Adventures in Imperfection

Needa, Wanna, Shoulda, Gotta

What waits on my desk...
What waits on my desk…

It’s only Tuesday and already it’s been an interesting week. I’m thankful to have spent Saturday with my daughter and Bestie, to have a husband who is patient with my work/insomnia-induced moods and a son who appreciates peace offerings in the form of chocolate chip cookies.

A year ago tomorrow I wrote the little ditty below, hit publish and didn’t tell anyone until about a month later! It was my first post and a toe-dip into a whole new and wonderful world of writing.



Hello friend and thank you for visiting!

As you can see, this site is still being built and will always be a work in progress. Kinda like we all are, right?

What you will eventually read are my “adventures in imperfection” with the intent that your own daily (parenting, partnering, working, surviving, living) mishaps aren’t so bad.

I hope you’ll stop by and visit again. At best, I live in my own little happy world and am okay with that…people know me there!

See you again soon,

Mama Mick


Bet you wish I was still this brief 🙂

Reading this short post about imperfection was a good reminder this morning–especially after spending a few pre-dawn hours in the boxing ring with my beat-up brain. Doesn’t it seem that we often focus on things we don’t do particularly well, compare ourselves to others and forget that no one is perfect? Do you ever have days where most of your sentences start with:

I need to: (insert your own)

  • clean
  • exercise
  • get organized
  • meditate
  • mow
  • be a better–mom, wife, husband, father, person, employee

I gotta:

  • eat better
  • get more sleep
  • make a list
  • check it twice
  • spend more time with _________

I should:

  • do this
  • do that
  • be more patient
  • wash my face before bed
  • do the laundry, get the groceries

BUT, I wanna:

  • crawl back into bed
  • hide
  • play hooky
  • sit on the couch
  • retire

And, here’s where it gets dicey:


  • I was smarter
  • More ambitious
  • More popular
  • Prettier, skinnier, in better shape

If only I was perfect.

But, we ain’t! We never will be. Life would be way less interesting if we were perfect, right? I just told my son last night that it’s okay to make mistakes–especially in the safety and comfort of his own home. We ALL make mistakes.

As I sat with him and tried to convey a message that plagues my own heart, my mind started to conjure up a few rules. They are simple, not scientifically validated, but seem to work in a pinch.

  • No negative self-talk. We will not talk to ourselves in ways that are worse than what we reserve for strangers.
  • Say what’s in your heart. Don’t save it for weddings or funerals. Love is not reserved for special occasions.
  • Saying sorry heals woundsDo you ever feel like you are the worst parent/spouse/person in the world? Taking the opportunity to admit you’re wrong and provide a sincere apology is not a weakness. For parents, this provides a great teaching moment and will let  your kiddos see you at your most real and vulnerable self. It gives them the confidence to do the same.
  • Practice gratitude. Appreciate the people who are in the trenches with you. Unfortunately, there is always someone having a worse day than you. Life is too short to miss opportunities to be thankful.
  • No perfection allowed. Homes with perfect Stepford-like people are boring and unattainable. Dishes will break and spills (smells!) will happen. Life is messy and wonderful.
What hangs on my kitchen wall…

Speaking of gratitude.

When I started writing a year ago, I didn’t think anyone would read my ramblings (except for the poor folks whose arms I twisted). Sending a heartfelt thank you to the 1087 followers who read my stuff and comment, to close blogger buddies who have kept me going and to my family who provide the unconditional love and infinite content.

Thank you! Thank you!



Audience participation time: What “rules” do you follow in your own home? What shall I write about in the next year to come? Be sure to share in the comments below


PS: The smell is GONE!!


84 thoughts on “Needa, Wanna, Shoulda, Gotta

      1. You know you’re too harsh on yourself, right? You’re the best mom, a great wife, and a loving friend. And there’s the 3-0 Fantasy Football team.

        What else could you possibly do better?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Good morning Michelle!! It’s so hard to quiet that internal critical voice, isn’t it! I find it sometimes a challenge to get that right balance between thinking I can get better and things, and accepting myself for who I am today. Some weeks are better than others 🙂

    I’m very glad we found each other.


    1. Dear Ann,
      Makes me happy to see you here this morning. Oh, those crazy voices, right?
      In the short time I’ve come to know you, I’m guessing you have endless lists, too. Great point about striking a balance…I should add it to the rules!
      I hope that you are having a better week and I’m very glad to have found you, too!


