Sunday, December 05, 2010

reverb10 day 5: letting go

Today's reverb10 prompt, from the fabulous and hilarious Alice Bradley, aka Finslippy:

What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?

Let me set the scene.

Yesterday, while I was wrapping birthday presents for the two birthday parties Jane had to go to this weekend:
Me: Where is the tape dispenser?
Greg: In the drawer.
Me: No it's not. There are only rolls of tape, no dispenser. Why is there no dispenser!? We used to have one!!! Now I have to cut each piece with scissors!!! Why aren't we like normal people!?!? WOE IS MEEEE!!!
Greg: .....

End scene.

Flash-forward to this morning. When I came out of my bedroom ready to go out walking in the (holy hell it's freezing) cold, I noticed Jane was very busy doing something in the dining room. Upon further inspection, I noticed she had found a decorative bucket thingy we used to use for remote controls and stuff, and filled it with a treasure trove of items, including, but not limited to:
*deflated pig toy
*the new magnetic notepad I bought yesterday that was on the fridge
*her class picture from last year
*A Sharpie
*several plastic utencils

What I have semi-started to do this year, but definitely need to continue working on in 2011, is letting go of control, because really, cutting little pieces of tape is NO BIG DEAL. I have begun the work that has started to make me realize that not everything is a crisis, that the house is not going to be perfect, that often we are not going to be able to find the things that were just there a second ago, that no one is going to think they've accidentally walked into Martha Stewart's house when they come over, and that's all OK. As you can see, I have a long way to go with this, but I have very slowly, but surely, started to work on this.

Whether it's in real life, or through blogs or sites you visit on the internet, you see people who have it all. Perfect and pristine homes, despite the fact they have children. Perfect, stress-free marriages, despite the pressures of every day life. Perfect, pretty, amazing. Everything the opposite of my chaotic, ridiculous life.

But I have started to work on letting go. No one expects perfection when they come to my house, but in a way, that's OK, right? Because if you come here, it's OK to spill, break or stain pretty much anything. Our home is comfortable, if not very disorganized and cluttered at times. Sure, we can't find the tape dispenser. But we're really happy you're here. Now brush the dog hair off the couch, sit down, and stay a while.

And once I really grasp that that's what people expect from me - and that that's OK - and to give myself a freakin' break once in a while - I will be all the happier for it.


Elena said...

My friend and I have a theory on this. Those whose lives seem perfect and organized and totally under control are usually a hot mess on the inside. I'd rather hang my dirty laundry in the fresh air than hide it in the basement.

kelly said...

Perfect! Sounds like we've been on the same wavelength. :)

Stereo said...

While this made me laugh out loud, the sentiment and lesson behind it is clear and well articulated. Well done, Amanda! I think that if we all relinquish a little control, we could replace it with a little more happiness.

lgaumond said...

I like your "not everything is a crisis" idea. Whenever there's something hard or scary or stressful my mom would always say "you're not the first person to {insert situation: hate your job, have a baby, stub your toe, etc.}" and somehow that always makes me feel better.

I'm not the first so I don't have to feel alone, and I don't have to invent a solution for the problem because someone has done it before, someone can relate, and someone will help.

Good luck letting go!