A couple of weeks ago I had an epiphany, in which I decided that I was too uptight. Too neurotic. Too anxious. So, in an attempt to eradicate these character flaws, I decided to “let things go”. I stopped chasing after the kids, picking up toys in their wake. I let mail pile up. I threw out my cleaning schedule. I even, as ridiculous as it sounds, tried to schedule days where I purposely didn’t make the bed.
But then I realized, that all of this “letting go” was having the exact opposite effect that I had intended! I was actually becoming more stressed, more neurotic, and more anxious! Today, as I was busy vacuuming and dusting the house, I found myself singing. And smiling. And, glory be to God, HAPPY! I was cleaning in that slightly anal, slightly perfectionist way I have and found myself loving every minute of it. All of this time I’d been trying to become laid back, I was fighting against my own nature. Giving into these neurotic tendencies actually feels really….good. Comfortable. Why fight it anymore? Why try to become something that I’m not? I’ve been so concerned about teaching my daughters my anxious habits that I didn’t realize that in my attempts to become a laid back person, I was teaching them something worse: I was teaching them that it’s not okay to be yourself. And that’s not anything that I would ever want them to learn from me.
So today, I have cleaned my house. And in a minute, I’ll re-print my cleaning schedule. And maybe, if I get crazy tonight, I’ll reorganize my recipe binder. And I’ll be happy.