CHEERS TO AN IMPERFECT 2017
I don’t know about y’all, but I wait to get everything in my house in order an hour before I know someone is coming over. And, I do mean everything. My routine consists of pushing all my piles of stuff into one localized and unseen area like a closet or drawer. I sprint around the house with my Shark hand vac, sucking up all the visible clumps of dog hair and dirt. Then, I methodically run hot water in one side of my kitchen sink before pouring “lavender scent” Fabuloso into it. Why? So that it will seem as if “Jill, the good housekeeper” arduously mopped before her guests arrival. The pillows, of course, are fluffed, flowers are watered (there’s no sight more lovely than my well watered, dead flowers) and the most fabulous candle in the house is lit. So, when my guests walk through the door, their pathway is clear of dog hair, guided by the light of that fabulous candle into my living room where they can smell my oh so clean floors (wink, wink). June Cleaver’s got nothing on this girl.
The truth is, June Cleaver’s got everything on this girl. I cannot pour enough “lavender scent” Fabuloso into my sink to fool people into thinking that I’ve mopped my floors because I haven’t. The bottom line is, I’m not perfect. And, my home isn’t perfect. No matter how hard I try to create an illusion of perfection, I will always and forever fall short. That’s a cold, hard fact.
I think perfection is like the plague. We all have it on some level. The questions is, “how sick is it making us?” Photographs on social media are posted with filters, ensuring the perfect light for the perfect pic of our perfect, non-aging, gloriously happy face. We’re able to create an image of what we want people to see from the traveling yogi to the die hard Democrat to the parent of the most athletic child in the world. Or, on the other side, we see the perfect depiction of the damsel in total distress with the passive “prayers please,” to indicate that something’s wrong without telling us so that we’ll ask, ask, ask. Why would one do that? Because their Pinterest perfect posts were not even enough. Now, we have to sink to a new level of getting people to notice us.
The truth is, we’re all struggling- struggling to be the perfect this or that. We work so hard to create an illusion that will impress others when, in fact, we’ve got piles of our own “stuff” spilling out of drawers and busting out of closets. And, the worst part is, it’s exhausting. A zillion times over, I’ve said and continue to say that we’re living in a world that works day in and out to make us something other than what we really are. I have a problem with that. I’m not June Cleaver. I never will be. I need to stop creating the illusion that I am. I don’t even have a Jello Mold anyway (Alan Boring, don’t you dare judge me). So, who the heck did I think I was fooling?
I want to be me. Good old, hot mess, well intended, “lavender scent” Fabuloso loving me. And, I want the attention of those who know the real me and still want to be a part of my life. I don’t want to have to be somebody else. I want to be me. And, you know what else I want? In 2017, I want you to join me in being YOU. Not the Pinterest perfect version of you, but the real YOU. Because that’s who’s loved and respected.
In the last year or so, a beloved friend of mine and awesomely positive Facebook Buddy, Jennifer Barnett McCann has shared her journey. She is quick to let you know that it hasn’t been an easy one and that, leading up to it, she didn’t necessarily like the person she was at times, but that, darnit, she was on the journey and getting better. I’ve been so inspired by her soul truthfulness, her choice to see sunshine instead of storm clouds and the audacity to stand in that truth, own it, tell it and transform others by it. It’s gritty. And, there’s something about that that really appeals to me. She’s not striving for perfection. She’s striving to be better.
I wonder what our lives would look like collectively, if we all simply followed suit and stood in our own truths. If, instead of living perfectly, we lived truthfully- each day striving to be better, not perfect. How beautifully imperfect we would be. And, instead of creating the illusion of a clean house or perfect life, that we’d live in the “grit” a bit more, appreciating the here and now and being present for what is and what’s to come.
Here’s to an imperfect 2017. One that’s filled with impromptu visits from family and friends, stepping into our unclean homes. Bodies that aren’t ready for swimsuit season but put their bathing suit on and cannonball into the water with reckless abandon. Photographs that may not show our best side but, instead, show the fun time we were having. Stories of hearts filled and hearts broken. And, instead of sharing what we think others want to know about us, we share who and what we really are, both good and bad. Adios to 2016’s Pinterest perfect mentality and hello to an imperfectly, perfect, downright gritty, beautiful 2017.
Happy New Year,
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