieces that hopefully aren't too noticeable in real life. I think it's pretty, even though it's not pristine. It has character. Sometimes you have to look past the imperfection and see the possibilities.

On a different, but related note...

This weekend a new acquaintance and her family are coming for supper. I'm once again having to let go of perfectionism. I've been to my new friend's house. It's without a doubt the cleanest and most organized home I've ever been in. Even the gas cans in the garage are arranged in graduating order by size. It's beautifully decorated. A wonderful place! I would love to be that organized, that good of a housekeeper, but I'm not. I could beat my brains out trying to achieve an unrealistic level of perfection (which would be an exercise in futility anyway), or just not have them over because I feel intimidated. Both options are silly. I've had to come to a place of peace about my imperfect homemaking skills and realize that as long as my house is reasonably clean and orderly, I can cut myself some slack. Maybe I'll be perfectly organized one day. Right now I'm not. I have to live with that and not let it keep me from sharing my home with others. People are more important than perfection.



We had a lovely visit. As I cleaned, continued to unpack, (yes, still), and got ready for our guests I kept having to prioritize and knock less-important tasks off the list. A few minutes before they were due to arrive I felt near tears at all I hadn't gotten done, but I had to force myself to accept that everything wouldn't be just right. As it was, Billy helped me a ton and cooked supper (fried fish, yum!), so I couldn't have gotten that far without him. What a guy!

We had a wonderful evening! My friend kept using terms like, "A wonderful place to relaxing...homey...cozy..." I couldn't believe it. I felt so encouraged. I had to practice what I preach and realize that everything really doesn't have to be exactly perfect to extend hospitality. Yay!


Rebecca said...

That is a good reminder. I still have people I really like but am reluctant to invite over.

Which also could be a warning to people, not to not clean their house, but to not talk so much about their own personal standards of cleanliness.

Anonymous said...


Friends come to see you, not inspect your house--at least that is this fellas take. You may have heard that in your past somewhere? It doesnt really apply but the concept does when I think of the scripture that man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. Your heart is where it needs to be--your friend saw that. Love you all, Daddy

Charity Grace said...

Thanks, y'all.