I used to be really uptight (yes, more uptight than I am now!). My older kids lived under the tyranny of having to have things "just so." After a few (or more) babies, and then when John was on chemo for three years, it was impossible to hold onto any kind of standard of cleanliness or neatness. And then John had liquid diarrhea for months on end. "There isn't poop on the floor? Great!"
Today as I stood in the bathroom drying off my hands, I noticed teeth marks on the white faux wood blinds hanging in the window, many well formed, half moon impressions. In the past I would have taken this as a personal insult. I would have hunted down the guilty child (and I know exactly who that child is based on the height of the marks) and dragged them into the bathroom for a serious talking to. But because there's been a considerable whittling down in the area of caring about such things, I just chuckled.
Don't get me wrong: I like my white faux wood blinds. I still like having nice things. And I will speak to the guilty child, but I know now that bite marks on my blinds aren't very important.
When my older kids were little, I'd hear other parents talk about the things their kids had done, and I'd marvel at their calm reactions. How did they know what was important way back then? Why didn't I figure this out a long time ago?
My house may be a mess, my nice things may not be so nice anymore, and I may have bite marks on the white faux wood blinds in my bathroom, but I'm a calmer, more loving mother who has been far happier with just OK than I ever was with just so.