Cinco de Mayo Pasta

Hola! Happy Cinco de Mayo to everyone. If you are Latino, or just someone like me who looks for any excuse to eat Mexican or “Tex-Mex” food, you are probably warming taco shells or flour tortillas as we speak. Normally I would be doing the same. But since my whole life has turned topsy-turvy lately, perhaps it is only fitting that I should have prepared a nice dish of leftover pasta for this auspicious holiday.

As I’ve said before, I have been driven since childhood to do what was expected of me. To give the right answers. I wasn’t expecting much; only to Be Perfect. Sometimes I invested a lot of time and energy in the appearance of perfection, only to alienate people who found me smug and self-righteous. Hardly Perfect, I’d say! Still, I chased the illusion and sometimes still do, even in little things. I like to wear red on Valentine’s Day and maroon when visiting Texas A&M. When I have a kid visiting from college, I either (a) make cookies, or (b) feel inadequate if I don’t make any. And of course, I fix Tex-Mex food on Cinco de Mayo.

However, after sixteen months of living in an almost-constant state of “family emergency,” my perspective has changed. Right now I am carrying an extra load of responsibility for my mom, and another load for my sister’s family. I am happy to do what’s needed because I care about all of them. That being said, there is a significant amount of work and time involved. For me, Perfection has faded from a “priority” to an “ideal” and on down to a “non-issue.” Right about where it belongs.

If my loved ones’ bills and paperwork are in order, that’s good enough. I may not have worn red on Valentine’s Day, but I can guarantee I wore clothes. Good enough. Yesterday when I went out I forgot to wear earrings; today I skipped makeup and my shoes didn’t exactly go with my outfit. So what? I got my errands done. As near as I can figure, no one cares about whether or not I get every little detail just Perfect.

Actually, I find it rather restful to let go of these nit-picky expectations, most of them imaginary anyway, and just accept that sometimes “good enough” really IS good enough. It serves as a pleasantly humbling reminder to quit leaning on my own adequacy and accept Grace. I stayed busy all afternoon, arriving home hungry just before dinner time. And so instead of grilling fajitas, I heated up my leftover pasta and sat down to my Cinco de Mayo dinner with a thankful heart.

Thanks for reading!

And now it’s time for morning coffee with Rachel Anne and the Company Girls. Come have a cup!

This entry was posted in Near As I Can Figure.... Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Cinco de Mayo Pasta

  1. Steve Bato says:

    Have you ever seen the movie, Dream Team? It is a story about a few people in a mental institution. At one point Billy says to his doctor something like: “Doc, every day I get up, take a shower, and put my clothes on. What else do you want from me?” I’m with you, Jan. Sometimes that IS enough. Hang in there!


    • Jan says:

      Hi, Steve–
      I haven’t seen the movie, but Billy may indeed be onto something! Thank you for the encouragement.


  2. Star says:

    While I am far from being a perfectionist…I am a pleaser and strive to do what will make everyone happy…much the same result wise!

    It is freeing to let go!

    Yesterday, we had a super busy day and at 2:00 still hadn’t eaten lunch, so we celebrated cinco de mayo by eating nachos at Target…that is wrong on SO many levels. But my kids…they were SUPER happy!


    • Jan says:

      Mmmmm…. nachos…. I’m glad you were able to take off the “Nutritionist Mom” hat and put on the “Fun Mom” hat.


  3. Katharine says:

    Stepping back and letting go can be wonderful! One of my favorite sayings has become… “In the grand scheme of things, it’s just… ___________.
    Have a wonderful weekend!


    • Jan says:

      An excellent saying, which I may have to adopt. I LOVE the gardening attitude & priorities in your post today –we must put our heads together sometime.
      Thank you for visiting!


  4. Kelly C says:

    Enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Pingback: 2011 In Review | Joywriting: Everybody Has a Story

Comments are closed.