Stephanie Howell blogged about how one of her friends talked about women scrapbookers in the industry being obligated to make their lives look perfect. Stephanie's opinion? And I quote: "a resounding no." Thank goodness! That would rank right up there with the false idea that all American women are a size zero. (For crying out loud! They didn't even HAVE a size zero when I was younger! And by the way, I really resent going into a store and seeing size 10 or size 12 clothes tucked and pinned to make them fit the size 2 mannequin - why not use real size mannequins??? Okay, I'm off my soapbox!)
I'd love to live in a neat, clean house. But I like "stuff." I have a lot of "stuff." And my "stuff" is all over my house. And I don't make a boatload of money so I can't afford to spend any of it on a maid. (Sure, if I didn't buy clothes and scrapping stuff, I could pay to have a maid... hmmm... hold on, I'll be right back! Gotta check my finances... Yea, I could afford one, but dear hubby doesn't want one!)
I admit that, right now, right this minute, if I could, I'd chuck it all and start from scratch, get a smaller house, choose light, airy colors, keep a LOT fewer tchotchkes around the house, hang more pictures on the walls, and JUST.HAVE.LESS.STUFF. But my house isn't there (yet). And I don't clean my house all the time.
We have two. Houses. I leave Friday night to go to the lake house, which is actually a little better simply 'cause we're not there all the time (but I DO need to clean off my island and my dining room table up there). We leave before 7am to go to work, five days a week, and get home 12 hours later. When exactly, after a full day at work, am I supposed to cook, clean, vaccuum, wash, dust, sort, put away? Deep down inside, yea, I want a neat, clean house. But if it looks a little lived in, perhaps a little messier than it should, I figure (1) I don't have bugs, it's just a bit messy and dusty, and (2) if you're coming over to visit, you're coming to see me or my husband, not a neat and clean house. Deal with it!
Here's my version of the "not perfect me":
- I'm NOT perfect
- If I can be 1/2 the mom my mother was, I'm already WAY ahead of the game
- I am a terrible housekeeper
- My husband does the laundry
- I don't cook very well
- I don't want to be perfect
- I wear the same clothes all the time even though I have quite a few more
- I spend too much money on books and scrapping supplies
- Yet I don't scrap as much as I'd like (it's all at the lake so I have only the weekends to do it)
- I can't remember the last time I dusted
- I missed my best neighbor friend's birthday
- We eat out several times a week 'cause I don't cook
- I really want to throw away everything I own and start over
- I have too much stuff
- I am not the best wife I can be (although I beat the first one, hands down!)
- My husband does all the gardening
- I need to lose weight
- I need to save more money
- I should bring my breakfast and lunch to work, and just treat myself once a week
- I should pray more
- I should gossip less
- I need to exercise more (Who am I kidding? I need to exercise - period)
- I have really strong opinions
- I'd rather read than do anything else
- I also like to play on the computer and watch TV
- I waste a lot of time at work on the computer
And then there's...
- I'm a decent daughter, sister, wife, aunt - even though I could do better
- I believe in God and go to church each week and try to live a good, honest life
- Although I'm not as smart as I used to be, I think I do okay (I try to live by my dad's "Use it or lose it" manifesto!)
- I care
- I am a loving mom
- I'm a good friend
- I have really strong opinions
I started to do the "good" list and I had trouble; I'm not big on tooting my own horn. But I do know that although I'm far from perfect, I'm not going to H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEYSTICKS, either. I am a good person, with a big heart, and I would do almost anything for my family and friends (I draw the line at anything illegal!). But perfect? Huh-uh. Not so much.
And that's OKAY.