It’s a myth, right? Life is life. It happens, it’s messy, it does what it does. And yet I can’t help but be seduced by the myth of a perfect life. I think that if I had a housekeeper, a scheduler, a decorator, an organizer, a life coach, etc, that things would go really smoothly.

It’s a new year, and I’m already looking at the pile of junk mail on my kitchen island and wondering how it got so damn big. And there’s the little matter of a technical thing I need to attend to that’s worth, oh, a lot of money to the bottom line (by the end of January). There’s the laundry, the decorating, the appointments for things I’d rather not think about (dentist, for instance) that need to be made.

There’s damn HGTV seducing me with the idea of the perfectly decorated house, the awesome and fascinating party I should host, and the stupid commercials where spraying Febreze makes like ohsoperfect. When does it get perfect in Chez Harris? When does myth meet reality and make it all a snap? I’ve sprayed the Febreze, rearranged the furniture, and tried the new recipe. Life ain’t perfect.

Oh, it ain’t bad. I’m very thankful for what I have, thankful I can bitch and moan about Hollywood ideas of perfection, but I still wish they’d give me a break from the idea that my life could be perfect if only.

This, I think, is why I write fiction. My characters’ lives aren’t perfect, but I control their world. I am the demi-god who makes life or death decisions for them. Maybe that’s why my real world seems so chaotic. In the fictional world, I have control. Here, I can barely organize a closet, much less my response to a Febreze-scented nation. Jeez.

What about you? Feeling the pressure of a new year and new expectations? Or have you figured out how to make your own way in this perfection-obsessed world? If you’ve got the secret, I’d sure like to know…