When my house is clean… I will be happy
When this event is over… I won’t be stressed anymore
After I finish this… I will have more time
We all tell ourselves these things. I did. Over and over and over. We tell ourselves, that we need to change our life to be happy. That we need to get through something to be less stressed. That when something big is accomplished we will have more time.
We don’t need any of this to be happy.
I am a busy mom, constantly doing a million things, I am stressed 75% of the time and struggling to be the best mom for my children, wife to my husband, and good friend to those who need me. But, in all the chaos of my daily life, I am pretty dang happy! I am not happy because I have the perfectly clean house, perfectly mannered children, perfectly done hair and makeup, or perfectly planned life. In fact my house isn’t always clean, my children are learning day by day (as we all are), my hair is in a ponytail half the time, and I am usually flying by the seat of my pants. BUT I am still happy, and this is why.
I used to measure happiness on perfection. If everything was running perfectly, then I would be happy. In fact, I remember my daughters first birthday and I felt like I had failed because I ruined her cake. I had worked SO hard and had all the details of this perfectly adorable party, and then, that dang cake, had me in tears. I was stressed and frustrated all day. I felt like I hadn’t done a good enough job. I got the cake fixed and quite honestly, everyone thought it was cute, and that I had made it topsy-turvy on purpose. It was only me that just kept staring at a sinking, melting, uneven cake.
That is when I began to learn one of the most important lessons in my life. Be Present over Perfect. It became my motto. My kids need me to be present for them way more than they need the perfect birthday! Do I still try to do my best, and plan fun things for my kids to do? Of course! But when something goes wrong, I remind myself, Be Present over Perfect. My kids need me present in their lives. They don’t need me stressing about the perfect (fill in the blank) that I am planning, making, or doing that week.
So I look back at myself and remember saying, ‘when my house is clean, I will be happy’ and I just laugh. Do still stress when I have company over with dishes in my sink? Heck yes! BUT it doesn’t change my happiness. My house will never be perfect, but the kids in it are. My kids are kids and don’t always listen, but they love with hearts bigger than mine. I still end up running to the store with no makeup and a hat, but I am surrounded by people who don’t care. And, my life is not perfectly planned, but it is always a big happy adventure!
If you can be happy even when my house isn’t clean and the dinner is burnt, then you have found the key to true happiness. Happiness is being present and enjoying and loving every minute with your family and friends. It is not a perfectly clean house every minute of every day.