A few weeks ago I invited friends over for dinner. It had been a while since we’d had anyone outside of family over, and it had been even longer since our house had been on the market. In other words I’d really let the house go.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I’d mopped a single floor, and the cat hair tufts were arm wrestling the dust bunnies for position under every piece of furniture in the place. And the list of all our plans for the yard and the front porch had spent the entire summer sitting untouched, just like the weeds that were taking over out there.
As I rushed around, using the Shauna Niequist strategy for last-minute cleaning (frying bacon and swiping all the sticky spots with baby wipes), my friend texted to say she was on the way. As I held my phone in my hands, I crafted a clever reply:
“Don’t be intimidated by our awesome landscaping
and housekeeping when you get here!”
Haha! I’m so funny. High-larious, really. Well, maybe I’m actually less hilarious than I am self-deprecating. But as often as I do it, I must think that line of jokes is funny. Really, though, when I say things like that and make fun of myself, I’m apologizing.
For not being a good enough housekeeper
For not being a good enough wife, mom, friend
For not being productive enough
For not being efficient enough
For not being able to do it all, to get it together
For not being enough
That day, just minutes before our friends knocked on our covered-with-fingerprints front door and walked into our less-than-sparkling living room, I didn’t send that witty text message. That day, I decided I was finished apologizing. I decided that I am enough. And my simple dinner in my cluttered house was enough, too.
Like a lot of women, I apologize all the time. Too much, really. I apologize for my house, for my kids, for my hair, for my weight, for my tears, for my jokes, for my habits and hobbies and hopes and goals. But am I really sorry for these things? Or am I embarrassed or insecure or afraid or a dozen more things that are not-sorry?
Am I sorry? No. Not really.
So for the next 31 days I’m going to write about a few things I’m not sorry about – and I’m not going to apologize for anymore. My goal is to publish a post every single day in October – but if I don’t? I’m not going to apologize for that either.
[Disclaimer: Obviously, I’m not completely opposed to apologies! When I make a mistake or hurt someone, I believe an apology is absolutely necessary and offering one is simply the right thing to do. This series will be about false or empty apologies, the times we utter, “I’m sorry” out of habit or insecurity, and the ways we believe and communicate that who we are is not enough, too much or otherwise wrong. That’s the kind of sorry I’m not!]
This writing challenge is part of a larger community. To learn more, to sign up for your own 31 Days challenge, or to find more 31 Days series to read, visit this site.