We all know the sayings ‘practice makes perfect’ and ‘anything worth doing is worth doing well’. These phrases seem completely harmless, but the thing is, being perfect doesn’t necessarily mean being happy. Perfectionism has the ability to destroy us if we let it.
Throughout my life I have tried to do everything to the best of my ability. If I’m not writing or editing, I am cooking dinner, doing laundry or cleaning. When I’m not doing any of that, you’ll find me reading stories, helping with homework or packing lunch boxes. My social life is somewhere in the mix. Then there’s the basics like finding time to eat, drink and sleep.
It’s exhausting just reading it all, isn’t it? No matter where I am or what I’m doing, I don’t switch off, not ever.
I didn’t realise quite how much I strive for perfection until recently. I’ve come to realise I live in fear of people thinking less of me if my home isn’t spotless and my children aren’t always happy and smiling. I have been sabotaging my own happiness for the sake of wanting everything to be just right for far too long.
My life hasn’t gone how I thought it would when I was growing up. I became a mother at 18, and then again at 20. I was married, and then I wasn’t, all before the age of 25. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing, my children are everything to me, but I think the direction in which I have taken is the reason why I try so hard to be something I simply can’t be.
We have a lovely home, it’s not big, nor is it full of expensive items, but it is home. My children laugh and smile every single day, no matter how rubbish our day has been. My career as a full-time blogger is going from strength to strength, slowly but surely.
I’ve come to accept that perfectionism is one of my biggest flaws. In order to fully embrace the life I have, I need to take a break from the perception I have of what it is to be perfect and live perfectly.
It’s okay to have toys strewn across the floor, and if I don’t vacuum one day, that’s fine too. All my children really need is a warm, comfortable home, not a mother who is completely exhausted and the latest gadgets, clothes and toys.
True happiness lies within our hearts, not within our belongings or tiny gatherings of dust. I can’t make memories sat at my computer at every available opportunity, nor can I give to others if I have nothing left to give.
It’s time to take control of this battle, be firm with myself and strive to improve, not perfect.