Monday, January 11, 2010

Tea For Teletubbies...

I am an overachiever of the worst kind. I'm the type of overachiever that believes {with regards to myself...not others} that if something is not going to be done to it's utmost and best thoroughness, it should not be done at all. This is a great trait to posses in high school where an entire semester's grade can be based upon one lone book report on The Catcher in the Rye. It also comes in handy when the closet needs cleaned and I have absolutely nothing else to do. If, however, you are a busy adult {such as myself} and carving out time to appropriately brush your teeth is some days a challenge, this trait can be downright debilitating.

Case in point: the girls received a mini porcelain tea set for Christmas. We all thought how fun it would be to use in our tea parties. I suggested that we invite Josefina & Chrissa {their new Christmas dolls}. Then, drunk on visions of pottery barn kids' catalogs and Martha Stewart crafting ideas, I started dreaming up all sorts of correlating activities to go along with our tea party: invitations adorned with glitter, handmade decorations, water crest finger sandwiches, fancy dresses...They all seemed like super fun activities with potential educational value.

In actuality, what I had just done was turn a simple act of play into an overwhelmingly intimidating task. I had built our tea party up so much in my own mind that I could no longer live up to my own expectations much less add the actual creation of such a grand tea party to our usual daily busyness. As much as I wanted to make it all happen, I thought it was slightly more important to make lunch. So, for days...{bless those little girl} no tea parties.

But, you see, those little girls of mine didn't care about invitations or water crest or Pottery Barn...they just wanted to have a tea party. Thankfully, my life journey has made me somewhat self-actualized and after a few days it hit me how my overachieving and unrealistic expectations were keeping them from this simple joyful experience. So, I opened up the tea set right there on the living room floor in front of our Christmas tree. There, in their jammies, they set up a wonderful tea party for their dolls and stuffed animals. It was nothing like I had imagined, but it could not have been more perfect.

I see myself repeating this very same cycle in multiple areas of my life: grocery shopping, house cleaning, sometimes even my Bench Monday shots. So lately I've been recognizing the value of taking smaller bites, taking one step at a time, and letting a tea party be just a tea party. As a long standing member of the "All or Nothing Club", this hasn't been easy letting go in this manner. But, I must say, it also feels really good!


barbara January 11, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

what a delightful story :) i'm happy you were able to let it go... it isn't always easy :)

Johnna Riddell January 11, 2010 at 1:13 PM  

you have such a great way about you. wanting the best, wanting "that" moment...
Looks like they had a beautiful tea party... and i love you bench monday. ;)

damiec January 11, 2010 at 2:04 PM  

You have so much more time for tea & parties when you're not sweating out every detail. From my vantage point, it looks like it was pretty perfect anyway!

Karina January 11, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

I'm right there with you. It's much easier said than done. You should be very proud you were able to live in the moment - now share more of you secrets so I can try as well.

molly/pink.goldfish January 11, 2010 at 7:32 PM  

i so know what you mean! great post!

Corinne January 11, 2010 at 7:53 PM  

Sometimes we get so caught up in the act of making memories that we forget the unplanned ones are the best :)
(that first picture had me giggling! So perfect!)

Grey Cottage Studio January 11, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

Oh God, I get this. It can be paralyzing. But I was right there with you on the tea party.

I am running the arts & crafts room at the school fair this year, and my co-chair rattled off a list of projects from Oriental Trading that she had found in an hour browsing session. She was ready to place the order, by God, when I felt it need several weeks of ruminating, sample projects, web searching perhaps a trip to the library. I admired her ability to move on so quickly, but I am having to do some deep breathing to let it go.

Amy January 11, 2010 at 9:46 PM  

So true and this struck me as funny because Charlotte got the book "Tea For Ruby" (love it, so cute!) for Christmas and I have been imagining making the little invitations and inviting a couple of our little friends...: ) Love the pictures!

Kristi January 12, 2010 at 9:44 AM  

I love how you have such a way of describing life...beautiful! Letting go isn't always easy but, it looks like they had a wonderful time. :)

Kris's Kaptured Moments January 13, 2010 at 7:29 AM  

love your story. always makes me smile. by the way, i love your little tea party. hehe

Kathleen January 13, 2010 at 10:15 AM  

Beautiful post, Maegan. I know just what you mean - in fact I read this post right after I abandoned the fort "we" were building. Tessa and Calder had lost interest, probably because I was overdoing it with clothespins and supports and all they wanted was to sit under a blanket with their mama... Sometimes the conflict between doing it "right" so we can be proud of ourselves and doing it so they have fun can be overwhelming...

Cora January 13, 2010 at 11:16 PM  

All or nothing is great...for the right moment or project. Then there is simple...simple is good no matter what...especially with kids! You'll figure it out.
Best of luck....

Shalet January 14, 2010 at 12:14 PM  

Wonderful Bench Monday! As I sit here and prep for my daughter's birthday party on Saturday I will keep your words in mind. I may need to let some things go. :o)

Anonymous January 14, 2010 at 2:45 PM  

Lovely post and so true! Letting go is often just what's neede. I can *so* relate to your whole tea party experience. Thanks for sharing!