  2. Oopsie – sent the comment in the contact form! So here it is again
    (I’ll get the routine down sooner or later…snort)
    Hey, where’s the “laugh” and “dance in the sun and rain”? More chortles! (keeps the “perfect” in it’s place…a place waaaaaay over there somewhere Love the little face. (whimsical, but also great texture, shadows, and shapes.Nice catch)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes! You are so right.
      We should definitely add laugh and dance to the list.
      So great to hear from you…it always makes my day to see your gravatar cross these pages.
      That little “face” was a gem I found in my garden. I keep him on my desk 🙂


  3. You are such a sweet and humble person Michelle, I think I am naturally a pessimist but I am trying very hard to live life as an optimist and you help me with that every time I read one of your posts. So glad I met you. 🙂


    1. Diana,
      I don’t think you are a pessimist at all! In fact, it’s very evident that you practice gratitude and forgiveness every day. You are a gem, dear friend!
      As always, I love hearing from you! I hope you are having a great week!


  4. It’s such a privilege to watch you grow as a writer/blogger, yet without “outgrowing” the honesty and sincerity that makes your writing — and who you are — such a joy. You are a constant reminder of what’s truly important in life, and that in a hectic world those who don’t make a conscious effort to slow down eventually find themselves at a destination they never intended. I, along with 1,087 readers and growing, are very glad to be art of that “little world” that knows you.

    Cheers and happy blogiversary, Michelle 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww….thanks, Ned!
      This is the part of the post that my husband likes to call the “love fest.” Personally, it’s my favorite part.
      I tell you often that I have learned so much from you and it continues to ring true in ever sense. Thank you for offering so much support, honesty and for leading me down the right paths by example. You are one of the truest tellers I know!
      Also, thank you for not judging me or making fun of my over eager tendencies when it would have been easy to do so.
      You rock, Sir Ned (insert favorite Monty Python scene here)
      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I like this one “Say what’s in your heart. Don’t save it for weddings or funerals. Love is not reserved for special occasions.” and the one about practicing gratitude. There are others there I need to learn, but YAY YOU for being here a year and for doing so very well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. only 1087 readers?
    so many don’t know what they are missing!
    while i do love you i will stray a bit from the love fest to the message I am taking away

    which is great and bears repeating and re-hearing:

    “If only I was perfect.

    But, we ain’t! We never will be. Life would be way less interesting if we were perfect, right? ”

    I have been should/coulda/woulda-ing myself right into a standstill in my life, my blogging, my everything. Because it cannot be perfect, hell, I’d even settle for pretty good! I get into a pit of fear that masks as perfection but, seriously, no, it’s not at all. It’s just fear. Of what?
    Question for the ages. Sometimes i have a handle on it, other times not so much. However those words jumped out and slapped me across the face this morning, so they must be true. grateful for this year (year? I thought you had been blogging a lot longer than that!) and the friendship of another Michelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry I slapped you so hard…I didn’t mean to leave a mark 😉

      You have words that struck right me back…”it’s just fear. Of what? Question for the ages.”

      That durned question and the pit. I was talking my son off the ledge last night all while trying not jumping off myself. It was normal high school angst stuff, but you know how that hits you as a mama…the woulda/coulda/shoulda is front and center even as the mother hen feathers fly everywhere.
      It’s one of those days where I’d love to hop in a convertible with you, fly down the CA coastline and figure all the messes out.
      I’m very grateful for the friendship of another Michele, too. xo right back at ya!


  7. I like your rules. I think #1 is one that M polices; we were setting up characters on the new Wii and he started after me when I “added” more weight to mine.

    I think nothing is off limits for conversation, whether we want to talk about it or not. Hear the other person out.

    Of course, #1 rule for us is this is a benevolent dictatorship, not a democracy, in the house. Even though he is 18 now, I am still the mom. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Could you feel me channeling you in this post? Lists have been on my mind since I read about yours last week 🙂

      What a cool kid to call Mom on the carpet and I love your note about hearing the other person out. Imagine how many problems in this world be solved if that happened more often.

      I’m totally stealing “Benevolent Dictatorship.” Do you think we could get matching shirts…or tiaras???

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s weird, he has depression but a very good sense of ego and self esteem. Which seems like it would be contradictory but it isn’t. He’s always been like that 🙂

        I just saw something online right after reading this post. It was something like “You cannot raise children who are self controlled and gentle if you are not.” I think these “rules” go a long way toward that goal 🙂

        I forget who told me benevolent dictatorship, maybe it was a therapist years ago, but it’s perfect, right?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. If Only…

    Fated words, uttered loud and forceful
    (expletives deleted) with hot breath fast and panicked.

    If only…

    if only…

    those words have marched in lock step
    with this silly goose so desperate to be a swan
    goose stepping right along with the best
    of the fuhrer’s furor-troops and shock tropes.

    my friend spoke of these, and sentences that
    jail themselves with these bars “if only”.

    well, I “if only”-ed myself into Horner’s Corner
    and stuck in a thumb to pull out

    if only i had not said that
    if only i had thought before i moved
    if only i was smaller
    if only i was quieter
    if only my body…yeah.


    if only the blood didn’t come out of the wounds
    if only…
    if only…
    (i whisper this, shame steals my voice but not the evil thought)

    if only i had never been…

    Those are my “if only”s.

