Gracious me: Choose People Over Perfection

With a move on the horizon, our walls are bare, the rooms are filled with cardboard boxes and our cupboards are empty… I said “why not” when the girls asked to have a family friend and her new baby over for breakfast. “Why not” that is, until the perfectionist in me reminded me of 100 reasons why hosting wasn’t a good idea in the midst of a move. You know what? For the first time ever, I didn’t listen to the voice of perfection and sent off an invite. The morning of our breakfast arrived. I set the table with the items we had yet to pack which included four Christmas glasses, three sets of silver flatware and one plastic and the juice carton, which went directly to the table… gasp! Wide-eyed, my eight year old daughter, Elle said, “Mom, maybe we shouldn’t have invited them over. We don’t even have a pitcher.” To which I responded, “Today Elle, we are choosing people over the pitcher.” Living graciously is about letting go of the pressure of how we want to be seen, and living in the moment. Sure I vacuumed, picked up our clothes and made sure there was toilet paper in the bathroom. But when it came down to it, the important thing for me was that my family connected with a person we love, not about the fact that while everyone else ate with real flatware, I ate with a plastic fork. Yes, there are times where every last detail of a meal is important to me. And by “times,” I mean most of the time. But when it comes down to choosing to connect with another human being over a table without linen and sliver, or losing the facade that I’m perfect, I choose to connect. While a perfectly set table can make people “ooh” and “ahh”, it’s really just smoke and mirrors if the intention of our heart isn’t pure. Embrace it all. Some moments will include a perfectly placed table, and others mismatched flatware. The beauty in life comes when we live with authenticity. This coming weekend, let’s look for moments that are real, moments when we think, “I should do that,” and then do it…even when if means ignoring the fact that it won’t be perfect. Although our breakfast in the midst of packing boxes was missing a set of silver, it didn’t lack in stories, conversation or laughter… even the perfectionist in me enjoyed herself! Do you have a time when you chose people over perfection? Please, do tell! Gracious Me, gracious lifestyle column by etiquette Expert Mindy Lockard

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