“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.” – Salvador Dali
I sometimes live in two worlds. The real one and the one in which I’m Martha Stewart. When living in the real world I do things like go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving (like this year, woo-hoo!). When living in I-am-Martha-Stewart world, I do things like invite people over for a holiday dinner, spend weeks obsessing about how to pull off a perfect meal complete with themed cocktails (the pomegranate mimosas were delicious, actually) and turn into a not-so-nice crazed woman (my poor husband) the day of.
I love to cook. And I love sharing that love and good food with my family and friends. It’s taken me a few years, but I’ve come to realize that I’m not Martha Stewart. (Wait, what?) In dream world, I could pull off a magazine-worthy spread. But in real life, I’m actually not so great under pressure (even if it is self-induced).
Thankfully, it didn’t take me too long to realize it’s much more enjoyable for me (and poor husband) to put the focus on finding ways to spend quality time with our family and friends. When hosting, I’m learning to relax, let others help, and not focus on perfection. And when we’re lucky enough to be invited to someone else’s home, I try to use that time to obsess about just one perfect dish. 🙂
On the topic of perfection, I’ve been meaning to share this article about parenting and perfection that’s been percolating in my mind since reading a week or so ago. Perhaps we all have areas where we lean towards perfectionism. Sometimes, we may not even realize it. So I’ll be trying to focus more on presence than perfection this holiday season.
How do you balance the “dream” you with the “real” you? Do you fight perfectionist urges or use the pressure as fuel?
This post was inspired by the Shaken and Stirred prompt at the Daily Post. The photos were taken at the Mount Vernon Harvest Day a few weeks ago. They’re not images of an elaborate meal, or even the complete story of the day that I had in mind, but they are inspired by family, friends, and simpler times. And who knows, maybe Martha Washington struggled a bit with perfectionism in her day too. Happy Thanksgiving!