Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Perfection, You're an Asshole

You know how the universe speaks to you?  Well, the universe was hitting me over the head with a shovel yesterday.  Okay, I get it, universe, you can stop shoveling me!

It started when Rob sent me this article about perfectionism and how many problems it causes us.  Then I was cruising facebook and read this article Anne Lamott wrote about... Perfectionism.  Then I was channel surfing in the afternoon and Katie Couric had on a dame that wrote a book about the perils of... Perfectionism.  All of these things were unrelated, not like when you see the same actor on every talk show in the same week pimping the same movie.  And I didn't go looking for any of them (or did I?)

So I asked myself, after the second run in with perfectionist dogma, why is this coming into my life today?  What am I supposed to take from this besides the obvious?

I do not consider myself a perfectionist.  I'm an eye baller, not a measurer.  I don't beat myself up over failures, I'm more of an "oh well." type.  However, I do take pleasure when I get things perfect.  My own measurement of perfection, not anyone else's.  I like things to be just so, and I have to talk myself down a little bit when they're not.  I like rules and parameters and un-ambiguous answers.  In class recently, we've done a color theory section and we had to mix paints and make a color wheel.  I hated it.  I like 2 + 2 to equal 4, and that's not the way it works in color mixing.  It was crazy making.  This is why I like baking better than cooking: Cooking uses a recipe as a guide, and then you "salt to taste."  I am paralyzed by salting to taste.  Or, you're supposed to go to your local farmers market and buy what's fresh and in season and make it work.  This does not work for me.   I like the recipe to be the gospel, and I never deviate from it.  That's baking.  

I think my daughter suffers from perfectionism.  She has a history of being good at everything at the first try, and when she isn't, she gives up in less than a minute.  Then she beats herself up because she can't do stuff, or she's not perfect at it.  This causes a lot of anxiety.  I've been wondering what, besides hormones, is causing her anxiety, and I think the universe was trying to speed up the process of discovery yesterday.  Thanks, universe.

Have I made her a perfectionist?  I mostly brag about what a total loser I am, so it doesn't seem like I have, but I probably have, what with my baking and my math.  But why doesn't she focus on the things I'm terrible at?  Like planning what's for dinner and cleaning the grout in the bathroom? And eating a healthy diet and exercising?  I'm a complete failure at those things! I am the most mediocre gardener in the world, and I almost let a baby fall down the stairs one minute in to a babysitting gig the other day.  Brick stairs, not carpeted.

Parenting is hard.  And I don't want to hear anyone bragging about how they are a perfectionist.  Its a DISEASE!  Read the articles, and tell me you don't see yourself or your kid in there.  I dare you.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Can I be Done?

It has been a busy morning.  I have gone grocery shopping, dropped things off at the vet, and gone to the pharmacy (which was closed.)  When I came home, I did laundry, cleaned up the house, scrubbed the stove, installed a hanger in the closet for my new vacuum cleaner, and paid bills.  I'm not done yet.  There is more stuff to clean up, and I want to actually use the new vacuum, and there's laundry to fold, and I still have to go to the pharmacy.  

When it is enough?  When can I be done?  I am pooped, my feet hurt, and my hands smell like rubber gloves.  I really like to start the weekend with a full fridge, clean laundry, and a tidy house.  Its easier to relax that way.  But, man, what a pain in the ass.  

So, I'll put in two more hours, one and half minimum, and then I'm done for the day.  Enough is enough.  By Monday morning, this whole house will look like a tornado went through it, anyway.  Dishes will be piled up, the stove will be greasy, there will be clothes and crap everywhere, and I'll have to clean up all over again.  What the hell is the point?  And don't get me started on Leila's room: she hasn't gotten sick of living in a shit hole yet, and none of her dirty laundry made it in to the hamper for laundry day today.  

Have a good weekend, everybody