    So, how to go on to “yet I shall”

    “yet shall I praise Them”
    “yet shall I lift my eyes up to the mountains, from whence shall my help come”
    “yet shall I bow”
    “yet shall I breathe”
    “yet shall I hope”
    “yet shall I say sorry until the word is a worn out Hush Puppy”

    “and yet shall I love, shall I love, shall I love thru it all”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Yet I shall”
      What a great addition to a simple post. I kept my part short on purpose so that I could hear more wisdom and insight from people like you.
      You just did what you always do, Charissa. Share your heart’s message in a way that reaches others via grace and inclusion.

      Thank you, my friend! xo


  9. The only Rules here are:
    1. Love God
    2. Love my “neighbor”
    3. Love myself

    I wish I were better at following them, instead of cluttering myself up with to do lists, wish lists, shopping lists, if-onlies and regrets!

    Thank you for a thought-provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooooh happy blogiversary! Mine is also coming up soon. We’re like siblings in this world! Ha. I love your breakdown of the needa, wanna, shoulda. It’s so dang true and I’m wrestling with it right now. Because I really REALLY needa get in the shower. But I wanna lay here on my laptop.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My need to, wanna, shoulda, gotta list got long enough on Monday to wake me out of a peaceful sleep. I woke up with my heart racing before I even opened my eyes and I knew I needed to surrender. For me, that means giving myself permission to not do it perfectly. I watched a Bill Johnson Bible study DVD last week and he said, “I don’t have time to think anything about myself that God isn’t thinking about me.” That puts negative self-talk in a whole new perspective. I love your rules and am adopting them all! Congrats on a year of blogging. It’s a better blogosphere with you in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Ahhh, Mama, you’re the best. You don’t need to add any more rules. In fact, in my experience there are really only two rules in life that shouldn’t be broken. And how we stop from breaking them (or mend them when we do) is how we grow. I’m not against lists or rules or any other behaviour guidelines, but truly they have to be recrafted from situation to situation. And again they have to reflect the main two rules in a topical way.

    You are a kind and caring person Mama and adding more rules or lists is not gong to change that. You have what it takes already – you are the perfect you – there is only one of you and the world would be incomplete without you. I read your blog to feel that reality and enjoyment of life – even when you have problems, like the rest of us, you see them in a positive light (even if that means -“Where the hell is the end of this problem?’) Ha!

    No, I don’t think you should have more rules – actually I think you could likely be fine with a few less rules – but that is entirely up to you. It will all work out in the end – it always does.

    Oh, the two rules?

    “36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    37 Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
    38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
    39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
    40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes that Golden Rule is all we really need right, Paul?? Thank you for reminding me of that.
      I always appreciate when you stop by and add your kindness and wisdom. I missed your cuppa time this weekend…plan to see me back there again real soon!


  13. And your blog is the eighth wonder of the world Michelle 🙂 Gladly a member, especially when we can partake in your journey with you as you show your courage and share your heart to the world.
    Ok, maybe not the smelly one 🙂


    1. Aw shucks, Mark. You are too kind. Thank you for always being so good to stop by and comment. I haven’t had a notification about what you’ve been up to lately. I need to hop over there and see for myself. Thank you again for stopping by.


    1. Hello dear friend!
      Oh, how I have missed you!!
      I hope you had a great summer and the school year is going smoothly.
      I’ll be back to visit you…I think you have two posts that I haven’t read yet. xo


      1. I have missed you too – and I have many posts to get caught up on – but I like to get caught up when i can take my time – or at least try to – ha!
        and oh wow – this month is going down as one of the quickest months ever – I cannot believe it is the 24th already – It feels like I blinked my eyes and bam – weeks went by. Just fast compared to there months that drag or seem to last way too long –

        anyhow, love the sign that hangs on your kitchen wall – and it seems to fit you – the words – the artsy font – and even the seasoned patina just feel like mama-mick-joy

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Reading your kind words makes me realize that I truly need to practice what I preach.
        Having kind of a tedious day and knowing that you are out there in the trenches with a smile on your face and love in your heart reminds me to do the same. Thank you, Yvette! xo


    1. From my dear Dani:

      “Say what’s in your heart. Don’t save it for weddings or funerals. Love is not reserved for special occasions.”

      It’s so true. It’s important that others know what they mean to us. And on the flip side, it’s important for them to know if a heart has been flayed or if we’re carrying around knapsacks of hurt from past words or actions.

