We talk a lot about letting go of things. Excess clothing, duplicate kitchen utensils, unused hobby supplies… but there are so many other things we let go of in the process of finding simplicity in our lives. I read about this in several IG accounts I follow and bloggers I look up to. Some examples include letting go of what others think of you, letting go of the pressures of keeping up with our neighbors, letting go of having a busy schedule, and there are so many more valuable takeaways.
But the biggest thing I’m learning to let go of is control and perfectionism. Thinking I can and should take care of everything perfectly. Feeling the pressure to not only meet expectations but exceed them… but who am I trying to convince? Who really gives a hoot what I’m up to? I suppose my immediate family benefits from me meeting certain expectations of keeping the house running, but otherwise, does anyone really care how well I do anything? I mean, sure. I have people in my corner, rooting for me to succeed, as I know you do (even if it doesn’t feel like it sometimes). But ultimately, people are waking up and thinking about their to-do list. Not mine. And not yours. And they are just as insecure about their abilities to meet their expectations of themselves as I am mine.
So where did I get this idea that I had to perform a certain way? I know even as a very young child my teachers told my parents they were concerned about how much pressure I felt to get straight As. Apparently I’d get very upset with myself if I got even a B+, but it didn’t come from my parents. I was doing that to myself. And I think on some level I’ve been way too hard on myself my whole life. No one else is really to blame for how we treat ourselves, are they? So it’s time to take action and be our biggest cheerleaders! Let’s let go of all the pressures to have the perfect home and the perfect family and the perfect social media presence. Trust me. No one is perfect, even if they show you they are on Facebook. In fact, they probably feel worse about themselves than I do on a bad day if they are trying so hard to convince everyone online that they’re perfect.
You may have seen on social media that we had my two year old‘s milestone photo shoot this week. I mean, I know I’m not the only one that goes completely batty for family picture days! It’s like even if we are somewhat put-together on a normal basis, for some reason on picture days suddenly we have no clean laundry, someone is having a meltdown, and the whole process is chaotic and definitely not what we want to remember when we look at pictures we paid to have someone take for us. Time to let all of those pressures go! This time I forgot the only prop I wanted to bring, we got dressed in unplanned outfits right before we left, and it was fine!
We had a birthday party for the little guy with close family this weekend, too. And this was the most relaxed, simple, enjoyable party we’ve had! Luckily since I’ve been decluttering so much, it doesn’t take too much effort to make the house look nice. And instead of a complicated menu, we did a nacho bar, cheese machine and all. We even portioned out all the toppings to be less germy. This way people could grab food whenever they wanted, instead of waiting for everyone to arrive, or feeling bad for eating without people. We let the little guy kind of run the show, playing and interacting with his grandparents, opening presents, feeding him when he calmed down enough to notice the food. Going with the flow was so much more fun for me, and I’m sure less intense for everyone else, too. Next time we host something we’re keeping the cheese machine and doing this again… or maybe a potato bar? Repeat what works and lose what doesn’t! Just because you’ve done something a certain way forever doesn’t mean you can’t try something else this time. I’m going to especially work on this as the holidays draw near, and I encourage you to do the same. Let go of what doesn’t serve you. Let go of trying to be perfect. Let go of trying to control everything and everyone. Let go, and let things happen organically. It’s been a tough road for me, but every time I really do let go, it’s been so worth it.