i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

The first day of the New Year and I already screwed up

The case of the dirty green spatula

Yesterday I decided that in the New Year I would be perfect. I would always go to bed on time, leave no dirty dishes in the sink, and  always brush and floss my teeth before I go to bed. I will not make any mistakes this year.

The start of a New Year is the best time to start over, to start a new resolution and try once again to be a perfect human being.

My goal this year is to do everything perfectly. If I can do everything perfectly. I will feel loved and receive my value and worth from my perfect behaviors.

Today is the first day of the New Year and I already screwed up.

I forgot to go to bed last night. I fell asleep in the chair by the fireplace watching a movie with my youngest daughter. I didn’t brush or floss my teeth last night. When I woke up at 5:12 a.m. I walked into the kitchen and looked in the sink. Oh horror!

There was a dirty green spatula in the sink. Five hours and twelve minutes into January 1st, and I already screwed up. I had food between my teeth and a dirty green spatula, my New Year’s resolution was already ruined.

I know I should have stood by the sink all night until everybody was in bed, so no one could use any dishes and get them dirty. This morning I will question all of the family members and ask who left the green spatula in the sink.

Perhaps I could just take fingerprints. Maybe no one will admit they did it.

If my worth is dependant on being perfect and never leaving a dirty dish in the sink,then I need to install electric sensors in the kitchen sink, so if someone tries to put a dirty dish in the sink after I have gone to bed, an alarm will sound and alert me, so I can rush downstairs and wash the dirty dish. I will also install a sensor beside my bed to go off when it detects food particles in my mouth.

A lot is a stake here.

Should I get my worth from trying to do everything perfectly? Should my worth come from clean teeth and a clean sink?

No, no and no.

Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.
― Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

 I don’t want to start this year with destructive thoughts.

We don’t have to be perfect. We just have to do the best we can. 

I will go and brush and floss my teeth now and wash the green spatula.

Life isn’t about being perfect. Life is about doing our best.

Will you be kind to yourself this year and just try to do your best?  Please tell me in the comments.

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • I was worried….first you only eat sardines and drink water and now you want to be perfect. I am so relieved that you found that impossible after 4 hours. I just want to be happy this year and stop pretending to be so for the sake of others. And that my friend…is going to be hard.

    • Oh Patricia,
      I can’t stop laughing after I read your comment.
      Yes, I do like to eat sardines and drink water, and yes I thought I could be perfect. I am relieved I found out I can’t be so early into this year.
      Hmm, how can you really be happy. That is a good question. Most days I don’t even bother to pretend.
      I want to be happy even when my carpets are full of stains from all of our animals. Will hardwood floors make me happy?
      Hmm, I will pray for joy for you today, and every day this year. You are a delight and a treasure. Look in the mirror Patricia, and smile.

  • Julie-Anne Mauno

    Pamela, I love this. I so want to be free of perfectionism this year! I’m ready to be kind to myself 🙂

    • Hello Julie-Anne,
      Yes, lets be kind to ourselves. So maybe this means I should go downstairs and paint instead of going upstairs to scrub the toilets?

  • Teresa Richardson

    It’s so nice to know that there are others who are as imperfect as I am. I will do the best I can and leave perfection at the doorstep. Perfection can not enter my home!

    • Hello Teresa,
      Oh I love this idea. I will take perfection out with the cat litter this morning and not let it back in.

  • Liked this one Pamela. Perhaps because I used to struggle with perfectionism. There was a time I could not go to bed unless all the dishes were done. None could be in the sink. Times change.

    • Good morning Anne,
      I still struggle with perfectionism. And I realized it is when I wonder what others think of me. A perfect wife would always have clean toilets. So I worry too much about others opinions of me.

  • Alison Alison

    I thought I had the wrong site! I was SO relieved to get to the NO,NO and NO part.

    • Oops, maybe poking fun at myself wasn’t as obvious as I meant it to me. Yes, it is a no, no, no.
      We have value in our imperfection.
      And you should just see what I left in the sink last night and all the cooking making mess is still on the counter. But my kids were happy and we laughed a lot. So all is good.

  • Janelle

    I’d rather know Interesting Pamela than Perfect Pamela:) You’re perfect in His eyes, and a treasure.

    • Hello Janelle,
      Yes, I would rather be interesting than perfect. I keep forgetting that in God’s eyes I am perfect. He did make us after all, and He knows what he is doing. I often spend more time thinking about what God didn’t give me when he made me and not looking at what I have in my hand.

  • Abiola Olaleye

    I completely agree with you, there’s really more to life than life being perfect. Wishing you and yours a perfect year filled with lots of laughter, peace, health, progress, expansion, lifting and prosperity.

    Cheers.

    • Abiola Olaleye

      I coudn’t help but smile at the ‘fingerprints’ and ‘sensor’ part…lol

      • Good Morning Abiola,

        Thank you for your kind wishes. I would love to be perfect in my ability to laugh at myself. I am sending you hugs and best wishes for a wonderful year. I have to send you back the same blessing it is so complete, I wish you a prefect year filled with lots of laughter, peace, health, progress, expansion, lifting and prosperity. And sending you a hug to go along with it.