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9 December 2010

I am what I am

I came to the computer this morning without much of an idea of what, if anything, to write today but a comment from yesterday has me here tapping away again.

Thank you for your comment. It made me smile and highlighted for me, again, why I have continued blogging for so long. You have a blog, as many of the readers here do, and I'm sure you know that you go through periods when you really don't know what to write or even if you should. The criticisms that sometimes come in emails, the occasional jibes in comments and seeing yourself written about in other blogs or forums, not always in the kindest of lights, can make in real impact on the enthusiasm one writes with. I am very lucky in that 99 percent of what I've seen written here and in other places has been positive. I am grateful for that, I'm not sure I'd still be here if it were different. I know it's cut many good bloggers off at the knees.

I never aim for perfection. I have written about that in the past on a few occasions mainly for the reason you state in your comment - "If we had to be perfect at this endeavor, in order for it to 'count,' I would be too discouraged to even try." I'm not perfect, there is no such thing, not for any of us. All I try for each day is to do the best I can do on that day. Sometimes the bar is high, sometimes it's not, but the important thing is that I try. I'm as flawed as the next person. I make mistakes. There are days I don't want to do what I know I should, but I always live by my values. If I fall short one day I know there will be other days when I excel and over time I hope the scale balances out in my favour.

I'm not going to self-censor either. What you see is what you get. I don't stage my photos. What would be the point of that. Some people don't understand that to try to be perfect all the time, is so exhausting and pointless it takes time away from the important things. So I'm pleased to know you're out there not expecting perfection from me, or from yourself. Let's move forward together trying not for perfection but to do our best each day. It's gentler, kinder and we open ourselves up to learn more.

With respect, appreciation and love,


  1. Dear Rhonda Jean,
    Trying to be perfect is just too stressful for me. My motto is "I love my mess"!! You are doing such a great job of 'guiding' your readers and what and how you do things makes you who you are and we love you for it! I love my life and always try to make it just a bit better for me and others, but it is my life.
    Thank you for being who you are and for all you do for us.
    Hugs and blessings!

  2. Your post today brings to mind a quote attributed to Michael J. Fox, actor:

    I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence I can reach for, perfection is God's business.

  3. Love your honesty Rhonda and that's why I'm here each morning checking out your writings and learning new ways of doing things. This is part of my life and while you write I'll be here reading and sometimes saying hello through the comments section. I think of you as one of my friends and I enjoy our friendship even if I never get to meet you in person. Of course that includes Hanno the quiet achiever as well.

    Blessings Gail

  4. Gail, you have said everything that I would have said, so succinctly. Keep up the wonderful blogs, Rhonda, they are part of my daily ritual.

    Thanks and best wishes,


  5. What IS perfection? I think it's an unattainable state. What is "perfect" for one person is not for another.

    Imperfection is so much more interesting!

    Keep on being what you are Rhonda and thank you so much for your wonderful blog - I love it!

  6. Hi Rhonda, I have not commented for awhile as time etc sometimes overtakes me or I simply may just fully agree and have nothing to add but I am a regular visitor and just so repect the honesty of your blog,just a simple thank you says everything,so thank you for all you have taught us, shared with us and shown us.Carolexx

  7. You are a lovely woman Rhonda but nobodies fool, which I think is great.
    I found your blog some years ago when my husband fell ill when he was travelling away from home. Reading through the honesty of your posts made me feel like I knew you as a friend and gave me comfort when I was lonely (the doctors flew him back to me after six weeks when he was fit to travel). The knowledge that I don't need to be perfect is what has made me embrace my home. Another defining moment was when you said that you shouldn't try to finish housework as it will never be finished. Completely took the pressure off me and now I can relax and enjoy the actual work.
    You and you honest & very real approach to life have made a lot of difference to my life. Looking forward tot he book by the way.

  8. Thank you so much for your wonderful thoughts. I always enjoy them. I'm a fairly new blogger, and I'm always flabbergasted by the things people take the time to criticize. I do know some bloggers who have quit because of it and that's such a loss. A little compassion and the understanding that perfection is a myth - would go a long way.
    Thanks for continuing to be who you are...because that's perfect!

