Today I got a text from a new friend inviting me to dinner tomorrow night. I had already invited my best friend and her family, plus my sister to dinner at my home and even though both would understand if I cancelled on them, I didn’t want to be rude. I knew I could just invite the new friend to dinner, but my first thought was, “Oh, I can’t have her for dinner. I wasn’t planning on cooking very much and I was going to be very casual. I would have to do some much work if she came!”. Fortunately my next thought was, “you are being totally ridiculous. There is no way she cares if you serve store bought rotisserie chicken and cupcakes, the point isn’t the food, it is the company!”
I bring up this story because I think we all have various degrees of Pinterenvy: the feeling that if your home/food/fashion/craft/life isn’t Pinterest worthy then you might as well not do it at all or feel guilty about not being perfect. Of course being a blogger who is actively taking photographs and writing about her “perfect” life, I know I not only feed into the whole Pinterenvy, I also cause it. I really do find pleasure in all the things I write about on my blog, but occasionally I want to sit back and enjoy the event itself and not have to deal with all the things involved in its creation.
Sometimes I am just too busy to put my heart into a fancy meal. And guess what? That is ok! The good news for me is I have been doing this for long enough that I have plenty of tricks up my sleeve to be able to whip up a few dishes that everyone loves and enough alcohol so they probably won’t even care what I serve! Except for my mother (who isn’t coming to this particular dinner) I have never had one person complain about being served on paper dishes. But because I am “The Glamorous Housewife” I feel the pressure to have a perfectly coiffed table and a four course gourmet meal. The thing is, those are just images in my head and pressures that I put on myself! They are only coming from me and nobody else. In Judaism there is term called yetzer hara and in essence it means your evil inclination. When I put too much emphasis on the way things look and taste to the detriment of my happiness, that is my yetzer hara talking and it is up to me to realize it and get rid of these unproductive thoughts.
We all compare ourselves to others. It is just human nature. But we have to also acknowledge that there is nothing rewarding about feeling lesser than someone or guilty about not being perfect and we have to do our best to control our negative thoughts. The thing I always tell myself is that perfection is boring and the last thing I want to be is boring! It is totally legitimate to take the pressure off of ourselves and let things fall through the cracks if the outcome is our contentment. So the next time you are putting too much of a burden on yourself to keep up with the perfection you see on Pinterest or the idea that you need to be sublime, remember that you are the one causing your own unhappiness and then take a step back, reassess, and make a decision based on what you really want, not out of an ideal you want to project.