I was volunteering at the garden at my daughter's school yesterday during the fall festival and got talking to another mom. She was lamenting that she felt her family's home remodeling would never be done and she would be forever cooking with a toaster oven and a hot plate and vacuuming up drywall dust. I shared with her how my husband's perfectionistic procrastinating led to ten years of our living in various iterations of a gutted out, unfinished house. I understood her situation. However, I was able to share with her that this type of situation offers practice in letting go. My house is still not 100% finished, nor is it impeccably decorated or constantly clean and neat. I often have to choose taking care of myself and my family's basic needs before tending to our home, or I don't choose self-care and then feel like a stress puppy with a clean house. In the past, I have visited homes of my children's friends and have felt acute pangs of jealousy and inadequacy when taking in their large, new, perfectly furnished/decorated and clean domiciles. But I have since let that go. I can take in their abodes and appreciate them without wishing they were mine. I can have gratitude for what I have. It is enough. Amen.
And then, this morning, I realized that perhaps, those folks aren't really satisfied either. I'm not judging here, just theorizing. I bet it is true that even though they get to wake up to these really beautiful, tasteful, tidy surroundings, many are probably not happier or more zen than I am. They find new projects that they feel need to be done, and feel that angst that they won't be satisfied until those new projects are finished. This is just one example of how our culture tries to have us convinced that we have to live a certain way to be acceptable, to be successful. And have to be constantly doing, upgrading--even ourselves--and I am so much an example of that type of person with my constant quest for self-improvement. And with that realization, right now, I can pause, take a breath and accept myself exactly as I am in this moment. I am enough. Amen.
If any of these thoughts ring true for you, please feel free to comment and add to the conversation.