I got caught up pretty quickly in the DIY household project world. Like all members of my family I dove in headfirst with gusto. This was not my best idea. Young House Love I am not.
If you read my blog early on, you may have seen this post about my hallway renovation project. Really, everyone on Pinterest made it look so easy! Mistake #1. It was not. I borrowed a saw from a friend who is a legitimate DIYer, house restorer, and blogess (www.atnumber10.com). I managed to keep all of my fingers in tact, made many trips to Lowe’s, used low VOC paint, and slathered on a chemical-free construction adhesive alternative to get my new “board and button” to stay on my wall. Mistake #2.
Then I realized that my cuts were off. My hallways did not look like the pictures, and every time I walked from the kitchen to my bedroom I cringed. Visitors complimented my work, but I knew the truth. My project was, sigh, imperfect. Mistake #3.
While waiting to hear from the insurance company last month about my transplant, I got fed up and ripped the boards off. If you are looking for a cathartic experience, I highly recommend such an endeavor. Alas, as good as the emotional unloading was, ripping it down was (Mistake # 4) left me with this…
This is after filling the holes, applying spackle, and sanding, Yes, that is a pile of my daughter’s dirty clothes in the shot on the left. And, yes, that’s the beginnings of my command center on the right because I can’t leave well enough alone.
Mistake #5 Not accepting that even if it wasn’t perfect, it was good enough.
Three decades of perfectionism is hard to shake off. But opportunities to do so constantly arise. I’ve recently been asked to guest post on an academic blog, and I’ve been struggling to submit what I’ve written the same way I struggled to accept my hallway. I’m so sure that I can do better, but maybe to better myself I need to realize that it’s good enough just as it is.
The dinners I make are good enough. The rough afternoons where my kids watch extra shows are good enough. A blog post I’m not thrilled about is good enough. The text I forgot to send and responded to three days later is good enough. The “Welcome baby!” gift that I didn’t send until the baby was 6-months-old is good enough. Wearing yoga pants three days in a row is good enough. Hugging my kids and saying I’m sorry for losing it earlier is good enough. It’s all good (enough).
I’m not suggesting that there is no place for self-improvement. This blog is big on finding balance (80/20, baby!) and that includes making changes based on realizations. Heck, I’m giving my immune system a total upgrade. But there is most certainly a place for saying right now this is good enough. And a place for having complete and total appreciation for an endeavor, perfect or not.