goodbye to perfection

Since I was little, I strove for perfection in everything I did. (I think my parents pushed me towards this mindset- a 99% score on a test was never good enough; I needed a 100%). So in all areas of my life I wanted to be perfect- straight A’s, perfect body, perfect penmanship, tidy bedroom, good-looking clothes and shoes, etc. If anything had any sign of wear or error, I was not content. Even my teachers leveraged this area of growth of mine by utilizing my “perfect” handwriting to be their class note taker or chalkboard writer. As I got older, this need for perfection meant I always wanted to be as detailed as possible on work assignments and that on any given day, my house was clean and most things were put away. Although there is no such thing as perfection, it’s interesting that I still aim for it. It’s as if I need something to constantly strive for and “what is” is not good enough and therefore needs work. Luckily, with Zane’s arrival and time being limited, I am discovering that I need to desperately say goodbye to perfection. The time has come. For example, I know it will not be realistic for my house to be tidy all the time. I know my mommy friends with older and multiple kids laugh at me (out loud or silently) because I try to tidy up even as their kids are running around being kids. I know I will have to let this go once Zane starts moving about and having his toys everywhere. This will be difficult for me because tidyness relaxes me as I look around and like what I see. Secondly, I can’t be perfect in all realms of my life because I can’t invest the same amount of time to each area (ie. friendships, marriage, self-care, home decoration, etc.) I don’t intend to do the bare minimum, but I can’t be hard on myself if I don’t text someone back in a timely manner or one frame doesn’t have a real picture in it yet. I need to let it go and accept it’s current status. I can’t do it all. It is not realistic for me to have everything in my life in order. And most importantly, I am not perfect. So I will mess up with my loved ones and I will mess up with myself as well as I go along. And, the beauty of it all is, the world will not end and I will be okay. :)

Do you struggle with perfection too? How do you deal with understanding it’s not realistic? If you’ve conquered it, what’s your wisdom?

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About Reaksmey

hi :) i'm reaksmey (reeks-may) and I love to think, reflect, and grow. do you? my life includes a handsome husband and a lively infant. here's where i write about how i grow through life's ups and downs so that i can humbly encourage you daily.
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4 Responses to goodbye to perfection

  1. Rachael says:

    I’ve struggled with this my whole life as week, although my desire for perfection was limited to certain categories. Most recently, I’ve had to struggle with being a parent to my stepson and that I can’t always be perfect. If I’m late to pick him up from school I’m running through how he’s standing there alone and upset, only for the reality to be much less dramatic. I think we, as a society, tend to focus on these smaller details. I’m sure Ethan wouldn’t even remember that I was late once out of the hundred times I’ve picked him up. But I felt terrible. I’d dropped the ball. I couldn’t, in fact, do it all.

    I think the other thing I’m working on is asking for help. With studying for the bar on the horizon we’ve decided to get help cleaning our home. It felt silly initially because we live in a tiny apartment, but time spent cleaning and tidying up is fine taken away from our time together as a family, and at the moment that is in short supply. So finding ways to let go of needing to do everything myself, and ask for help, has also helped.

    Reaksmey Reply:

    That is true Rachael that perfection can be focused to certain categories. I hadn’t thought of that and should think about that… Glad you are recognizing that sometimes our perfectionist ways can lead us to dramatize certain situations. I too have noticed that others rarely notice when I’ve dropped the ball because the reality is that the other person forgot they even asked/wanted something from me! :)

    Also, good luck asking for help! I have found asking for assistance to be such a blessing, especially since Zane has entered the picture. I discovered how much it has relieved me and allowed me to have some self-care.

  2. Kelly says:

    Having kids cured me. I know I don’t want to live like a major stress case, so I decided I had to pick my priorities and pick my battles.

    Reaksmey Reply:

    I am looking forward to having Zane cure me too!

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