The December issue of Country Living Magazine is sitting on my kitchen counter.
On the cover, there’s a pretty white farmhouse.
In front of the house sits an old mint-green truck with a freshly cut Christmas tree on top. Every window on the house has a wreath with red bows and garland hangs from the porch rails.
I wonder what it must feel like to live in a house decorated like that.
I imagine how special it must feel to celebrate the holidays in a house like that.
I look around my house.
The tree is up, but there are no lights or ornaments yet.
I bought two wreaths but they’re sitting on the front porch floor.
My dining room table is covered with boxes of decorations and ornaments.
I look again at the magazine and wonder how other people do it.
How do they get their houses to look so perfect?
And I don’t mean just the houses in the magazines.
I mean all the houses I pass in my neighborhood and surrounding towns.
Where do they find the time to create such perfection?
It seems I go through this every year.
These feelings of being not good enough.
Of feeling overwhelmed.
Feeling exhausted before it’s all even started.
And then that voice in my head asks me, What is perfect?
Wasn’t it perfect last week getting to sit with my parents for all those uninterrupted hours after my Dad’s surgery?
(He’s home and doing really well)
Wasn’t it perfect driving to Vermont to meet my sister for a pre-holiday lunch and walk our dogs along the river?
Wasn’t it perfect sitting next to my girl at the latest Mother-Daughter flick at our local cinema?
Or even writing this email and sharing these thoughts with you?
I could have been hanging wreaths and putting up decorations, but look what I would have missed!
So instead of beating myself up, I’ll remind myself, and you, that what’s really perfect is slowing down, loving life exactly as it is, showing up exactly as we are and being present to yourself and those you love.
That, as far as I’m concerned, is Perfect.