Monday, September 19, 2005

advice: I'm tired of it

Do I have eyes that plead for instruction? Does my voice quiver with uncertainty? I don’t understand why so many people in my life let me know how I could improve things. I wasn’t under the impression that perfection was actually something that so many had already attained in this life. I don’t know any one person who does the following all at the same time consistently: keep her garden weeded; obey the speed limit; cook all three meals and clean up after every one; keep her children happy, read to, clean and away from the TV; have all her laundry done to perfection (most likely even the expert laundry maven has a bad day and forgets the towels in the washer); be perfectly organized to the likes and impressions of all those who enter her world; have the floor swept and mopped and the high chair cleaned; the plants watered; the chores done; the Sunday lessons planned; Family home evening taken care of; homework attended to; contact lens case bleached, along with the toilets and shower, of course; pool clean and towels in from the clothes line when the rain comes; well read and all the library books returned promptly; general cleanliness and perfection abounding, all the while being completely level headed and calm with no shouting.

Why so much criticism? What if I’m okay with a little chaos? For crying out loud--I can't be the only woman with a refrigerator that needs a good cleaning and keeps putting it off for the perfect day when she won't mind cleaning it quite so much. What if I like the rotting picnic table because it gives me the freedom to use it however I like that day? What if I like my kitchen set-up and the placement of my furniture? I CAN think for myself, thank you. I am all too aware of my weaknesses, so thanks for the acknowledgment of my imperfections, but I’m a little sick of the criticism. How about this—when you notice something about me or my home or my habits that need improvement and you feel the need to share them with me, why don’t you try to think really hard about something that you actually like about me and tell me that instead. That might actually make me feel good about myself.

Uncharacteristic unsolicited advice: don’t spurt out criticisms or advice to those who don’t feign an all-knowing power. Just let us enjoy our quiet peace, and remember we’re not judging you, so please return the favor.

11 comments:

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yermom said...

so brittany, I think you should submit this piece to the editorial section of some large newspaper....like the Boston Globe. In fact, maybe you should begin your own syndication!! It could be for all those with "very nice person" slathered across their forehead. Of course, this comes from your mother...maybe that negates the strength or validity of who I think you are and in my estimation what your being alive adds to the world. But, if not, I want to cheer, "Hip hip hooray!" Well said! I love you.

Lucky Candice said...

Britt: There are those of us who IDOLIZE you but I guess we don't say it enough. I was praying to my Brittany idol yesterday for some of your serenity and beauty. Oh and creativity, motherliness, cooking abilities.......

kara said...

Amen sister! As I was reading this I was frantically racking my brain to make sure I hadn't said anything. If I have, I apologize profusely. I admire you and look to your example of what a happy home is (whether or not it's clean or peaceful at the time)! I love you.

Jessica said...

Kara said exactly what I want to. I too am sorry if I've expressed too much advice to you. I think you do wonderful things and in so many different areas. I don't think I would complete a fraction of it if I were in your shoes.

Tori said...

Whoah...how did you know what I have been thinking? I can relate to EVERY word you have written! As your mom stated, well said!

Tori said...

Whoah...how did you know what was in my head? Oh girl, how I can relate!

Tori said...

Oops. Thought my first comment was erased!

Anonymous said...

I realize that I might be in the catagory of giving too much advice. When I think of something to give advice about, its not to upset you, but to possibly help you out or make your life easier. I love you and would never want you to feel less than what you are. You are Wonderful and if you want to never bleach you contact case - Do Not Do It! Who cares!? You are wicked rad - don't ever forget it!

Jocelyn Lord said...

Wow you are a fascinating, halarious woman. I adore your writing, your humor, and your creativity. Your children are blessed to have a mother like you and I hope your husband sings you praises each and every day. You inspire and challenge me to be all that I can be and yet at the same time - let me know that its okay to be human. *sigh*