You know the warning printed on your car’s side-view mirror, “Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear?” I think our calendars should come with a December warning: “Dates on the calendar are closer than they appear.”
I know this is nothing new. It sneaks up on us every year—but really! Where did October and November go? Personally, I think our 90-degree October weather had something to do with it.
So, here we are getting very close to Christmas and some are getting very close to crashing. Before you crash, may I recommend something that may help save your sanity? Embrace imperfection!
Which is better—to relax with your company when they arrive, or to have spotless blinds and baseboards with you frantically getting ready at the last minute? Which is better—to have your gifts wrapped and ready a week before Christmas, or fighting the crowds still looking for the “perfect” gift on Christmas Eve? When perfection is the goal it slows and sometimes even stops progress.
Most of us aren’t consciously aware of our perfectionist tendencies. We only know that things get more frustrating and stressful when the pressure’s on. We don’t realize that we can control the pressure and reduce the stress simply by embracing imperfection.
Here are a few Timely Tips to help you embrace imperfection and a joyous holiday season.
1. List & Schedule Your Non-negotiables - If you’re preparing for company, make a list of the things that absolutely need to be done. Make it a short list. Such as: de-clutter the living room, clean the guest bath and kitchen, and prepare the table and food. Schedule specific times for the tasks you’ve deemed essential. If you can do more, fine, but if not, consider done is better than perfect. I can almost guarantee, no one will be putting a white glove on your blinds or baseboards.
2. Hide Your Mess - Yes, I said it. Don’t be afraid to temporarily hide a mess. If de-cluttering the living room means cluttering a closet, laundry room, or bedroom, do it and close the door. Of course I don’t recommend leaving it that way indefinitely, but the holidays mean extra stuff like bags and bows and boxes of decorations that we didn’t have time to get to. Remember, we’re not going for the perfect house award; we just want to enjoy our family and friends, so let it go.
3. Delegate - I know the saying, "If you want something done right, do it yourself," but I’ll let you in on a little secret—you can’t do it all, at least not with a good attitude. Believe me, I’ve tried! I’m preaching to myself when I say, “Delegate.” The kids can vacuum and dust. If you have a cleaning service, don’t clean after they’re done (I know some of you do!). Maybe someone else can make Grandma’s pecan pie recipe this year, or just send out an email and have people sign up to bring what they want. Make a list of last minute things that need to be done so that as your guests arrive you’re prepared to enlist their help. Maybe the forks won’t be positioned perfectly by the plates, but remember our new mantra—done is better than perfect!
4. Give Yourself Self-Care - Most of us would prefer sharing a Christmas celebration with a loved one who didn’t arrive home exhausted at midnight Christmas Eve because they were still searching for the “perfect” gift. If you have that perfectionist tendency, consider giving a gift card with a coupon for a shopping day with you. That way you know they’ll get what they want, and you can be rested and ready for a joyous holiday! Or give yourself a gift for when the holidays are over – an Organized By Choice gift certificate!