  9. Thankyou Rhonda. Wish more people would be honest. I don't strive for perfection but to do the best i can at whatever i'm doing. I love to read your posts & look forward each morning to seeing what is on your blog.

  10. Two of my most famous is what it is and I am what I am! Our Higher Power did not make humans to be perfect; we were made to live and learn. Thank you for sharing, Rhonda.


  11. Oh Rhonda, we may be oceans apart, but you are a very inspiring neighbor! I started knitting again, and I've made my first batch of laundry soap. I would never have made soap without your inspiration - boy does it save a lot of money!!! I might have knit again, but who knows.

    My house absolutely, mess and all, screams that "This is me". Some days I feel like doing things, others not so much.

    I don't do everything that you do, but I'm still very inspired by you. You also post about things that enlighten or makes me think. I love that!

    I'm always encouraged to try new things and NOT try some things ... LOL. Don't ever stop being who you are.

    Many, many hugs

  12. Some people don't understand that to try to be perfect all the time, is so exhausting and pointless it takes time away from the important things.

    I'm one of those people. I dislike it A LOT!
    That's why I don't blog, why I spend so much time procrastinating, feeling guilty, feeling like I'm not good enough and just generally being busy beating myself up about not being perfect. It makes me miserable and I need to change it. Coming here each day helps, I feel like you are a friend and mentor.
    cheers Kate
    cheers Kate

  13. Well said Rhonda dear. On perfection: I am reminded of something I read in a book about the Islamic culture. The section I was reading was about the beautiful intricate handwork done by the women and it included glorious photographs. Then I read that into this meticulous work a mistake is deliberately placed because no human being is perfect, only God/Allah.

    As a sometimes wanna be perfectionist and an agnostic this was, for me, a sobering and useful reflection.

  14. Oh my Rhonda timely this post was. I stopped by and read once...and thought "who would ever think Rhonda's way of living was wrong?" or who would ever say anything to make you feel bad!? **Then** I checked my comments from my post about my simple life, today, and I got a comment (anonymous, of course) that wondered if my children will be ready for college or work since we are homeschooling...and other words...and also telling me I shouldn't fear the modern life!

    I don't think anon read my post well enough because, more than once, I emphasized that this is what works best for *us*!
    But you are right...99% of the comments I get are encouraging as well. I choose to build from those!I always enjoy your blog and *you*! I hope you have a lovely rest of the week!

  15. root and twig has often encouraged me too. She's a doll!

    I've enjoyed your blog, Rhonda Jean, for a LONG time but have never commented (to the best of my memory) but you have inspired me so many times to stick with my dreams of being more "down to earth" so thanks so much.


  16. "All I try for each day is to do the best I can do on that day. Sometimes the bar is high, sometimes it's not, but the important thing is that I try".

    That's a lightbulb idea for me! Just when I think I've got it as worked out as much I ever will (which is not that much actually, but is more than it used to be back when I was 'being perfect') I find something new. So, thanks to you Rhonda, I now have a new little affirmation to reassure myself with on those days when I can't seem to quite reach the heights I'd like to!

  17. Rhonda I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog which I discovered after reading your articles in 'Burke's backyard'. Today is my first day of retired life and in the last 3 months since I decided to finish teaching after 39 years, your posts have helped me formulate the kind of life I now want to have. Many thanks!

  18. A warm hello from the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains! I've been reading your blog for about a month, and I can say quite truthfully it has fast become one that I look forward to more with each post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wonderful world with us. Now, I really must go stir my homemade soon-to-be vinegar. ;)

  19. One of the better sayings I've heard is "Good enough is the enemy of perfection".

    I realise that I'm happy with good enough, because as you say, it's exhausting trying to make everything perfect! In fact if you hold onto perfection too highly you will most often be disappointed. (Think of weddings!)

  20. When we are able to live through our hearts, the world becomes magical, full of beauty, abundance and great joy!

    We need to TRULY BELIEVE that we are enough. We need to be able to look at ourselves and say...

    I am enough.



