Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Pondering on Perfection…

The very best thing I’ve read in the last few days truly made me think on the topic of perfectionism. This is a point made by Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book, Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. She points out, “Upon completing the Universe, the Great Creator pronounced it ‘very good.’ Not ‘perfect.’”

Life is rarely perfect therefore we will never achieve perfection. Sounds fair. And, who would want to? What fun would life be if we all achieved our goals the minute we set out to? I figure we’d all be left standing around until one of us screamed, “What’s next?”

Pam’s post on Time Management this past Monday drove this point home to me. In there she asks, “Are you fully engaged in the one or two pursuits that bring you sheer delight? Would you be happy doing nothing but what you are doing for the rest of your life?

Funny thing about it is, when you are doing what you love, there is no need for perfection. Uh oh. What did I just say? Seriously. Look at it this way - yes, manuscripts have to be as perfect as perfect gets. Hello, that’s what editors and proofers are for. Work can be flawed, but people must still be served, events must still take place, the daily grind must still go on. Here’s my question, would you rather be sitting on the couch writing surrounded by poignant reminders that you have an active family (aka. a messy living room) or would you rather be expelling all of your energy perfecting your living room in a blind effort to make a peaceful space to work? If you spend your time cleaning to find the perfect space, then what do you do when the kids get home from school and want their fair share of quality time with you? After dinner, as everyone bathes and dons PJs, will you find time to write like you had planned earlier in the day? Can you forgive yourself and try again tomorrow? Sure you can. BUT, will tomorrow look like today?
© Aje |

It doesn’t take long to see the same pattern we all face. Lisa Bloom speaks about this in her book, THINK: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World. Find the time that you need to do the things that fulfill you. Let the kids take part in the cleaning and, in my humble opinion, do it before bed so you can have a semi-clean house when they leave for school. When they get home, allow them an hour of “free time” to do what they want in their space. This will allow you an extra hour to do what you want. Try it.

Stop looking for perfection. Find balance.

Until Friday Show and Tell this is Life in Penned Perspective by Lindy Chaffin Start.


Anonymous said...

Finding your balance is always hard. Being a Libra, balance is important to me. Yes, I have my kids help me clean. It's only fair and makes them a better person instead of entitled. I want to be the best I can be - not perfect. Because my idea of perfect is very different from someone elses.
Sorry I'm here so late today.


Pam Asberry said...

I love this post, Lindy. I often tell people I am a "recovering perfectionist." There is no cure, really, but I am learning to live one day at a time, one moment at a time. Thank you for your insights.

WritersLiPP said...

Hi Sia. Thanks for your comments. I agree our ideas of perfect are all different and I guess that's is what is so important for each of matter how you slice it, let something go and enjoy "me" time. - Lindy

WritersLiPP said...

Pam, one day, one moment at a time is the only way to live. Realizing that when your friend calls and wants to see a movie you can leave the dishes in the sink is a whole different matter. I am working right now while my house sits messy and, for the moment, I can handle it. :-) - Lindy