Happiness is Not Perfection

The summer air is hot and humid here in the North east. The days feel entirely way too long and entirely way too hot yet, at the end of the day the accomplishments feel short by comparison. The challenge of meeting the needs of a now 5 month old as well as two other children leaves me with a longing desire to be more productive on the home front. For a while I was voicing my frustrations to my husband and calling it things like, unhappiness and loneliness and incompetence.

It isn't until now that I finally got the babes nap schedule straightened out and have accepted that it is just easier to let the older two run wild (except for the periods of the day where they need to work on school work or help around the house) that my true thoughts on these feeling were able to float to the surface of my mind.

I voiced unhappiness at the fact that my house is "dirty, my kids are "crazy, "my baby "needs me all the time", and lastly "I have no time for myself". On a day of clearer thinking though I see that my house is not dirty, it is cluttered from a day of activities, camping trips, crafts, toys and other childhood debris. Underneath it all the house is actually quite clean. Sure my kids maybe crazy. They are crazy hungry all  the time (I swear I feed them every 15-30 minutes). They are crazy adventurous, crazy silly, they fight like crazy and they love each other like crazy. They are loud, and always dirty and this time I really mean it, they are dirty. Like sweaty, muddy, sopping wet, stinky, dirty kids. At least until bath time when we lather, rinse and repeat it all the next day. Each day my baby truly does need me all the time. She needs milk, love, reassurance. She also needs me to help her explore the world. To help her put her toes in the grass, poke her finger at the flower and then remove the flower from her curiously strong little fist before she eats it. She needs my hugs and smiles just as much as I need hers. Have you ever had a little one just grip you up and pull themselves into your body with all the strength they can muster? It is HEAVEN! The only thing in the world that beats baby hugs is baby kisses, those mouth wide open, slobbery, tongue up against your cheek while smiling at the same time baby kisses. Here I thought she needs me all the time but I am suspecting I need her more. Lastly lets not forget that I also complained of not having time for myself. This is a matter of perspective, I think. I may not have a whole day to myself but I do get a few minutes each morning for my coffee. I spend sometime each day working on improving my body by stretching, weight  lifting, or some other form of exercise.

The common theme in my own thoughts that I am finding is that the lack of perfection=complete failure. I am not lonely. In fact I am the exact opposite of lonely; I am out numbered. I long for adults who share common interests with me to spend a large portion of quality time with yet I  am guilty of not enjoying the company of the others who walk around the farmers market with me each Saturday morning. I am not an incompetent parent, wife, friend, daughter, employee. I am human. I have good days, bad days, and better days. In each of these cases and many others that I can't quite recall, the ability to achieve perfection inhibits my ability to enjoy the small wonders of each day.

I had a friend put up a Facebook status that read, "I give up on happiness, instead I am hoping for peace". What if we all gave up on peace or perfection and allowed ourselves happiness. Happiness is not a neat little package all wrapped neat and tidy. Happiness is more like the silver lining. It is the slight little feeling of contentment that we blow off because the details weren't just right.

For now I am going to enjoy the satisfaction of few quiet minutes spent gather some thoughts and stringing together some sentences. Just enough time and just enough words to justify the contentment I feel at the completion of this task.  I am happy with this imperfect little post that sets my mind right.


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