There has been a lot of buzz by my social media connections about the term perfectionism. I say that it is not necessary – and most seem to agree.
Growing up in a “perfect” home I thought that it was just my mom’s DNA. She was a perfectionist and this is how life should be. She didn’t work outside of the home so a perfectly organized home was her “job”.
When I left home (3 decades ago) perfection was the only thing that I knew. I remember being in my early 20’s, married and having my parents come from NJ to visit my husband and me in NC. I went into total panic mode; worried that everything wasn’t perfect and that I would be judged by them if it wasn’t perfect. I even remember wiping down the baseboards throughout the house so that mom wouldn’t find any dust.
More than 30 years later, I have finally been able to have a conversation with my mom and realized that being perfect probably had some negative effects on her as a person and on her personality. She spent all of her time making sure that everything had a place, laundry was always caught up (with a family of 5 where 2 of us worked on the farm – that was a lot of dirty clothes). The floors, counters, bathrooms…everything was always pristine. And, let me just say that was when we lived in a massive farm house (from the time I was 12-17). We had a stairway that looked like something from Gone with the Wind, 14 rooms all on 2 floors, an enormous yard, huge garden and a father who worked 14 hours a day – so he was never there.
Now in her late 70’s she has a few friends that she plays dominoes with and travels with for short weekend trips. But this is all done alone with my father. She has no time with girlfriends. She doesn’t drive more than about 20 miles by herself and I see her lack of confidence and self-esteem.
I am convinced that if she had worried less about being perfect and spent a little more time developing her personality and becoming the person that I know she could have been, that she would be a lot happier right now.
My two cents….being perfect is not a necessity in life. It is necessary to have a place for everything and everything in its place to avoid chaos – and this is what I help people with just about every day. But if your home doesn’t look like a magazine well…get over yourself! I am real and am not comfortable with perfection.
Spend time getting organized, cutting through the clutter and setting up systems and processes that allow you to have time for yourself. Life is too short to worry about being perfect!