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Sunday, November 14, 2010

wabi-sabi, or good enough

one of my favorite features in good housekeeping magazine is a small column called good/good enough.  each month, the column tackles a task or problem two ways - the "correct but time consuming way", or the "quick and dirty" way.  i often chuckle and try to decide which way i'd go - fix it and forget it, or take my time and do it right.

i've discovered, over the past year, that sometimes, "good enough" will have to do.  with twins and a big kid, i don't always have time to have everything picture perfect.  as someone who is extremely anal retentive, it's hard for me to let go of the perfect, but i am learning wabi-sabi, or the acceptance that nothing is perfect, and to just let go of that ideal.

before kids, our house was like a museum.  perfect living room which was not lived in.  a dining room that i didn't want to eat in for fear of spilling on the carpet or scratching the table.  perfect "girl" and "boy" spare rooms that could have rivaled any spread in country living magazine, and a large neat bathroom.

what a difference 3 kids makes!  we now "live" in our living room - that pristine furniture we'd picked out before we got married is now gone and we have la-z-boy sofas and recliners which have been peed on, puked on and crumbed up. by 5pm each day the floor is a minefield of blocks, dolls, foam cutouts and books.  the perfect dining room table is often cluttered with the boy's papers, my laptop, toys, high chair trays and often crumbs from past meals.  thank goodness we got rid of the carpet a couple years ago - it's easier to clean the gooey mac n cheese off the floor now.

the "perfect" girl's room became the "perfect" nursery, which became the "perfect" boy's room, and is now the "imperfect, cluttered" nursery.  the big bathroom is now cluttered with tubs of clothes awaiting freddie beans to grow into them.  and the last vestiges of my "perfect house" - the boy's spare room - became the boy's bedroom, complete with tiny Lego all over the floor for me to step on.

i hate how cluttered my home is, but i accept it.  i have to.  i don't have the energy or time to thoroughly clean every day - i spot clean and it will have to be "good enough".  i tell myself that my house is by no means "hoarders" condition and that in a few years i will have the time and energy to put my house back to how i like it.  i remind myself that despite the stepped on Lego and the crumbs on the floor, that i should be grateful for all this, becos it is what makes my house a home.

having children makes a person rethink their way of living.  life is wabi-sabi - imperfect - we accept it, live with it, and move forward.

1 comment:

  1. Amen. I think it's hard to escape the whole "house" thing when you're the woman. For some reason the state of the home reflects on the woman, even if she works all day at raising her family or outside of the home.
    It has taken awhile (and sometimes I need to remind myself) that I am blessed to clean up all the dishes for everyone, because it means I have a family to cook for. I'm blessed to wash their clothes (every day....poor washing machine) because I have a family......etc.
    Blessed indeed!


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