I have battled with Pinterest Perfection since before it was a thing. Since I was old enough to discern who “had it together,” what “matched” and what looked “polished and well executed,” I’ve made it my goal to be “that person” and to have “that life.” Being raised in a family who didn’t care nearly as much as I did, was further grooming for battle with Pinterest Perfection. My parents, and rightly so, felt our money could be better spent on other things. I was forced to “do it on a budget” and “DIY” before those terms were part of the everyday vocabulary.
I remember spending hours pouring over the original American Girl catalogs. Do you remember those? There was Samantha, Kirsten and Molly and hundreds of accessories that cost hundreds of dollars. I was so fortunate to get an authentic doll but, due to price, the assorted trappings came sparingly over the next few years. I’d spend hours carefully attempting to craft the items out of cardboard and tinfoil. I’d have my mom and grandma handmake replica clothing all in an effort to create a scene worthy of the catalogue. Sound familiar?
Fast forward, and my doll size daydreams became teenage bedroom ambitions. I was constantly rearranging the furniture and drooling over fabric at the craft store. If only all my things coordinated. If only I had different furniture. If only things functioned this way or fit in here. When my room wasn’t enough, my scheming overflowed into other parts of the house fed by the TLC phenomena that was “Trading Spaces.” “Come on Dad, let me show you how moving the furniture around in the family room will make it so much better!” “Trust me mom, we should paint giant circles on the wall to match the throw rug you just bought, it will look great!” Thankfully, my parents had the wisdom to temper my interior design aspirations.
Full On Obsession
As an adult, it didn’t take long for my love of interior design and gregarious personality to expand into entertaining. Dreaming of the perfect party, the best BBQ, and the ideal layout for entertaining became my every waking thought easily fueled by Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, and finally Pinterest. Of course, it was always on a budget. It was always DIY. And I think that’s why Pinterest took such quick root in my heart. It played into all my dreams and aspirations perfectly. It brought them within reach – or at least it felt like it did.
There is this meme floating around that cracks me up every time I see it. It says something like, “Why buy it for $20 when you could easily make it yourself with $100 of craft supplies!” Plus several hours of your time. It is so easy to throw hard earned money and precious time down that hole. But there is something that 30-something me knows that 20-something me didn’t fully understand, as soon as you get what you want, something else will present itself as the new thing you “have to have.” The cycle is endless.
Pinterest Isn’t the Problem
I think it’s important to point out that I don’t have anything against Pinterest. Pinterest itself is a great tool and repository of ideas. But, kind of like how the Bible reminds us that “love of money” is a problem, not money, it’s the comparison and the continual feeling of less than or discontent with our situation that can come from Pinterest that is the problem.
Recovering from Pinterest Perfection
How do we tackle this? How do we break the cycle of Pinterest Perfection? How do become “okay” with being normal again? In a world that’s placing incredible value on things and looks and “ambiance” how do we say, I’m happy with what I have and how I live while still enjoying the process of creating and improving.
What form of perfection do you really desire?
First off, you need to recognize that the end is rarely the what you truly want. Do you really want a totally put together house? No. There’s a good chance that you want the put together life that the house represents. That is unattainable. People who live in perfect houses still have messy lives.
Will the end result really make you happy?
Or maybe, you yearn for the challenge and the creative outlet of getting to that perfectly put together house. If that’s the case, rejoice in the fact that you aren’t there yet! Because, once you are, the fun is gone. There is no more to do. Your house is perfect.
If you look around, you’ll see this yearning to leave our mark and improve our space is in everyone. Why do you think we are always hearing of celebrities moving into multi-million dollar homes and gutting them? The house was probably pretty perfect before, but they crave the creative process of transforming a space to be a representation of who they are. If your space isn’t exactly right yet, slow down and enjoy the journey of getting it there.
How can you manifest your desire in a real way?
When you look at a Pinterest perfect outdoor party, is it really the beautiful garden or the impeccably presented table that you envy. Probably not. It’s the idea of the type of party that’s happening in that space. The kind of party where people really slow down and connect with each other. The kind of party where phones stay in pockets and memories are made. Then make that your goal, foster that environment. It has a lot less to do with the beauty of the buffet table and a lot more to do with the people you invite and the mood you create.
The joy of the journey
If you dial in on the aspects of that perfect pin that really appeal to you at your core, you can start to manifest those in your everyday life often without even lifting a can of spray paint. It’s about intentionally living the life you’re called to live – not wallowing in discontent with the things you currently have. Everything you currently have is a blessing, give thanks for them and the progress you’ve made so far. Don’t throw endless resources down a hole that will give nothing back. Invest only in the things that bring you joy and embrace the process. That’s really what Pinterest is supposed to be about – the joy of creating, the thrill of discovery, enjoying the journey not just the destination.
How have you battled with Pinterest Perfection? Do you feel like your need to perfectly execute something holds you back from doing what you really love? Have you found ways to overcome those fears? I feel like so many women have a complicated relationship with Pinterest. I’d love to know what your struggles have been and how you’ve found joy in the midst of endless comparison.