On Monday night after my kiddos were in bed, I started catching up on all of my favorite blogs. One of them showed a beautiful Thanksgiving table with coordinated linens and multiple flower decorations. I suddenly felt silly for sharing a picture of mine here on my little corner of the Internet. What I had loved just a few days before suddenly seemed to be lacking. Instead of focusing on the sweet sentiment that each piece of my table held—-the napkins my hubby gave me when we were newlyweds, the napkin rings I received as a wedding gift and, of course, the hand-painted turkey candleholder my little guy toted home from preschool—-I started examining all the areas where it was flawed. I thought about it for a bit before I gained some perspective and gave myself a little lecture on the dangers of comparing ourselves to others. Every piece on my table had special meaning and was something I adored, even if it isn’t straight out of a magazine. But it is so easy to fall into that trap, isn’t it? Why do we do that?
There is really no reason to feel as though what we have is less than enough just because someone else has something that is a little more picture perfect. One of the nice things about getting older is that I seem to get more comfortable with who I am with each passing year. I’ve learned to worry less about my faults and play up to my strengths. I can be more forgiving of my less-than-perfect attributes and let go of those things I don’t do well. Organized closets just aren’t in my future and no one will ever pay me to sing, but I can write an in-depth feature article, ferret out sources and conduct a great interview. On the home front, I bake a mean batch of sugar cookies and I know how to keep my family happy. I take pride in making people feel comfortable in my home, even if they have to step over a toy in the living room.
As we head into the holidays I’m going to pull focus and concentrate on those things that matter most. I am going to use blogs and magazines as inspiration and appreciate the beauty in what others do for what it is. I am going to let go of the idea that I have to accomplish everything and that my home will be coordinated perfectly. I’m going to bring out the kid-crafted Christmas decorations and worry more about how my home feels rather than how it looks. Putting Evan’s preschool creations front and center in our home will do far more to shape who is he than surrounding him with picture-perfect decorations.
It may be easier said than done, but that is my new plan to keep myself happy and sane. I would love to know what works for you. How do you quiet those voices when you start trying to keep up with the Joneses—-either on the career front or in your home life?