Getting over perfectionism

For such a long time I had this little scenario of what life would be like. Everything would be so perfect. I'd live in a gorgeous house that looked like it should be on the pages of Country Homes and Interiors, I'd be happily married to a man I never argued with and the house would be full of darling children who were all immaculate and perfectly behaved. I would have perfect hair and I would be just like all the other women out there whose blogs I read, or who I saw on tv. 

Perfect. 

So imagine my surprise when things didn't quite pan out like that.  You see, whilst I am lucky to have a nice home, a great relationship and lovely 'sort-of-step-children' - the reality is that everything is far from 'perfect'. 

There are marks on walls and stains on carpets. Mr Lovely and I snap and argue sometimes, the kids have tantrums, lose things, refuse to keep their rooms tidy. The dog howls when she doesn't have enough attention or chews the carpet when I leave the room. It's a miracle if I make it into the shower before lunchtime let alone straighten my hair. And don't get me started on the spare room, where you dare to enter at your own peril, for fear of getting lost in the clutter. 

Yes, that's the reality. 

It used to frustrate me and make me feel inadequate. 'What's wrong with me?!". "Why can't I run my business, cook for the family, keep my home tidy, walk the dog, make sure the kids do their homework, empty the dishwasher, straighten my hair, write blog posts, sew a quilt, bake bread and generally be a domestic goddess + successful businesswoman?". 

And then I realised something. I suspect many of you already knew this but it's taken me a while to get here... There is no such thing as perfect, it's a myth.  More so, trying to hold myself to some mythical standard of perfection meant that I was missing out on real life. 

Those marks on the walls and stains on the carpet? They are little stories in themselves - the mark left by moving furniture as we build a home together, the wine stain caused from being a bit too careless whilst having fun with friends. The little arguments? Small reminders that Mr Lovely and I think our relationship is worth putting in the effort, despite the fact we don't always agree. 

There will always be a million things I should be doing, and whilst there is, there will always be a load of things I don't get done. Sometimes I will forget to take the chicken out of the freezer, or send an email or I will leave the dishes in the sink longer than I should. 

The important thing is action, not perfection. 

Sometimes my business will be priority. Other times it will be my relationship or the kids or the dog or the cleaning. Somedays there will be new stains on the carpet and showers won't happen until it's bedtime. 

And I'm ok with that, because it means life is happening and life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.