I am a perfectionist and I get upset over the silliest things. Towels not being folded the “right” way. A mug left in the sink. My hair not curling correctly.
But the older I get, the more I let go of the idea that anything in life will ever be perfect. I realize how stressful and harmful and difficult it is to live that way. And, dammit, where’s the fun?
So, if you’re like me and need the reminder, it’s okay…
… if your house isn’t spotless. Who can maintain that, anyway?
If you don’t have a savings account. With student loans and mortgages and rent and insurance and just wanting to live your life, it’s hard to amass substantial savings. Sometimes all you can do is pay your bills and put food in the fridge.
If you’re hungover. As long as you’re responsible and not driving and able to take care of yourself (and your kids, if you have them) and not drunk every day, it’s okay to enjoy yourself a little too much.
If you skip a workout (or 100). Getting off track is easy. You get sick. You’re tired. You work a lot of hours. It’s true that you feel better when you’re in a routine, but it’s okay if you fall out of it.
If your laundry isn’t folded and put away. I’m one of those rare people who immediately put the wet clothes in the dryer then fold and put them away. But there’s the occasion I leave the towels on the dryer or my delicates hanging from the rack in the laundry room for a week (or longer). At least they’re clean, right?
If you need alone time. We work. We live with roommates or partners. We are always around people and sometimes you just need to sit in your underwear, rip off your bra, eat some snacks, and watch 15 episodes of Friends.
If you don’t want kids. They’re not for everyone. I recognize they’re a huge undertaking and responsibility and not everyone has the “mothering” gene. It’s not selfish. It’s not “unwomanly”. It’s a decision you’re allowed to make for yourself.
If you need a nap. I took a nap on my lunch break last week and it was glorious. It’s not lazy. The body needs what it needs.
If you relax. The laundry will be there. You can food prep tomorrow. You’re allowed to enjoy your surroundings and rest.
If your house isn’t “Pinterest-worthy.” How boring must that be?
If you skip a week, or month, or year of blogging or posting on Instagram or Facebook. If it’s not your job, it doesn’t matter. We’ll all forgive you if you don’t give a shit about “peak times”, either.
If you’re not happy. It’s okay to recognize that something in your life is making you unhappy – whether it’s your job, your friends, or your relationship (or lack thereof). It’s not okay, however, to stay that way. One of my favorite quotes I see floating around the internet is “If you don’t like where you are, move. You are not a tree.” You are allowed to take the steps you need to take to find happiness.
We are so hard on ourselves and others, and that definitely falls in the “not okay” category. When we stand before God (or Buddha or whoever and whatever you believe in) one day, I can’t imagine we’ll be asked why we didn’t vacuum our carpet or why we called into work on the first sunny 75-degree day in April. Or why you ate the cookies your grandma made you for your birthday. Or why you didn’t have $10,000 in savings. I’m guessing we’ll be asked the tougher stuff, like why we were an asshole to our loved ones or the cashier at the grocery store. Or why we never let ourselves experience joy. Or why we didn’t follow our calling.
My advice to us all this week is this: stop beating yourself up. Give yourself and those around you a big ol’ dose of grace. We all need it.