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Recently there was a very popular Disney movie that swept across the nation like wildfire. You’ve probably heard children everywhere singing what some would call the movie’s theme song, echoing the phrase “Let it go, let it go!”
I have heard this song literally hundreds of times over the past year in my own house, aroudn town, on television, and at Disneyland. I know the words by heart and have even been known to join Queen Elsa in belting out the chorus of “let it go.” Yet, how often do we as mothers or even just as women heed this royal counsel in our own lives?
Ever since I was a young girl I have struggled with the idea of perfectionism. It doesn’t help that we live in a society where being perfect is sometimes applauded more than giving it your best try. I always wonder how the runners up on reality singing or dancing competitions feel. Do they acknowledge that they gave it their best and did a great job? Do they accept that even though they weren’t the winner they accomplished something great? Do they let it go or do they let that moment of “loss” define them?
I had an epiphany this morning as I was making my bed. There are many household chores or tasks that I am always behind on (laundry anyone?) but I decided several years ago that I wanted to make my bed each morning. As I looked at the sheets all tangled at the foot of the bed, the pillows all skiwampus my shoulders got a bit heavy. I have so much to do this morning, does my bed really have to be perfectly made? My perfectionist self would usually pull everything off the bed and one by one put each thing in it’s place. Pull the sheet up. Check. Now the comforter, mind the wrinkles! Now the pillows, blue one in the middle. Stand back in awe. This morning I thought maybe I could just pull the sheets and blanket up together just enough so they are sort of flat and leave the pillows where they are. Could my recovering perfectionist self do this? Could I really just let it go?
Now, you may be thinking I’m crazy but take a moment and think of something in your life you like to have or do just right. Maybe it’s having the sink empty before you go to bed each night. Perhaps it’s choosing the perfect dinner menu and the idea of cold cereal on a busy night would make you gasp. Or possibly the idea that going to the gym for only 10 minutes because you don’t have time for a longer workout isn’t worth it. Or, maybe you are the total opposite of me and have no problem letting it go all the time.
My point is, wherever we fall I hope we can all take a step back in our lives when it comes to our families, our homes, our projects, our community, our personal goals and put it all in perspective. Choose those important things that we do need to do just right, or try to anyway and for all the rest, well, do as Elsa says and just let it go.