I am very aware that many of the people who know me (my mum included) would probably have a good laugh at me calling myself a perfectionist. Yes, clearly in my school days, they would have agreed. I was never happy with an A. It had to be an A+. My handwriting was amazingly neat. My assignments were double-spaced and beautifully presented.
These days, my house is most often messy. I’m disorganised. I leave *everything* until the last minute. And yet I would still describe myself as a perfectionist. This paragraph that I read recently over at The Modern Parent explains why:
For them [perfectionists] nothing is ever good enough and hence they are put off starting a project or attempting a new endeavour for fear of them not being able to execute it perfectly. The perfectionist is often left always waiting for the perfect conditions, the perfect timing, the perfection of skills etc. The perfectionist becomes an observer rather than a participant and therefore misses out on many challenges and learning experiences.
Here, the writer is referring to children and how we as parents can help the perfectionist child, but it really does describe me to a T! I put off cleaning because I know the house won’t look perfect when I’m finished (of course it won’t – I have three small kids!), I put off redecorating. I put off cooking, entertaining, craft projects, parties, blogging. All because I’m waiting for that perfect time that will yield perfect results.
Not. Gunna. Happen.
I don’t want to pass this on to my kids. I want them to dive into new experiences with the knowledge that they might fail, or they might fall short of perfection. I want them to be happy with the experience. The doing. The learning. The trying.
So, I’m going to start to try to just do it. Just start something. And be happy with done. Not perfect. Just done.
First on the list was our tiny home office. I’m planning to blog soon about how I get stuff done in a one metre by two metre space… Would you class yourself a perfectionist? Do you agree that perfectionism can be mistaken for laziness?