The Good ChinaA friend once told me a story about finally getting the kids down for a nap one day just as the doorbell rang. In the driveway, she saw her best friend’s car. She looked around at her messy house, with laundry and life’s debris everywhere, and dreaded answering the door–especially because her best friend was always so put together.

She answered the door and there was her friend with a cranky baby on her hip. “I’m all ‘mommy brain’ today and I needed some friend time,” her friend said and then saw the mess in the house and gasped. “Oh, thank goodness!” she said. “I thought only my house looked like this.”

Recently, my mom visited a friend of hers and said, “Your house always looks so nice. Between work and the grandkids, I don’t know how you do it. I know I’m busy, but my house never looks like this.”

Her friend smiled and said, “Did you ever notice that when you come over, we sit in the kitchen or in the living room and never venture to other parts of the house?”

“No, I never really thought about it,” my mom said.

“Well,” her friend said, “Allow me to show you the basement. When someone comes over, I take everything out of place from the kitchen and living room and toss them in the basement.”

On my last visit to my Grandma, her house was cleaner than I’d ever seen it, and yet, she lamented about how messy it was and even said that she’d noticed that my parents’ house was never messy.

I laughed. “I’ll tell you a secret,” I said. “We straighten things up at the last minute before anyone comes over. We don’t actually live like that, Grandma. I don’t think anybody does.”

Comparing ourselves to one another is a waste of time and energy. One way or another, none of us has it all together.

Let’s enjoy the moment, with the kids and the messy house, with the grandkids and the messy house, with the relatives over in the messy house. Absorb today because tomorrow things change.

Let go of perfection. Stop waiting for “better” times. It’s time to use the good china.

Jody Brown is the author of Upside Down Kingdom, and is a multi-blogger, poet, and traveler. To learn more about her current writing projects, or for ways to donate toward their completion, see