Be Perfect at Your Own Peril
“Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order.”
At any given day in the Parker household, you might see Pop Tart crumbs on the table. Yes, I’m that kind of mom. I am not an organic movement warrior. I’m more of a Kroger sale surfer.
My house—let’s not even go there. Seriously, call first, because the cleanliness level hovers somewhere between filthy and cluttered unless I’m expecting guests. Maybe I should have more guests…
Perfectionist? Nope, not me. I’ve struck out so many times in motherhood, like just a couple months ago when I threw away my youngest daughter’s test instead of signing it and placing it neatly in her backpack to return to class. I’m glad her teacher couldn’t see me blushing when she called to ask about it.
And there was the time I left the basement door open and the same daughter fell down the steps at about eight months old. Or the time…I really could go on and on.
But, I won’t, because I’m not a perfectionist. I am learning to let go of the impossible. It is, after all, impossible to be perfect. So why do we kill ourselves to be flawless?
Letting go of perfectionism doesn’t mean we become slackers or lose all ambition. Quite the opposite. It means we do our best and let go of the impossible. When we make mistakes, we pick up the pieces and carry on. We don’t set the bar so high that we can’t jump over it. We make realistic goals and accomplish them to the best of our ability.
Trust me; I still battle the perfectionism monster from time to time, especially with my writing. I have to make myself stop editing before I end up with a desperate-looking story with too much makeup and no date. I have to accept that my best is good enough so I can move on to something new. It’s the key to growth and improvement. Perfectionism does nothing but hold you rooted in place when all you really want to do is spread your wings and fly.
Q& A: Do you battle perfectionism? What areas of your life could you let go of some expectations?