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Confessions of a Perfectionist

by | Mar 8, 2013 | News from the Nest | 4 comments

kitchen-perfection.jpgI am guilty as charged. I courageously stand up and say yes I am a perfectionist soon to be a recovering perfectionist.  I’ve come to realize what a hindrance it is for me and how it is blocking me from really appreciating the true beauty of many things. For years an organized, clean, neat order to things made my soul sing. Perfection! I loved it. I basked in it’s glory. It gave me the illusion of feeling safe, cozy, and in control.  Now I am in the process of letting go of my perfectionist ways. It’s hard. I know how very intoxicating perfectionism can be.

I have been discussing perfectionism with several friends. I have come to realize it’s all in how you view things. {But isn’t that the case with everything}  One friend asked this very important question – isn’t everything perfect as it is in the now? The present moment is the perfect moment.

While I continue to work on being in the present moment. I have come to learn of the beauty of “imperfect” things. Many times imperfection has intention behind it. It shows that someone was there. Someone was there to to make it special, unique, one-of-a-kind. An imperfect thing infuses its own individual energy unto itself. Imperfection leaves gifts for you, memories, moments in time. And there in lies true perfection.


So when I am really feeling the the swell of perfection trying to grab hold of me, I use that moment to remind me to stay present. I also try to remind myself of this one little thing – a set of bite marks on the dining room windowsill my son made years ago. When he was first home from Nepal; and was just the right height; he used to go to the window and gaze out at the new world that was now his home all the while gnawing on that windowsill. Originally when this first happened, I was besides myself. I thought, “Oh no! We are going to have to fix the sill!  What a mess! Paint, oh no!” It plugged me right into my perfectionism. Then one day I had am amazing epiphany. I realized how special those bite marks were to me. Those marks bring me back to other moments in time that are so special to me. How very small and precious my children were when they came home. How precious every moment is. How time moves so very quickly. It reminds me of a time when they were so small and could stand under the kitchen island. It reminds me of the them zooming through the house on ride-on toys and how much fun they had. It reminds me of them trying on my shoes and how ridiculously cute they looked marching through the house with them on. We missed their infancy and their toddlerhood was shortened for us both as they came home already walking and just starting to talk. As much I truly bathed in the moments, I didn’t even realize how quick it would all

 I say all this though, to say that I have come slowly {only with a small amount of kicking and screaming} to savor the imperfections. When I find myself moving too quickly, wanting perfection because I think it is going to be so wonderful, I remind myself of how much I love that windowsill. I am grateful I was too busy to ever paint over it. I now realize what a gift it truly was. I would never think to paint over it now. I am still a bit of a perfectionist for sure. I still hate having a sticky fridge door handle or the laundry piles but I also know when you wipe away the fingerprints you wipe away the moment that created it and it’s lost. There really is so much more beauty in imperfection when you take the time to look. So much inspiration comes from slowing down and taking that time. Letting imperfection grow yields gifts far beyond anything someone could create in a perfect world.

*I want to thank Miranda over at Studio Mothers:Life and Art for inspiring this post.imperfect-pic1-e1362767150559.jpg