This past weekend I organized my kitchen cupboards, cleaned the house, took a nap, went to a concert, went to church and taught Sunday School, ran an errand to Lowes to get some supplies, painted my front porch glider black, washed the front windows, cleaned out the garage and managed to do nothing on MY to-do list.
My to-do list consists of sewing, lying on my new picnic blanket in the backyard and reading Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” catching up on my zillion magazine subscriptions and taking photos. But I never do it.
I have a really bad perfectionist side. According to “The Joy of Imperfection,” I’m an outward perfectionist, which is exhausting. I mean, I’m sure being a perfectionist in general is exhausting, but when it involves the way people perceive you and the way things around you look, there is no room for rest because everything can always be improved upon. Something can always be more organized, put away, swept, vacuumed or dusted.
It all comes down to have-tos and want-tos. This is stuff that I feel has to be done, not the stuff I want to do. On a Sunday evening when I’m looking back at what I did, I feel accomplished in that I did a lot, but empty in that I didn’t spend time on me. I didn’t spend time doing the things I really wanted to do. I didn’t get to sit on the blanket in the backyard enjoying our grass, my blanket, my book or the laughing of our children running through the yard. No, I was busy sweating my butt off moving Christmas decorations that we have been storing in our garage to our new shed. I was busy trying to pull weeds from the cracks in our driveway, because Heaven forbid someone see a weed in our driveway.
And the weird thing is that I realize that I’m not perfect. I realize that the baseboards in my house often are dirty from our dogs. I realize that my chicken is always dry, but I guess there is a reason for that. Yet, I strive for a completely unobtainable perfection. I get frustrated when I know I will never get there.
It’s a constant battle within myself and sometimes, I wish the perfectionist side of me would just lose.