Boy, Am I Getting Over My Perfectionism

Lately I’ve been blogging about some of the things I’m doing (exploring healthy lifestyle options, trying to get back to creative pursuits, etc.) in an attempt to live more “authentically,” as the self-help crowd might put it, or to live my “best life,” as Mother Goddess Queen President Oprah would say.  I think a simpler, less therapy-speak way to put it is to say I’ve been trying to be more selfish, but in a good way.

It seems to be working, for a few reasons.

1)  I don’t feel the least bit guilty about taking this blog less than seriously and not writing very regularly or prolifically. Perfectionism has been the cause of much of the stagnating I’ve engaged in over the years. It was what made me quit field hockey camp on the first morning back in high school (like, how totally humiliating!) and also walk out of what should have been a basic Step ‘n’ Sculpt class at the gym just a few months ago (15 minutes of being the old, clumsy fat lady in class was plenty). It was what made me give up on almost everything I wasn’t a star at right away. That’s why I’m patting myself on the back for this blog, however half-assed my efforts may be. Being able to say, “Hey, I’ll get to it when I get to it,” and then eventually really getting to it is a little bit of a victory for me.

2)  My artsy-crafty stuff is still piled up haphazardly all around me in my Room of One’s Own (hereafter to be referred to as ROOO, kind of like Rachael Ray‘s EVOO for extra-virgin olive oil), so far only serving to hold down the cheap folding table I stuck in here for when I finally get the stuff out and start to smear/string/squish/sew/stick it together in ways that are aesthetically pleasing and/or marketable. I do have a couple of paint chips on the wall, though, which is currently still my younger stepdaughter’s chosen high-school-color red, for contemplating. I’ll get to it when I get to it.

3)  I’m almost a vegetarian, dabbling in occasional veganism, and I’m feeling better healthwise, reading VegNews and Vegetarian Times and various books and blogs to stay psyched and mindful of the reasons I’m trying not to support the factory farming industry. However, there are times when meat just seduces its way onto my plate. Sometimes it’s a social thing. If I’m getting pizza with other people, I’ll probably just go along with everybody else’s choice of pie toppings, picking the meat off or not, depending on how much effort I’m up to making. They’re already getting it, I rationalize, so what good am I doing picking off the meat if I’m eating the same pie? There’s also the convenience factor. Last night we got home a bit late and I finished off the little bit of chicken salsa verde enchilada Brad had in the fridge. (This after I had successfully avoided a tantalizingly aromatic polish dog at the local softball park.) Damn, it was tasty, though! Finally, I’m sure some of my readers have already surmised the third and possibly strongest resolve weakener. It’s called beer. Give me more than a couple of those and I just might cave and eat, say, half an ocean’s worth of fine Nevada-made sushi. But y’know what? Small steps are better than no steps at all, so I’m not too worried about it. Besides, I like beer.

So, while I may not be doing a bang-up job on adhering 100 percent to all my principles (or even being sure what they all are), at least I can pat myself on the back for yanking the albatross of perfectionism from around my neck and tossing it overboard. I’m doing stuff, and I’m doing it badly, and it feels pretty good. If only I could apply this beginner’s mind to getting back to playing piano. Then Brad and I could finally start that crappy band!

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4 thoughts on “Boy, Am I Getting Over My Perfectionism

  1. I surrendered that “perfectionism” stuff the day I retired from the Air Force. Well, to be entirely truthful, it’s been a *bit* of a work in progress, but in the main, yeah, I take things much less seriously, and even more important, less *personal* than I did. And I’ll tell you, my blood pressure is lower, my outlook is much-improved, and my hair is *glorious*! *chuckle – Welcome to the Dark Side, SIL. 🙂

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