Day 2: When Perfect Robs You of Something Good

Thanks for joining me in my “30 Days of Summer Entertaining” series.

Let’s just say that your excuse to not entertain has been that your house is too small.

But now that it’s summer, the outdoors provides the perfect space, right?

Possibly it’s not quite perfect enough for you, though. You don’t have money to buy the “nice” furniture from Pottery Barn, a brand new BBQ, patio decorations, or you don’t have anything to entertain the kids … so you settle for the smaller family barbeques because, hey! They won’t care, they are just family.

You let the imperfect stop you from having the people over that you really want to forge stronger relationships with. You know you should invite them, but you just can’t do it.

Perfect robs way too many of the good. The good in this case is that you put your pride aside, you come up with a plan that will work for company, you delegate portions of the meal if money is a problem, you borrow tables and chairs if that is a problem or spread a blanket on the ground, you spend 1/2 day cleaning the area that you want to spruce up.

You have to make an effort to overcome perfect.

Or it will steal something very good from you.

If you have a family, did you know that you are robbing your kids of beautiful memories and fun times, PLUS the joy of hospitable living, if you never have people over?

What’s your struggle with perfect?

Feel free to grab my button and share it with your readers, too.

30 days of Summer Entertaining

20 comments on “Day 2: When Perfect Robs You of Something Good”

  1. I just started reading this segment this evening, I didn’t realize it was a year old, but just had to comment. What you’ve written is been my problem for so long, I guess thats what drew me to your blog in the first place, ” reluctant entertainer” thats me,,, I want to entertain and dream of doing so but my insecurities hold me back. My house is too small, too clutterd, now all my kids live here again, its a mess, what if whatever I serve burns? I could go on and on. I have people other then family over a few times a year but would really like to do more out door entertaining and I just need to “GET OVER IT” and do it! Thanks for this post I can’t wait to read the rest.

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  10. My struggle with perfect comes & goes. I really try not to sweat the small stuff but sometimes it’s hard to.

    I really try to change my thinking and focus more on comfort (not just physical) than perfect. Love the commenter above that said they entertained in their backyard sitting in the grass, that is my kind of get together!

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  12. I’ve just found your blog and can relate to some much that you’ve written. I get very nervous and worked up before guests arrive….so much so it can start days before their arrival, but once the doorbell rings, then its take a deep breath and jump right in.
    Most occasions are really enjoyable and I am always left thinking why don’t I do this more often. My plan is this year I’m going to try so hard not get worked up about stupid things like dust, sqeaky cleanliness because quite frankly if friends notice even a fraction that I’m thinking they might, then they’re really not true friends.
    I’m quite new to this blogginess…but I’m looking forward to following your blog. Thanks ;-)

  13. I just stumbled you, sister. This is a convicting post!

  14. Great post Sandy! In the past when we’ve entertained outdoors (not having patio furniture), we would just lounge on the grass eating on our laps, or opening up the camp chairs and sitting in those in a circle. I envision someday having a great patio with furniture, but until then, we’ll make it work!

  15. oh i suffer from perfectionism BIG time. i wish i could let it all go. i know that my perfectionism stems from a need to be liked, a deep insecurity that i wish i didn’t have. i would love to have friends over but all i see is all of the lack, all of the imperfections. i see whats wrong and then it makes me feel bad, the insecurity flares up and my discomfort from it all makes me a less than lovely hostess.

    its a gross and vicious cycle.

  16. We love having people over. I think I have gotten over my struggle with perfect. When you go through as much as we have and have so many people do so much for you (like clean your house as you make funeral arrangements or care for a terminal child), you just learn to kind of let the small things go…like not having everything just so before the guests arrive. I like to have everything just so, but I don’t let it stop uf from having an impromtu gathering of friends or family. I WILL clear off the couch of all the laundry that needs folding before my duaghter’s family birthday party on Monday evening so at least Grandma will have a place to sit. ;)
    Summer Blessings,
    Christy

  17. I have really learned that some of our favorite times with friends have been an impromptu get together over leftovers or even pb and j! Our conversation was meaningful and we were relaxed because there was no expectations…so, when a meal is planned…I try to remember that it isn’t always about the details…I do allow myself certain occasions where I do expect “perfection” :) …just because I will always have a little bit in my blood. ( I promise, Sandy…it’s very seldom!) :)

  18. Our Memorial Day was far from perfect–the guys went down to the creek and built a dam (they’re engineers :) ), and then we played badminton with only a rope between two trees for a net. But pretty sure everyone enjoyed it, which is the point, right? :)

    I think you’d enjoy this short account of last-minute hospitality I found on another blog today: http://stolenmomentscooking.com/dijon-potato-salad/ It fits right in with your series this month!

  19. My struggle with perfect deals with animals and a husband’s expectations. He expects the house to be perfect and ours is not. Now when my parents visit, I strive to have things extra clean due to my mom’s allergies. Trying to take into account the fact that not everyone can live with pets in the house. Plus, my mom always taught me to strive to be perfect in all things.

  20. Perfect? What’s that? LOL! I just love to have people around me and laughing and having fun with friends. I know that perfection will never come so I’ve learned to relax and just enjoy the moment.

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