Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Letting Go of Perfection

I've had an epiphany. I've decided to let go of my inner perfectionist, the one that has prevented me from accomplishing things for so long. I've been plagued by procrastination and the inability finish things for as long as I can remember. Oh, it's easy to blame two jobs, six kids (OK, technically a couple of them are adults now) relentless sports schedules...hell, I'll even add the two dogs to the blame-list… but the fact of the matter is that I struggle to get things done because if I can't do it perfectly - the shiny magazine version of whatever it is I'm trying to accomplish - then I can't be bothered to do it at all.
I mean really, just because it can’t be perfect, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth an effort. Like the cupboards I've been meaning to re-organize. They won't end up looking like the cupboards in Martha Stewart's kitchen, but that doesn't mean they don't deserve to be clean and functional, in all of their mismatched-Tupperware and random-recycled-glassware glory. And who says I can’t host a team function at my home just because the landscaping isn’t completely finished? I am my own worst enemy. I want to feel accomplished. I want to be more organized. I want to experience the joy of day to day life. I want to entertain more. I want to engage more fully with my kids. But my inner perfectionist doesn't cooperate. Even as I type this, I'm re-reading and judging. Boring, poor grammar... see what I mean?  I originally started this blog to share our precious and ordinary lives with long distance friends and family.  Since then, it's been neglected... opportunities to share have been lost, kids have grown, memories faded.
So.  I need to be OK with imperfect because it's time to stop procrastinating. It's time let go of the self doubt and worry that are soul mates to my inner perfectionist. It’s time to remember what it means to celebrate all of the ordinary moments that make up this life. I can find happiness in a house full of friends, despite the imperfect setting. I can find happiness in a clean kitchen, even if it’s not worthy of a magazine feature. I can enjoy small, intentional moments with my kids whenever the opportunity presents itself, without the burden of perfection weighing me down.  It's time to remember what it means to celebrate all that's ordinary.
Starting now.
All of six of them... nine years ago... you know what they say, time flies...and yet I remember this day like it was yesterday.  They've grown, they've changed, and they're still my babies.

Summer of 2005... these two had some kind of crazy umbrella fascination... and ended up breaking every umbrella we owned by the time the rainy fall weather rolled around.

Summertime, beach towels and ice-cream... what's not to love?

Beach time.

And there it is, perfectly ordinary happiness.  My inner perfectionist is cringing because it's OLD happiness, and the kids aren't getting equal face time, and the photography's not perfect, and the grammar isn't school worthy.  And I'm telling her to shut up, because the ordinary and imperfect moments of this life are where real happiness are to be found.


  1. I LOVE this Jenn. You inspire me. Your words reflect my thoughts in so many ways. I hope to be in the same mental place as you very soon. And I dearly wish we could be in the same geographical space. I miss you. xoxo

  2. Thank you Lisa ((HUGS)) missing you and sending a whole lotta love your way!

  3. This is wonderful...perfection is something I struggle with daily and I love how you just up and declared it!

    Thank you so much for linking your favorite post this week to the Raising Imperfection Sunday Link Up.
    Please come back Friday to see if you were featured.


  4. Ahhhh, yes my nemesis perfection. I hate the feeling that everything needs to be perfect and I am trying very hard to get better at it for my daughter's sake.

    Thank you so much for linking up to Raising Imperfection!

    1. It's something I struggle with daily! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Jenn, I love this post! As a perfectionist myself, I tend to reread and edit the crap out of my posts until they look and sound just right. This takes away too much time with my daughter and causes me to stress out. For no reason! Blogging is about sharing your life, imperfections and all. That's what makes us real, what makes our blogs fun and interesting to read. You family is beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for linking up at On My Mind Tuesdays! Following you now :)

  6. I too struggle every now and then with my inner perfectionist. Having a husband that is on the complete opposite side of the scale and a toddler running around I've learned to let things go. Great post. Sometimes its these little reminders that pull us back on track. Thank you for linking up to the Empowered Living hop, hope to see you back again.
    PS. Lovely pictures

  7. I think too many people want to give off the impression that everything is perfect in their lives. I used to be more of a perfectionist, but life isn't perfect. So I've adjusted my definition of perfection...which is the same as what you've written about here. Thanks for linking up to The Best of 2012 Link Party! Diana

  8. I tell my inner "selves" to shut up all the time. When blogging I try not to worry about all the technicalities. I love reading a post when it sounds like the person is just talking to me so that's how I write. I enjoyed your post. The ice cream photo was my fav. Thanks for linking up with TALU!

  9. Love this post, Jenn. I am furiously taking notes, b/c this is a lesson I'm still trying to learn! Thanks for linking up with the TALU!

  10. When I was young, I worried so much about everything I did. It all needed to be perfect. Which meant that I rarely even spoke because I was afraid that it would come out all wrong and people would laugh. Somehow over the years, I slowly let go of this perfectionist idea and now....I am so much happier. My house isn't perfect, my kids aren't perfect, I am not perfect but I wouldn't have it any other way!

    Thank you for sharing with us on our Healthy Tuesdays Blog Hop....I hope you will join us again next week.
    Kerry from Country Living On A Hill

  11. Looks like lots of fun!
    Thanks for sharing at Tuesdays with a Twist! Looking forward to seeing what you share this week.


  12. what a fab post and i recently underwent the safe epiphany! i am finding it quite refreshing! x

  13. Wow your kiddies must all be so big now! The shots are just perfect - warts and all :) I think us mums have a real 'issue' with wanting everything to be perfect, I'm a bit the same myself and I'm having to learn. Thanks for linking up to #oldiesbutgoodies

  14. Such wise words, Jenn - I too need to let go of perfection, especially when it gets in the way of living. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. Great pictures! I can really relate to your comment about harshly judging your own writing! Time to stop judging and start celebrating!

  16. {Melinda} This has been a struggle for me as long as I can remember, too … God has brought me a LONG way, but it's still something I fight. I'm trying to be more in the moment, less focused on the "ideal" and to just jump in and get something done! Something is always better than nothing. Always.

    Visiting from Ladies Only Blog Share


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