A Different Kind of Good

As I discover more and more about the real me, the authentic me, I am realizing that I am a good girl. Just in a different way.  I love the simple home life. The good life, not the perfect life. Sitting around a candle-lit table with my family at the end of day, sharing dinner, my lap, and laughs (or screams-yes, candle light does not necessarily mean quiet) makes me supremely happy. Watching my girls play in the backyard while I do the dishes or make dinner, enjoying a glass of wine, fills me with content. Learning that when it all comes to a screeching halt because “she hit me!” I can and sometimes do “keep calm and carry on.” Knitting a pair of mittens, stitch by stitch, then watching them be worn day in and day out, is a source of pride for me. I haven’t bought a new, trendy outfit in over a year.  And while I like looking cute, this does not make me supremely happy. Family, our garden, good home-cookin’ or baking, thank you notes, pumpkin patches, an autumn rhyme recited by the five-year old, a mid-afternoon phone chat with a dear friend about the big questions in life (with children providing background noise that we are getting so good at just talking over!), a fresh batch (a year’s worth!) of local raw honey, connecting with a neighbor, morning walks, muddy boots, reading books, hot cocoa, honoring the seasons in the way we live our life, cozy beds, warm sleep hearts, kid snuggles, having a hard day and knowing that each new hour or day might bring me something from this list of simple things. . . this makes me happy. Because it really doesn’t take much, folks.  The real me appreciates goodness. Simple goodness.

I used to read blog posts similar to this one and somehow I would turn these images into PERFECT images.  A candle-lit dinner in my mind became a candle-lit dinner with the perfect, organic, whole-foods meal in which every child ate heartily and everyone was in their own seat with the table manners of a 1950s school girl.  Now I know that my “good enough” candle-lit dinner might mean candles lit, pizza from Pizza Hut for dinner and kids in both of our laps because they are melting at the end of a long day.  Hand-knit mittens in Good Girl’s mind meant everything the child wears is made of real, organic material (nothing synthetic) and looks beautiful and was hand-made by mom.  My “good enough” hand-knit means that last year I made mittens.  The rest of their outerwear was quite synthetic and not always beautiful.  This year, I’m tackling vests.  One thing at a time, one project a year.

So I want you to know that my life is full of goodness every day.  And that also means it is full of dishes that don’t get done for 2 days, smoothies that sit out over night so a line of ants greets us first thing the next morning, plenty of mornings where Big C has no clean underwear, sleep deprivation, short tempers, both of us telling the girls they are annoying, moments of self-doubt, trips through the drive-through, and a little bit of a dependence on PBS kids.  I’m starting to understand that this is all a part of the goodness.  The balance of “beautiful” moments countered by the “ugly.”

If I let go of my Good Girl ideals, I am finding that it is all a part of the good life.

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