You know...stress is a real joy stealer! I was thinking about stress yesterday as we changed our mind about going out for our anniversary. Ashtyn was staying at home and Caleb was going out with Lindsey and we just didn't think it was right for her to be alone on Valentine's Day. Much to her dismay, as she felt like it just highlighted "alone awareness" in her life, we had decided to stay in. But then we realized that Caleb didn't have reservations until 8 and if we hurried we could go out and hopefully not only beat the rush but also be back before Caleb left. So we decided this at 4pm and also just as I happened to have just stepped out of the shower (..so sometimes I do take showers in the middle of the day when I am freezing cold and its the only way I can warm up!!! ...have you been to my house?? Don't judge until you have lived with the Eskimos that I have for family members!) ...so really the plan being...if I could get ready and us be in Norman before 5pm, then we could make this happen. And it was now 4:03 and counting~
So of course I rush to my closet and start the race against the clock. For some reason, it reminded me of Sunday mornings when the kids were little and I was a stressed out wreck by the time we got to church. Mad at my husband because he had dared to sit, earlier in the morning, and stare at ESPN (which was replaying the same story they had already talked about 12 times over the last hour) while two children had pop tarts stuck in their hair and were still wearing their pajamas...mad because there was guilt over the fact that pop tarts were my kid's breakfast...mad because not one thing seemed to fit or look right together...or because I knew that I had to sing in the praise band that morning and therefore was stressed by default of having to get up in front of a crowd...you name it, I stressed over it! And I know...I hear all you organized souls saying...why didn't you lay out clothes the night before or get out of bed a little earlier or have premade breakfast casseroles ready to pop in the oven...well that would have just been a little too organized for me at that time in my life...why would I make life easier on myself? I know...the questions one can ponder...
And while I was rushing around yesterday, I was wondering...why am I not stressed? Why am I not having a melt down because I know that I don't have enough time to get ready... To be honest, I obviously do not have small children anymore and let me tell you, that makes a HUGE difference in the amount of things you can do, but it's more than that. I have learned that you don't have to be perfect!! Hear that super-moms??? You don't have to have spotless tile, or a clean refrigerator and if the guest bathroom tends to have toothpaste in the sink because your son refuses to use the bathroom his room shares with his sister's...it is going to be okay!!! No one is going to see the toothpaste in your sink and think you get the worst mom of the year award!! We waste too much energy on things that while important overall (you can't just not ever clean your house or else your gonna end up on Hoarders!) are not important enough to steal your joy!!! There will be time in which to get to those things...and it doesn't always have to be perfect right now... Just ask my son...I ask him for a couple of weeks, at least, before he gets to the cleaning of the toothpaste out of the sink...(okay so there are times I get a little stressed about the toothpaste, but 3 weeks is, I think, a very generous waiting period before gaskets are blown)
I have realized over the years that I wasted too much time and hurt too many people in my quest for perfection and you know what...it just isn't worth it!!
So we actually made it to the restaurant before 5 and I was not the least bit stressed from trying to make the deadline and the result is that I had a fantastic anniversary dinner with my husband and Ashtyn was surprised with her own take-home steak dinner so that her "alone awareness" didn't have to be so painful! (you of course know that Ashtyn has never truly fit into any "aloneness" category..."picky" maybe...which is just fine-de-dine with her momma!...so don't feel too sad for her!! ...after all, she did get steak!!)
Enjoy life and don't sweat the small stuff!!