After many long, painful, tear shed years I have decided that there is no such thing as perfect.
This from someone who was never happy because my house was not perfect, my children were not perfect, I was not perfect, what was in my control was not perfect. Yes, you may have deduced that I was a ‘control freak’ and we know that people become that way because so much of their life is out of their control so they try to control what they can. My over-riding concern was that people would judge me and find me wanting. My mother always did. Therefore I in turn did the same to myself.
Sadly, so much of my life wasted, it was only recently that I realised that even if you can do something ‘perfectly’ it is not static, it does not remain in that state, for so much of what we do does not stay perfect. You wash the floor and someone walks on it, most often with dirty shoes or whilst eating and dropping crumbs. You do the washing, hang it out, bring it in, fold it, iron it, get to the bottom of the ironing basket turn around and there it is again. Clean the kitchen….and the next day there is the same mess that you clean up the day before … over and over like ground hog day … for years and years…
When I look back at that young mother I can feel such empathy for her. I can feel & see the frustration, the anger, the guilt, the blame ~ she had indeed set herself an impossible task. Four children and a clean house is an oxymoron, an impossibility! Throw in a husband and a dog and it’s not the dog who is chasing its tail.
Recently I sat in the backyard of the house in which she had lived for so long and I cried, I could remember, I could feel her pain. All those years lost, all those memories tainted, all because she couldn’t be happy until …
Even when the kids leave home and you renovate unless you have the money it is never all perfect at the same time and even if it is it doesn’t stay like that for long. The walls get dirty, the grout becomes grubby, chips appear in the paintwork, the floor gets scratched … you get the idea!
So what is it that we’re wanting? What are we striving for when we are trying to ‘get it right’?
I looked up what perfect was just to see if indeed it was a possibility and this is what I found:
having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be
Brought to consummation or completeness; completed; not defective nor redundant; having all the properties or qualities requisite to its nature and kind; without flaw, fault, or blemish; without error; mature; whole; pure; sound; right; correct
No wonder I was such a mess! I was striving to be without flaw, fault or blemish; without error!!
I know now the utter pleasure when I have finished a task and I’m able to tick it off my to-do list. I know that it’s done. I won’t have to do that particular thing again. I may have to do something similar but that task I have completed can stand on its own. Like writing a newsletter and then pressing the button to publish. It is done. It is finished. It may not be perfect but what I written will stay there unchanged unless it is me that decides to change it. No one to mess it up. No one to change it. Now being older and wiser I am happy with ‘good enough’. I know that if I have done something, to the best of my ability at the time, then that for me is perfect. It has been a long and winding road but I am now able to sit here and say that it’s OK ~ I am as good as I can possibly be … I am perfect ~ just the way I am.
PS. just to check whether I really had dealt with this … my vacuum cleaner has been at the repairers for 3 weeks. I haven’t vacuumed in that time nor for a couple of weeks before, all I have done it run around with the static mop once. To test me even further, I had a function on … the old me would have had a major anxiety attack about it. I just wiped over the bathroom and the kitchen and I was soooo impressed to notice how calm I was ~ no stress! Yes, I am perfect just the way I am.