Friday, January 4, 2013

In Search of Perfection

 Christmas is over, birthday celebrations are done, and January organizing is in full swing. This year, I had a sense of "just getting through" the holidays. Then after Christmas, I got sick which always drains you of all motivation and energy. But yesterday, I was feeling pretty good and decided to tackle Molly's room. Her room is the smallest room in the house. Even if there are only a few things out of place, her room looks messy because it really is just such a small space. I reorganized it last year. She wanted an update. She had the same decor since she was born so she picked out her wall color and bedding and then I decided to have a desk put together for her using Ikea book shelves. I got the idea from iheartorganizing. You can see her button to her website to the right. 

Here are pics of Molly's room makeover from last year. I love the turquoise that she picked out.

The desk that was inspired by iheartorganizing.

Trying to plan out her wall behind her bed with plaques that Molly and I painted together, free printables I found on the internet, and photos.

Molly's actually sleeping in her bed in this pic. Can you see her little head?

But here is the problem. Molly has a lot of stuff stuffed into this small, little room. Yesterday, I didn't think it was going to be an all day project to straighten up her room. But as I pulled out each drawer, each basket, each bin, there was more and more stuff.

Here's the other problem. I'm a bit of a perfectionist at unsuccessful perfectionist. Chris and I have had battles over this. I feel if I'm going to spend my time cleaning, I might as well do it right. Once I was cleaning the study and I was going through piles and piles of papers...sorting...throw away pile, file away pile, bills pile, school papers pile, and it keeps on going. The study was covered with papers. In my eyes an organized chaos. Then it was time to pick up the kids, bring them to all their activities, help with homework, make dinner, you know, all that mom stuff that we do everyday. Well, Chris came home, saw the "mess" all over the floor and decided to clean it up. The study looked great when he was done, there were no papers on the floor, they were all back in one neat pile. But they still weren't sorted and he had undone hours of work that I had done. I try to tell him that sometimes you have to get through the messy to get to the glory but he really hates the messy part.

Now, again, I don't like messy either. It drives me crazy when I organize the kids' rooms and their closets and their stuff in the basement and their cubbies in the garage and everything is labeled and they know where everything is suppose to go and we have family meetings about putting their stuff away and picking up after themselves as well as each other because we are a family and we should help each other out and that the word "mom" is not another word for "maid" and on and on and on!!!!! It drives me crazy when I put all this effort into trying to make it as easy as possible for them to put their stuff away and they don't. 

But yesterday morning, I started my day with going through some emails. I had a huge amount since I didn't go through them over Christmas break. I subscribe to Gretchen Rubin's emails from The Happiness Project and I opened one yesterday with this picture.

The night before, I was reading See You at Harry's, a YA book that will rip your heart out. The main character is a 12 year old girl named Fern, named after Fern in Charlotte's Web. She is talking with her friend, Ran, who has a mantra of "all will be well." It is at a time in the story that "all is not well" and Ran tells Fern,

But the whole thing was a scam," Ran says. "It was just some stupid thing to say to make me believe life isn't unfair. And just when I thought life was perfect, it became unbearable again."

I think of all the times Ran has said those words to me. He said them like they were a fact. I always secretly loved when he said them because I thought if anyone knew how things were going to turn out, it would be Ran.

"I was so wrong," he said quietly. "I'm sorry, Fern."

There was that word perfect again. I actually looked up the word perfect. Perfect means excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement. The words "beyond improvement" sat with me and I thought there is nothing that we cannot improve. There is always something that we can do to make things better. Whether it is ourselves, our relationships, situations around us, nothing is beyond improvement.

So yesterday after checking emails, I moved upstairs to tackle Molly's room. Again, I did not think it was going to turn into an all day job. I started cleaning and sorting and I was in the mist of "messy glory." I couldn't even walk in her room because everything was on the floor. I was getting frustrated.  I began to realize this wasn't going to be a quick clean up. 

My companions for the day weren't much help.

That frustration of all that work from last year, of all the bins and the labels and the organizing had gone to waste once again was bubbling up inside of me and then I found this. This water stained, crumpled, wrinkled piece of paper with all her "stuff." I had found the "glory" in all that " mess" and it was worth it. Every kid should feel like their family is the best. I love that she wrote "They are" with an arrow just in case you don't know who the Nealons are.

Gretchen Rubin says, "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Well, Molly's room may not be perfect, but I certainly had found the good.

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