I made meatballs yesterday for dinner because I could prep them ahead, and they are delicious and kid-friendly, and I've never once screwed them up. By the time my friend from California arrived with her friend and her kids, the meatballs were smelling yummy and the kitchen was tidy and ready for us to sit down and visit.
Which we did, covering years of ground in a few short hours while the kids played outside on the trampoline. One of my favourite benefits of good friends is the fact that years go by between your visits, but you can pick up the threads of life and conversation as though you just saw them yesterday. It's a miracle to me how little distance matters to really strong friendship.
We sat down to eat, and it turns out you can simmer meatballs for far too long in a sauce. They were burnt and nasty and my kids, who love this meal, wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole. My reaction is a testament to how far I've come in dealing with my perfectionism: I laughed. And I really meant it. I made jokes about the burnt meatballs, and I took the attitude that we'll remember this years from now, and laugh, so we may as well laugh now.
I love that I'm not so worried about being perfect anymore. Even a year ago, ruining a dinner that I had planned for and been excited about would've darkened my evening. Last night it made me laugh, and didn't affect the fun I had in the slightest. My friends were gracious guests, and didn't care at all about the meatballs, proving once again that I used to worry about little things far more than other people did, and I don't want to waste that time any longer.
I wish to model this attitude for my kids; sometimes you try your best and it just doesn't work out, and it doesn't change your worth as a person. You laugh, brush yourself off, and move on in life. It was an impossibility for me for many years, but I think I've turned a corner regarding my perfectionism, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Life is too short to try to be anything but yourself, with all of your strengths and weaknesses showing. I don't want to hide behind any more facades, but rather be fully myself at all times. It's so freeing not to worry about how I'm behaving with one group or another, because I'm always the same person. No acting or games. Just myself. It's the path of truth and identity that I want my kids to follow and walk for themselves.