For a long time I felt I needed to be that. To have whatever that little word meant. To own it. Or heavens forbid be judged for it.
And then as if God knew exactly what I needed, I no longer strive for it anymore. As Southern Mess grew, my obsession over things that really didn't matter begin to diminish. Maybe it was because there were just not enough hours in the day to be amazing at everything. Or that with the growth of my company, every moment with my family mattered more than how I felt things needed to appear to be.
Yet I still find myself apologizing. "Sorry my house is a mess, it's been crazy." "Ignore the mountain of laundry, I'm powering through it between work." Leftovers instead of experimenting top Pinterest recipes? No shame. Hair a mess and wearing the same shirt from yesterday? Oops. My signature look. No makeup.
And as I sit here now, powering through the finishing touches for our big Black Friday weekend, with 24 unread text messages, 50 unread PM's, and a mountain of emails I'm not the least bit stressed about tomorrow. My old self. She would be. You see, I decided to host Thanksgiving ,except this year I'm not stressing over the perfect menu, making my house look like we don't live there, or how I'm going to impress everyone. Instead I'm so very grateful for that moment with family who loves us. Who chose to spend their Holiday at our home. And who, let's be honest, don't care what my house looks like. Because those are the people we need in our life. The ones who want to be there for you, as you are.
See perfection is often perceived. Assumed. And most often, wrong. No one is perfect. Sometimes, with the advances of social media, we just appear that way. And quite often, we feel this expectation to live up to what everyone else is doing.
I had someone say to me once (and it wasn't a compliment) that I thought I was just soooo perfect. (insert eye roll). They went on to cut me down about my Master's Degree, my business success, even the home we live in. And although deep down I know those words were meant to be hurtful and stemmed from jealousy, I've never forgotten them. You see, they saw what looked like the perfect life I live. I do have a Master's Degree. I also worked my tail off for it all while being pregnant and giving birth to 3 children over 8 years total of school. My husband and I paid for every bit of that degree ourselves. I earned it. I'm over the moon proud of Southern Mess but it hasn't grown without many sacrifices from myself and my children. Blood, sweat, and tears were put into it. Anyone, and I mean anyone can have that too, if they want it bad enough. I didn't get lucky. I put in the work. And oh my home. Yes, I love our home. It's what I've dreamed of. An old farmhouse with Longhorns in the pasture. The home we were afraid we would lose when my husband got laid off. The home we renovated mostly ourselves. The home we chose over taking vacations and buying frivolous items for years so we could afford it. The home I hope to pass down to my children someday. Again, nobody has a perfect life.
The point of it all is that during this time of year, it's so easy to get caught up in the pressure. Please take the time to enjoy the moment. Love those in your life who love you back. And know that things are often not what they appear to be. Don't ever let someone else's blessings feel like your failure. Celebrate with them and Be Thankful for Enough.