  21. Dearest Rhonda,
    Your post brought tears to my eyes...I've arrived at a point where I'm overloaded with mean, nasty people coming on the heels of a year of teachers who are horrible to my daughters at school, it's all so senseless and now someone being mean here. I think anyone who is critical is covering insecurities and lashing out from a hidden place. It's bullying from behind a computer. I had been thinking of writing a blog on my daughter's educational experiences as they are amazing and different but now I've decided my time would be spent better reading or walking on the beach.
    Again Rhonda I want to say thank heavens for you, your generosity of spirit reaches into my day, you always give me something to ponder on, you are a role model in many ways for so many of us.

  22. And you being you is why we enjoy reading about you.

  23. Hello Rhonda: I do so agree with you. I to blog,it is for me not really for anyone else.Good therapy and pain reliever in my case. I am what I am also. It is all me,I love how you put it so eloquently.
    I am glad I have readers who enjoy my blog, and I enjoy yours . But I will not pretend to be someone I am not just to get readers. I like your style. We should all stay true to our selves. Thank you for being you.

  24. I just thank God that you are you and don't have to try and justify every 'footprint' .. I think we'd all be in the looney bin or playing into the hands of the ultra-left-ooober-fringe conservationists that don't have a life .. outside counting footprints :)

    Blessings to you dear!

  25. Thank you all for taking the time to leave such lovely comments.

    Maria, congratulations, what a great day for you! I wish you the very best in all you do.

    42 things, thank you for making your first comment. It means a lot to me to know a little bit about the people who read here.

    Good to see you again, Carol.

    Hello Lizzie, thanks for your comment. I think it's amazing how we are all connected. Take care.

  26. HI Rhonda

    I love that your posts are natural and unstaged. I have received lots of inspirations from your posts and readers comments. Next year my resolution is to start making my own bread, something I've always wanted to do.
    I have been finding also good reading at from Brene Brown. Her book on imperfection sounds very intersting.
    kind regards

  27. Jill, thanks for sending that link. What a wonderful blog! I've put her in my reader.

  28. You are so right. First of all none of are perfect. I have been trying to figure out why I feel like I cannot accomplish all the things that I want to. I think that I am trying too hard. I have so many things in my mind to do that it keeps me from getting anything done. Perfect....I am far from it. My Mom thinks I am perfect....she is the only one!! ha! The reason I love this blog is because you are so real. I can relate. You have taught me so many things and I thank you.

  29. Please dont change a thing - like Gail said we love your honesty. I love the photos of the dishes drying on the sink and Hanno in the garden. Gail is right thats why we read it evcery morning and think of you both as friends.

  30. Rhonda,
    Long time, no comments. Life happens!
    But think about it, if you woke up one morning and were perfect then what would you do. Imagine that everything was perfect, no morning routines, no problems to work out, no unfinished projects. All that you could do is sit perfectly still in your perfect world and try not to mess anything up. My head would explode!
    We think of you as a friend and care about you and your family.
    And today I bought all of the ingredients for homemade laundry soap. Finally!

  31. I,too, just want to say thank-you for all that you share.
    Life's too short for perfection and just long enough for sharing.:)

  32. Hello Rhonda,

    First time comment! Yay.... that's pretty perfect.

    I made marmalade for the first time at the weekend from a very old recipe of my Nanna's. It was a little runnier than I thought it should be, but I'll do better next time. It tasted DELICIOUS and to me that's perfect!

    This blog site is perfect!

    We just have to re-define the meaning of perfect!

    Luv, Julie J

  33. I have just read your blog for today Rhonda, and have sat her giving you the round of aplause it so rightfully deserves.
    Particularly for this time of year where consumerisun is high and exspectations even higher. if we tryed to even remotly set ourselves upo to be the perfect cereal poacket family we will always fall short of the advertisers dreams. To be yourself and do as best as you can for the day ahead is all we can ever hope to do.
    I am glad I am so wonderfully flawed as all the people I know love and treasure are.
    have a great day

