I don’t view myself as the “P” word.
You know, Perfectionist. I honestly don’t because of several reasons. A list of reasons actually. A fairly long list of reasons. I’ll share just a brief glimpse into my list of non-perfectionist qualifiers:
- I never stay caught up on the Laundry.
- I never stick to my diet or healthy eating plan.
- I continually struggle to remain a “non-smoker” and occasionally break down and buy a pack of cigarettes when stressed out.
- I can’t handle stress at times in a healthy appropriate way. (See Above).
- I currently have dirty dishes in the kitchen.
- I have no idea where my car keys are.
- In the last two months I have had two errors at work that could have been completely avoided.
- I don’t always remember people’s birthdays. Important people. People I actually like, even love.
- Right now, one of my fingernails has the paint on it chipped, and I’m just too tired to care to fix it even though it annoys me.
Get the picture?
Of course after looking at the above list there are some other self descriptive words that come to my mind; Lazy, Procrastinator,Unorganized, etc.
Then comes the sneakily suspicious truth: I Am A Perfectionist.
How do I come to this conclusion? Quite simply, only a perfectionist has the “list” ever running in the back of their mind. The one that eventually drives them to the point that it spills over in this strange mixture of salt and water, moisture, right there, in the eye…
Crap. A tear. A sign of weakness.
These are the conversations I have with myself inside my own head. The ones that quickly come after waiting for 15 minutes for someone to show up who never shows up. Are my first thoughts “Oh Geez, I hope so and so is OK. I clearly made an appointment for this service at this specific time and maybe something happened preventing them from showing up. Maybe I should pray for them right now because they could be hurting, or in trouble, or sick.”
My first thoughts, “Seriously? I managed to make it here on time. I even called days in advance. Why can’t other people remember when they make an appointment? Now I have to go out of my way to try and get this rescheduled. ARGH!!!!!”
And you know what. Honestly. My thoughts suck. Sorry I don’t have a more “eloquent” way to say it.
My thoughts only serve one purpose. To alienate myself from others. To create disappointment in my heart which will bleed discontentment, anger, frustration, and annoyance through my veins. Keeping tally all day long on myself inevitably leads me to keeping tally with everyone else. Because somewhere in the twisty perfectionist brain of mine, I need to keep this tally.
Then that tear. That single eye opening slap you in the face silly tear comes trickling down. At least for me, it was enough to make me realize what I was doing to myself.
I know this is my second ramble that deals with perfectionism in some way. It’s my current struggle. The weight that keeps attempting to claim my shoulders as bondage.
And this tear that seems to be the sign the weakness. This tear that previously has brought on more frustration with myself that “I’m not handling this better, the way I should”.
It frees me.
Because it opens the doorway for me to close my eyes, bow my head, and whisper, “Help.”
The most perfect thing that could possibly be done in that moment.