Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Hi. My name is Lori, and I'm a perfectionist. Over the past thirty-two years of marriage to a non-perfectionist, I have grown and softened. I've relaxed. I've learned. I am not as addicted to perfection as I once was, but it's a lifelong struggle.

As you might imagine, perfectionistic tendencies can be a source of anxiety and stress. I've noticed that those of us from Perfect Country vary in what we deem as needing perfection. For me, it's my home. For the past couple of months, our weekends have been full. Add that to a full work-week, and you get the present state of my home: dirty and sporting a to-do list the likes of which makes me nauseous (almost literally). This past weekend was the doughnut hole in our busy spring/summer line-up. Other than a girls' night out on Friday night and a graduation party on Saturday night, the weekend was ours! What to do? Where to start? I tingled with the excitement of knowing that our house would soon once again be our home. What I didn't count on was my exhaustion.

After the busy-ness of the past few months, my body (and brain) were doing a little tingle of their own at the prospect of NOT doing anything. I woke up Saturday morning with a tiny section of my brain ready to hit the day. Unfortunately, that little section couldn't convince the rest of my brain to get it in gear. I couldn't think clearly. I didn't know what to do first or second or third, and so I flitted from thing to thing, unable to concentrate. I needed to sleep some more. That's it. That should clear it up, I thought. But taking a nap was out of the question, I had too much to do. But I couldn't think straight. Maybe if I took a nap...and so my weekend went. Around and around.

By Sunday night, I was ready to go back to work. Maybe I'd actually get something done there. I sat in bed to read per my usual night-time routine. I picked up my copy of Practicing His Presence, which I'd decided to read for the fourth (or maybe it's the fifth) time. I read, "Nothing can go wrong today except one thing: that I forget God." (my paraphrase)

My head cleared for the first time in two days.

What did my to-do list matter? How important was it, really, to mop the kitchen floor? To iron? To dust? To weed the flowerbeds? To get all fourteen errands run in one day? I'd fallen off the wagon, back into my perfectionist ways. All I could see was what I "needed" to get done. All I could see was my goal - my perfect house goal. And in my mono-vision, I'd missed Him. He was with me in every moment of my weekend. He was right there beside me, whispering my name, waiting for me to turn, wanting to give me His peace, to remind me of His presence with me, to remind me of the only thing that matters in any day: that I walk through it with Him. It's all I really want. Ever.

1 comment:

  1. some great words of wisdom that many people need to hear. thanks.