Saturday, October 06, 2012

Finding My Way Back... Letting Go of Perfect

 The thing that is really hard and really amazing is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.    – Anna Quindlen

I am not a perfectionist. I do not sent unrealistic expectations for myself, and then get depressed when I can not or do not meet them. I do however have OCD tendencies. The difference from having OCD, and from having tendencies, is that a person with OCD is ruled by their disease. I walk by a couch and have to straighten the pillows every single time because I have a heightened need for order and for things to be straight and WANT them to be. I am also a rational and logical person. Someone with true OCD would have to fix the pillows over and over because they could not live with them crooked. They are irrational and illogical and it's a NEED for them, instead of a want. Obviously this is a completely simplified comparison, and not intended to insult anyone suffering from true OCD in any manner.

Having said all that, sometimes I drive my family crazy. They don't understand why the towels have to be folded a certain way, or why I bother to refold them if they aren't. They don't think it's worth the extra effort to fold the blankets so that they fit into the crate, and roll their eyes when I pull them out to fold them the 'right way'. They wonder why I fix the couch up every morning when people are just going to sit on it again and muss it all up. They can't see the point in making your bed every morning if you are just going to get back into it. When I ask them if they have done their chores, they ask me "to your standards?". I don't do it to drive them crazy, it's just a part of who I am.

Lately, however, I have been trying to make an effort to keep it contained to just me. If it's something they have done, such as folding the towels wrong (they won't fit in the cabinet if they get folded wrong), instead of saying something about it, I just fix it myself and move on. If they've done a lousy job vacuuming or sweeping or fill in whatever it is here, instead of calling them out on it, I'm working on just letting it go. I don't want their memories of growing up with me to be of a nagging, slightly crazy mom. Although, partly I think it might be a little too late already.

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