I know it sounds crazy, but these bags in my upstairs hallway really do illustrate the ways I’ve let go of perfection and found my identity again.
This past weekend, after much wavering, we decided, at the almost last possible minute, that we would go to Philadelphia (a four-hour drive) to surprise my cousin at her baby shower. There was a time when I would have contemplated my outfit for days. I would have carefully packed and made arrangements to see all members of my extended family. My gift would have been beautifully wrapped.
Instead, we decided to go 20 minutes before my son’s basketball game started. We would leave right after his game. I couldn’t find a suitcase so I just threw clothes and shoes, toothbrushes and make-up, diapers and wipes, all in these big, plastic bags. I just grabbed what I thought we’d need and we were packed.
At the very last minute (literally), I tried to put a beach wave in my hair. I burned my forehead with the curling iron and just threw the towel in. My hair went back in my normal pony tail and we were out the door.
I had a gift for my cousin but no wrap yet because I was going to mail it on Monday. A quick stop at the dollar store supplied me with a gift bag with bears and baby rattles. It was cute, but I used to spend so much time wrapping fancy packages.
I normally would have packed snacks, movies, and coloring books for the kids. I didn’t do that. Instead, they talked to us and we sang. We bought them donuts and milk shakes. They survived!
Perfection was put to the side. And you know what? We had a great time on our spur of the moment trip with our plastic bags filled with random supplies.
The trip wasn’t perfectly planned, packed for, or executed, but it was fun. I used to be like this long ago. My kids have helped me to find her again. And while I’m not always like this, I feel so free when I am.
Pack up. Don’t think too much. Take a day trip or even just an hour-long trip. Go and have fun without feeling crazy about it. There is such freedom in letting go.
Thanks for Mothering the Divide with me. What a journey this all is.