I have it in my mind that I need to do all these things to be the perfect person/woman/mother. I’m not supposed to be trying to be perfect. All those mindfulness lunatics would tell me to breathe and be present. I just can’t do it any other way. It’s my neurosis or my upbringing, but in my perverted mind there’s an ideal way to do each thing in this life and I’m trying to hit that mark.
This in no way should suggest that what results is perfect. I have actually dropped the bar really low. When I was a free agent, I would have never left the house without nail polish. My standards slipped a lot lower with my first kid. Then they slopped to just barely keeping my head above water with three kids. Add the fact that I have several auto immune diseases that zap my strength, and I’m choking as I squeak out my most serious obligations, forget personal grooming!
Women are tasked with being the cruise directors in a family. A ready example is the exchange of seasonal cards. Did you get a holiday card? Oh yes you did, cuz I’m a nut and I would not have been able to sleep until they went out the door. Was it a Pinterest-worthy backdrop featuring five people looking happy about life? Hell no! Did I slash the recipient list? Yup, sorry second tier family members. But I could check it off the list and feel good about life for a day.
My perfectionism creeps up almost immediately after I finish one thing. And this is why I have adopted Cynthia’s half-assed approach to being her best self.
Step 1. Do you see you beautiful vision board? Throw a bucket of Vaseline on that, blurring it.
Step 2. What we have now is my “Smokey Eye” approach. It’s intentionally messy to disguise f*ck ups. Think, “understyled for that lived in vibe”. So, feel free to have the best intentions but stop when you’re too exhausted or stressed and declare GOOD ENOUGH!
Step 3. Find something about what you’ve done, accidentally, and declare it genius. Now you have something a normal person can achieve!
Let’s see this play out in real time. Last night after the typical dinner of trying to keep everyone seated and ingest most of the food before them, I declared it time to bang out those school Valentine’s Day cards. Naturally, I had spent a couple of hours on Amazon, selecting adorable yet affordable goodies to gift with the cards. Because in my school district, it’s like mini-Christmas with the schwag the kids come home with.
Remember, we are trying to keep up but not worry about truly competing with these nut job super moms who make cookies of each child’s initial. Really?!
Step 1. Envision the cellophane baggie with red and pink ribbon curls. Grab that blurring tool and smear it around until you have the baggie that’s smaller than you thought it was when you ordered it. And realize that you’re going to have to tape these puppies closed because hunting for ribbon upstairs means the hooligans will be left unattended and will find the TV remote.
Step 2. Have each child sign their name and select a goodie for the bag. Explain more than 5 times that the choice is one goodie per friend and no, we’re not eating candy or playing with bubbles before bedtime. Wonder why you thought giving choices was a good idea.
Step 3. Notice that the ink didn’t dry and the names are smudgy and that the 4 year old has signed his name on the TO: line. Oh, how charming and authentic, you decide!
Half-assed Valentine’s are done! And no, I did not volunteer to help with the class party only to cancel the day before because someone is sick/acting out/has an emergency team meeting/I’m exhausted. That craziness is not for me. Not this year, anyways.