      My mom has always said, “no one can meet your needs, if they don’t know what they are.” I know now, that she’s right. Sometimes we just assume we’re on the same heart page with someone, but we aren’t. We assume they should know when we said pasta we really meant Death by Chocolate Cake a la mode, please .

      The truth is this:

      People can’t be what or who we need if they don’t have the heart coordinates. And it’s our job to pass them along.

      In our home, R and I have a nightly check-in. We chat before drifting off to sleep about the good, bad, and ugly of the day. And where our responsibility is/isn’t in those trenches. It’s good to have another heart to bounce things off of and it's good to know that he’s always got my back and heart as first priority.

      Oh, and another thing:

      When I start in with the negative self-talk or hear others doing it aloud, I make sure to ask myself these questions:

      Is that thought taking me/you where I/you want to go?


      Is that thought helping me/you become the person I/you want to be?

      If the answer is No. I remind myself of my mantra “Not helpful” and move past.

      Congratulations on your golden ramblings, friend, and your blogiversary. I hope to be reading your heart notes for many years to come.

      With love,


      1. omg I LOVE how you said all this Dani…I know I have been learning these things…coordinates, backpacks, and vulnerability…what an unbeatable combination!!

        Thanks for your valuable and always wonder-written words!


    2. Dear Dani,
      I absolutely love what you have to say here and how what applies in your home can be so valuable and applicable for all of us.
      I also really like what you and R do in the evenings and feels like something I’d really like to do before I drift off to sleep.
      Also (cuz I’m a shameless stealer of great ideas) am going to implement your mantra. Truthfully, I’ve been wandering around in a bit of pity party pit and really, that’s “not helpful.”
      Then finally, I always love the poetic words you use…even in your replies! “knapsacks of hurt”…what a beautiful way to describe this.
      I always love to see your smiling face and singing heart come across my page…even if it does show up in an alternative place (off to take the contact form off NOW!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, RIP contact form and thank you for your continued kindness. I’m truly thankful that we are learning from each other and growing in love toward and for others.

        With thanksgiving,

        P.S. Thieve away 😉


  14. Reblogged this on Mother Hen Diaries and commented:
    If I may be so bold as to add to the incomparable Mama Mick’s list of household rules, here are some that never fail to work in the Hen House:
    1. Always Trust Your Mom.
    2. There’s no room in a marriage bed for pride. It hogs the mattress and steals all the covers.
    3. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
    4. Laugh at yourself. Everyone else is already having fun, so you might as well join the party.
    5. Learning to say “sorry” fixes nearly everything.
    6. It’s way easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. But I would still recommend you ask permission. All that begging is really bad for your knees.
    7. Marriage only works if you are both playing by the same rulebook. Y’all KNOW what rulebook I’m talking about. 🙂


    1. Oh YES! These are frame-worthy! Like on the fridge with a dozen magnets worthy 🙂
      Truly, am so honored and humbled that you’d pop over and make my day today. You rock, lady!

      *now….when in the H-E-double hockey sticks did I put that rule book???


  15. What a great blog, thanks to Mother Hen, I found you! Lets see…..rules….there aren’t many. Pray before you eat. Take off your shoes BEFORE coming inside. Be kind. Don’t whine. Eat what I cook, nobody gets ‘special’ meals. (Although cereal is always an option). No computers or cell phones in the bedroom. Reuse your towel at least once and never take all the toilet paper without replacing it with a new roll. Everything else just kinda flows along!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah thanks! I just stumbled across Mother Hen myself and am so happy to see another feathered friend in the nest. I can’t wait to hop over to your site and learn more about you!
      I love your rules, too. We have a “no whining” zone and yes…I REALLY need to adopt the cell phone rule in the bedroom. Like, really…it would go along with MH rule #10 above 🙂

      Thank you so much for stopping by today–I really appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Denise,

      I like that line, too. It lets me keep anything wicked and fun stored in my brain for future laughter.
      Hope you are doing well and that your kiddo and hubby are on their way home!


      1. haha yes, it’s good to have laughter material tucked away in the gray matter!
        Hubby and daughter are safely home, rested, and full of stories! Thanks for remembering!


  16. I loved this blog . Boy did it hit home . I can use a lot of that advice & am going to . No greater joy than children & grandchildren . Love has no age . Your body ages but in my heart my love gets stronger .


  17. needashouldwannagotta-


    btw mm-do me a favor and make a guess on my last post; It may make u smile-

    (the smell is gone, but not the thrill ……yay


    1. OMG! How did you know I was thinking of you today. I’m working in Boulder all surrounded by mountains and your sweet story kept coming to my head. Then, I read your note at my work dinner and laughed out loud. You rock, Beth…like Motley Crüe on steroids rock. Xo


What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.