In less than two weeks, Marcus and I are moving to a new apartment. It’s closer to my work, more rural, and it’s on a pond, so it’s sort of the ideal next step for us. Right now, though, we’re deep in the packing stage, which essentially means that our house is piled high with boxes at every turn. This is not my ideal situation. I’ve always been one of those people who can deal with messes on the small scale (for instance, I routinely have a pile of clean clothes on top of my dresser, evidence of unsuccessful outfits throughout the week), but once it hits a breaking point, I have to clean it up. Otherwise, I can’t get anything else done. It distracts me to no end that there are piles of boxes on both sides of our kitchen table, piles in the office, and piles in the basement. The last sanctuaries from the encroaching boxes are the bedroom and the living room, though those will soon be packed as well. I can’t wait for it to be over.
Recently, I read Shauna Niequist’s new book, Present Over Perfect, and have been trying to internalize what she says in it. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, whether it be with my work, my cleaning, or anything else. During my gymnastics days, I would spend weeks on a skill that I already knew how to do, trying to make it perfect before moving on to something else. While my perfectionism has made me attuned to details and helped me a great deal, I often distract myself with it. When I’m trying to control and organize everything around me, I end up grumpily pushing boxes into a corner and trying not to think about the mess rather than enjoying spending time with Marcus while we’re packing. Over the next two weeks, I am going to try my hardest to allow myself to be present, remembering all the wonderful times we’ve had in this apartment during the first year of our marriage. I’m going to try to let things get a little messy.