I LOVE the holidays! LOVE them! I love having people over and setting a huge table and having lots of great food and laughter and fun. The more the merrier.
That is – up to ten people. I only have place settings for ten people. My table expands to ten, I have ten matching napkins, ten gold pointsettia napkin rings. Ten.
So imagine my chagrin when one year, at the last minute, my son told me he was bringing his friend to dinner on Christmas day. My VERY first thought was, "NO! NO! We don't have eleven napkins! Things won't match! I'll have to drag out a folding table that isn't even the same height as my dining room table! Oh, the horror! The shame and degradation!"
Okay, so I am inclined to fabulate sometimes. But I think you know where I'm going with this. My first automatic, knee jerk response was to fall back on my need to have everything just perfect when company comes over. But the good news is that my need to create a happy, loving, healthy family where people can make reasonable (and sometimes even unreasonable) requests and get them met, is even stronger.
So after doing hand-to-hand combat in my brain with Ms. Perfection, I finally wrestled her to the ground. I looked in her panic stricken little eyeballs and I said, "Listen girl, I get it. You want things to be perfect. Your mom gave you that dubious gift and you're just dancing to her drumbeat. But this is a new day and a new time and your son, Miles is WAY more important than your need for your napkins to match. Let it go girlfriend. Let it go. Focus on the fun! Focus on the great food! Focus on the laughter! Be CRAZY grateful for the fact that he wants to share you and John with his friend on Christmas!"
And it worked! I ultimately made peace with my table(s) and my one single strange napkin. Miles' friend came and we all had a blast and NO ONE scoffed at my table! No one even raised an eyebrow. In fact, no one even noticed. We were all having too much fun.
I invite you to remember this story when things don't match this season, when you can't make them "perfect," or when the picture doesn't look the way you thought it should look. With just a tiny shift in perspective, everything really could be perfectly imperfect.
Motivational speaker, Linda Larsen, hoping for eleven…