  34. As I read your wonderful post, Rhonda, and all the affirming comments: three thoughts sprang immediately into my mind: 1) a quote by Barbara Bush, former first lady of the US: "The darn trouble with cleaning the house is it gets dirty the next day anyway, so skip a week if you have to. The children are the most important thing." I think these words can apply whether one has children or not. Or whether one agrees with her family's politics! :) And 2) the famous biblical verse "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 6:48) A quick google search brought this insight into "perfection": 'Jesus calls on his followers to be children of God in this same quality. In other words, you must love without partiality, as God does.' This is set in the context of "love your enemies" at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. It has nothing whatsoever to do with DOING (what we do), but rather with BEING (who we are). And 3) I remember being so bent out of shape when I "only" received "A-" in all of my Master's degree work and how I strived for an "A"....this despite working full-time and being in my first year of marriage. Now, 25 years later, I can look back and laugh at my strivings for "perfection" and say "Wow, I received an A-!"

  35. I wondered if your blog comments today were directed at my forum comments yesterday. The last intention would have been to criticise as I admire what you do. The comment re olive oil was simply an idea to put forward as part of this forum. I, too, am not perfect but simply enjoy an exchange of ideas and thoughts on improving the quality of life. Re Jaimie's comment - I agree with you re the Cobram oil - especially after the detailed reporting recently informing the public that most Italian and Spanish olive oil imports contained large quantities of other oils not mentioned on the label - whereas Australian olive oil is required by our food laws to state its purity - but even more importantly: to buy Australian is to support our farmers. Jan

  36. Rhonda, some very honest and thought provoking words here. Don't ever change. Both me and my family have had a very stressful year (I was made redundant and now I'm contracting). Your words have given me the strength to be positive, and look forward to a brighter future (and I've learned a lot from you!). I look forward to your blog, daily. Blessings, from one grateful fan in New Zealand. Bev :)

  37. Thanks Rhonda! Your mindful living and joy in the 'little things' is truly inspiring. I love that we can never be perfect, as the nature of our beings is to grow & expand. I have enjoyed reading your blog for some time, and love that you are open to new ways of being at one with our Earth, yourself and other beings, and that you find so much joy and gratitude in your growth and expansion. Perfection in the imperfection! With much love and gratitude. Erica. xx

  38. I'm really sorry to read about the sort of criticism, jibes and negative comments you have encountered. Was shocked actually.

    Finding your blog had been a real joy for me. You have such a gift of giving us a new perspective on things to do with homemaking and life in general. Also, making what was again!

    I hope a lot of young homemakers read your blog too - such a wealth of practical information. I'd have loved to have read it 40 years' ago :)

  39. Being yourself is what got you where you are (which is a good place as far as I'm concerned!). Mostly, I think I know what I'm going to wtite when I sit down to blog but it quite often ends up completely different!
    If I ever try to plan a clever post too much or be unnaturally 'funny' it backfires on me and readers lose interest. I go back to 'being myself' and harmony is restored :-)
    Teresa x

  40. So delighted to have found your blog. I can't wait to read some of your older posts. This one is full of such wisdom. Thanks for sharing yourself! Your blog is lovely!

  41. Dear Rhonda,

    One of the reasons I like your blog so much is because it is "real", not perfect. Thank you for all of your encouraging posts and real living. I've learned so much from you and have been making changes, bit by bit, to live a simpler more satisfying life.


  42. Hi Rhonda, I'm pleased you don't let the negativity get to you, it is, after all their issue, not yours. I recently mentioned you on my blog, as someone the world needs more of Thanks for being you x

  43. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    And thank you for continuing to give us this wonderful blog, to come to. And learn from. And be inspired by.

    Gentle Winter hugs, from the NE of the US...

  44. Thanks for that post, it was beautiful... and with great comments too.

    I find blogging is a great way to share ourselves - and there can be great vulnerability in that... but never let it stop you.

    Your post has got me thinking about blogging.
    When writing about difficult circumstances (as I've had to over the past year) I often wonder how to approach it - I believe in a 'warts and all' approach .. and yet don't like to dwell in the negative. So, I find the blog is a good way for me to remember what it is I'm wanting and aiming for.

    Yet, I like to remain true to what I'm feeling also... and not just 'put a happy face' on things (or go into a rant or moan!).

    I guess what whatever comes out at the time is good enough. Its ... true.

    Thanks for getting me thinking Rhonda Jean.


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