My sister is an amazing seamstress. The girl made a fully lined trench coat when she was in high school and then moved on to reinvent our grandmother and mom's wedding dress for her wedding this past July. (My mother wore her mothers dress, hence it being both my grandma and mom's dress)
But I always thought the sew skills skipped me. Every time I attempted to sew something I would get frustrated and give up. This year for Christmas my mother-in-love gave me a sewing machine and I decided that this time there would be no giving up. It was time for me to learn how to sew.
Back when a much younger version of me first attempted sew lessons from School of Mom, I wanted there to be a way to guarantee my sewing would be in a straight line. Just like a straight edge can guarantee drawing in a straight line, there had to be something like that for sewing, right? I mean how else was I not supposed to mess this up. Fast forward to present day and School of Mom is teaching mean to sew long curtain panels. Mom, showed me the line guides on my machine and gave me tips about eyeballing about a half inch seam etc. but I realized that if I’m ever going to finish this project, I have to let my perfectionist ways go. The saying “done is better than perfect” is appropriate here. And you know what, my curtains are done and hanging up with less than perfect seams. Really, who was I trying to make them perfect for? Me or Mr. V? We do not care that much, and neither one of us inspect the curtains on a daily basis. We are just happy they block a little more light making the room darker for sleeping.
I am a thinker and this “breakthrough” got me thinking about other areas of my life where trying to do something perfectly has prevented me from doing it at all. Housekeeping, couponing and decorating are some of the few areas that come to mind. I’d love for my house to be perfectly clean and decorated with a pantry full of food bought for pennies on the dollar (who wouldn’t) but the thought of maintaining that level of perfectionism could be overwhelming and I would give up before I even got started.
So I started doing just one thing to keep the house clean per day. (My house was not a giant mess to to begin with, I would just do all the cleaning at once and be tired and cranky from spending my day with a mop in hand, which is not fun.) Some days I vacuum the main living areas, other days I wipe down the bathrooms or clean out the refrigerator. No, my house is not spotless all at once but I have a better sense of peace about it because I know it is still clean. There are also days where no cleaning gets done and I tell myself that is okay too. This method keeps my house looking neat without the feeling of wasting an entire day cleaning. The little things add up.
I have also started couponing my own way. I have been to the classes, I know all about the websites to check and the filing systems to have in place. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of grocery shopping. If food magically appeared in my kitchen without having to pay delivery and fees, I would be a happy camper. So I’ve revised my method to flipping through my coupon inserts, cutting coupons for things I actually buy, putting them in my baseball card holder binder and when I’m writing out my grocery list I will flip through the binder and pull out the matching coupons. No coupon database searching, no printing a ton of coupons or checking every single sale flyer out there and going to a bunch of stores. I'm only going to one store and only buying things I actually use. I am not going to save thousands of dollars this way, but I will be saving some money and that is good enough for me.
Decorating is a whole other mountain I have not even begun to climb. First off, I LOVE decorating. Ever since I was a kid I have enjoyed flipping through decorating catalogs, walking through model homes and watching HGTV. Seriously, what fourth grade kid would list their favorite shows as Room by Room, Decorating Cents and Trading Spaces (remember those shows) well this girl would. I have thousands of decorating images pinned on Pinterest. I have pinned my dream kitchen at least twenty five times and keep telling myself someday, I will redo my kitchen to look like my dream kitchen. It does not just stop at the kitchen though; it is every room in the house. The thing is, a complete kitchen renovation is not in the budget right now, but if I can let my I’m not going to do anything until I can do it perfectly mentality go, then I can decorating my whole house in a budget friendly way. A few gallons of paint, some accessories and hanging some art of the wall does not have to cost an arm and a leg. I can embrace my love for decorating now instead of waiting until everything is perfect.
I just have to remember to let it go.