I asked my husband last night if he thought that at thirty-three years old, I should "have it all together" by now. He just kind of shook his head at me. "That's an illusion, isn't it?" I asked. He replied in the affirmative.
Who is this elusive woman who has it all together? Whose floors are spotless, laundry folded and put away, dishes washed? Where is this woman whose kids are dressed to a "T", whose own wardrobe looks like a walking virtual Pinterest closet, whose husband is of the doting type? In my head, she also has impeccable taste, her home boasting the latest design trends. She exercises every day, eating a totally clean diet complete with things like fennel and flax and kombucha. Her kids are popular, well-liked, and smart. She is on the PTA, or maybe in a civic club, and finds time to volunteer at her children's school. Her Instagram account has the prettiest pictures, showing how interesting, exciting, and beautiful her life is. Beautiful home. Beautiful family. Beautiful everything.
And I'm just a beautiful mess.
I spent last week trying to get myself into gear. I had great dreams of all the things I would do starting January first......eat clean, exercise every day, get all my Christmas put away and the house back in order, start on my next DIY project. Did those things happen? Not entirely or consistently. My house stayed in chaos most of last week.
And when my home is in chaos, I. CANNOT. THINK. It makes me want to hide. It renders me immobile. Seriously. I just can't seem to get anything done because I can't decide where to start first. I get distracted really easily.
My inner monologue went something like this:
Okay, let me get the tree taken down. I'm going to start with the large ornaments first. Oh, look at that. There is glitter all over the floor. I have to sweep. Then I will need to mop. But first....the ornaments. I wonder if I have enough storage for all of these ornaments. Storage....storage....storage....I need to organize our storage building. Maybe I can come up with some clever system to keep all of my seasonal stuff separated so that I can get to each easily. Wait, what was I doing? Oh yeah. Ornaments...
And so it went last week. Trying to get myself together. Trying to put my home back in order. Trying to eat healthy. Trying to exercise. Trying to get my kids to pick up after themselves. Trying to not feel so blah. Trying to pick myself up by my bootstraps. Trying, trying, trying......
My counters have been cluttered......
I am forever behind on laundry.....
And all last week, I kept comparing myself to she who has it all together. Her perfection trumping my feeble attempts to get it together every time.
I think we all have a version of that woman in our minds. It might look different for each of us, our own perfectionist tendencies and ideals coming into play. We have delusions of grandeur, thinking that if we keep on trying, that we can achieve this got-it-togetherness.
But, I am reminded that she who has it all together doesn't exist. And comparison is the thief of joy.
“Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.” Galatians 6:4 (CEV)
We (I) have to quit beating ourselves up about every little thing, comparing ourselves to an illusion. We need to give ourselves a little grace (and relish in His Grace) when we are finding it difficult to get our ducks in a row. Only then, will we be free to just be who He created us to be.
I'm not saying that I've had some great epiphany, some poignant moment that has changed my life forever, and that I will never dare compare myself to the got-it-together-mom ever again. I'm sure at some point, I will have to take those thoughts captive many times over. But, for now, a gentle reminder has helped me move past being immobile in my beautiful mess of a life to being able to give myself a little grace. Because He gives me grace unmeasurable.