I’ve written before about how I put a lot of pressure on myself for holidays. I don’t know what the deal is. I did NOT get this from my mother. She always did some pretty awesome stuff for birthdays and holidays but it was never over done or disingenuous. It never put any pressure on us to have fun or else. It just was, and it was fun. She did set the bar pretty darn high for birthday cakes (highlights include: Miss Piggy, Snoopy, a train, a carousel, we could pretty much ask for anything) but I like baking and enjoy using frosting and candy as a medium. The cake thing I feel pretty good about.
All too often my fretting results in my buying too much food (We had fruit kabobs for days after the Peanut’s first birthday party) or thinking too big in the games, or decorations or party favors department and spending too much money on stuff we never use. Then I make Christian and my sister Jill reassure me that everything was fine and fun and we won’t go broke because I spent too much on pinwheels or hotdogs.
Pinterest has not helped me with this problem. I wasted a solid two hours sometime in March picking a theme (balloons) and following various pinterest rabbit holes as I stuck various balloon themed cupcakes, garlands, games and food onto the Peanut’s virtual pin board. I was already thinking about the awesome pictures I could get with her and that garland, the way I could improve on the balloon cupcakes, how perfect everything could be. I could cut out balloon shapes, and write on balloons. It would be balloons everywhere and I couldn’t stop thinking about how amazing the pictures could be. I was having visions of the Peanut submerged in a baby pool full of balloons. It would be glorious.
Glorious is about right. My glory-ous. That right there is what this is about. It isn’t about the Peanut, or the holiday, or wanting it all to be special, that is not what the fretting and over planning is about. The fretting and over planning is all about me. I read somewhere that facebook, twitter, pinterest, instagram they are all contributing to the idea that if it isn’t documented in full (purposely faded) color, it doesn’t count. That what we do and buy and want all define us, makes us who we are somehow. (And in case you missed it, I’m still gunning for that Jesus Lover identity.)
I fall into this thinking. I have a tendency to think that I can have an AMAZING time, but if I haven’t adequately documented the fun then I haven’t done my duty. And how do you ever adequately document the fun anyway? The Peanut Rooster combo does about 18 cute things a minute. The second I put the camera down they start doing something else that hasn’t yet been photographed. But you know what makes me a good mom, actually playing and touching and giggling with my kiddos. It is pretty impossible to do that from behind a camera. I’m not saying you can’t do both, I’m just saying for me, I get photo-obsessed and miss out on all the actual fun.
Because, I am this learning about myself: It can easily never be enough for me. I will find the perfect shoes and buy them, only to keep looking. Which is ridiculous because even if I did find another pair I am just too cheap to shell out the money for a second pair. I checked in with petfinder every so often for two weeks after we adopted Colt. We were not getting a second dog. I always want just one more. Just one more decoration, just one more pretty dress. Maybe the next one will be the perfect picture. Just sit there for one more snap of the shutter. Maybe just one more.
I don’t want to live my life in the search of just one more. I don’t want to be more interested in the perfect picture than a really fun time with our friends. I don’t want to be so tired from blowing up and sewing balloons together for a garland that all I want at the party is for everyone to go home so that I can go to bed. I don’t want to want and want and never be satisfied. Because God is enough. He is. Regardless of the pictures I do and do not get, the crafts I do and do not make. He is enough. But sometimes it is hard to remember that amidst all the cool stuff there is to do and ogle on Pinterest.
This week I went to Target (more than once but my Target problem is a whole series of other posts that have a lot to do with my inaccurate vision of enough). I went through the birthday party aisle and they had some very simple very basic balloon themed birthday supplies. So I put them in my cart, then I put some of the stuff back and bought the rest. No balloon garlands, no kiddie pool full of balloons. We don’t need all of that. We don’t even really want it. It all just gets in the way…..
I needed to read this. Been feeling the same guilt/frustration. I realized after our computer was stolen that someone might be able to take our pictures, but they can’t take the experiences or the memories. And those are what’s important anyway.
Don’t worry Christian and i will keep you in budget. Why are you messing with target anyway when you know family dollar and the dollar store are where it is at for CHEAP birthday decorations… remember last year!
And there were doubtless miles of smiles and loads of laughter. What a fun way to celebrate the second year with the lovely gift God sent you in your Peanut.
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