Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dodging Perfection

I have a confession; I have an addiction to perfection.  It is an unrequited addiction I assure you, it would be as if I said I had an addiction to winning the lottery – I never have won the lottery, I never have reached perfection.  But I have an addiction to try none the less. 
Take pumpkin patches for example.  We try a new one every year, looking for the perfect total package – pumpkins GROWING in the fields, handsome, well groomed animals to look at and maybe touch, beautiful tall trees offering cooling shade, a barn is always a welcome touch, food is optional but a warm drink is nice.  We never find the perfect patch.  In fact I never like the pumpkin patch we just visited as much as the one from the previous year, which can be maddening.  It means each year we are moving away from perfection, slowly but surely.
The Christmas holiday season brings out the worst in my striving for the best, certainly more than any other time of the year.  This year is no exception and although I have given myself permission to have a less-than-perfect holiday season, the problem lies in the fact that I often don’t end up listening to myself. 
Sure I have a potty training toddler who believes the house is her personal art project, an 11 month old walker who likes to disassemble things at breakneck speed, at least one crazy cat that insists on inviting strange woodland creatures in for nighttime romps and a dog that is on her last leg celebrating her last Christmas, but this Christmas season is going to be particularly bad for my addiction to perfection because I know ahead of time just how far the miss is going to be.  
How do I know how far my miss will be?  Because for the first time in my life, I actually know what perfection looks like.  Who has shown me this perfection?  You all have!  Well actually those of you who belong to the same club I belong to; the club that propagates perfection in tiny increments, the club that never shows you the whole picture but rather small snapshots of it’s beautiful parts, the club that has you thinking you can sew, glue gun, arrange, paint and cook your way to perfection – and in some cases purchase it.  I have seen your face, Perfection thy name is PINTEREST!

Perfection that is not my life!

Oh yes, I am already morning the shabby chic fabric bows that will not be gracing my packages, the paper bag advent calendar that my kids will not be opening every morning, the sparkling sugared cranberry brie bites I will not be cooking, the wreath of radishes I will not be hanging on my door and the popcorn garland we will not be stringing.  I mention only a few, but they are all in there, the board is simply labeled Christmas – one of 44 boards containing 1129 pins and 108 followers, but who’s counting?
The thing is, as much as I want a house that looks spectacularly perfect, my children want to make forts. As much as I would love to have a quiet glass of wine while I listen to bluesy Christmas music, my children would love apple juice while dancing to some rockin’ Chimpmunks – I could add some PINTEREST perfection to even the kid version of this by freezing candy chipmunks in the ice cubes of their drinks.  As much as I need to have the pumpkins off the front porch and all the Christmas decorations up by the 1st of December, my children need their parents to simply play with them.
And so I give in, for the sake of the two little monkees that break my heart every time I look at them, for the big monkey that has made me so proud in college and for the ape that owns my heart – sorry honey had to stay with the theme here.  I give up the pursuit of PINTEREST perfection and promise to simply enjoy the chaos that is our life, for now.  So if you see me fretting over homemade christmas candies, stressing about pretty packages or sweating over the perfectly painted ornament, I give you premission to pull me aside and remind me of what is important.  As for PINTEREST, I will continue to pin, but it is for the future you understand!