Perfectionism – otherwise known as my ultimate struggle in life.
Did you know Steve Jobs went years without furniture in his home? He made his wife suffer through eating dinner sitting on the floor because he could not find a dining room table up to his standards.
Tom and I have since started referring to me as “Steve Jobs.” Because I too can make loved ones suffer while I search for the PERFECT living room sofa. Case in point: nothing in our house is level (we live in an old home). When we got our IKEA wardrobes we hung the mirrored doors only to stand back and see just how uneven they looked. I was in utter anguish (I may have shed some tears).
Yes, it’s bad.
I wish so badly I was not plagued with this perfectionism thing. Life would be so much more enjoyable. Instead, I get all wrapped up in the I’ll-be-happy-when game. Which makes it downright impossible to stay present and appreciate the moment.
I don’t know why I’m wired this way or where it came from. Maybe it was all those years in ballet class, standing in front of a mirror, lined up next to girls who were taller… prettier… thinner. In ballet, you have to be perfect if you want a job.
Or maybe it was the tumultuous time I had in middle school when no one would be my friend. Maybe the seed was planted that if I just attained perfection, they’d finally welcome me in.
Whatever it is, wherever it came from, it’s got quite the grasp. At some point, Steve Job’s lack of a dining table began to deprive him and those around him of a life well lived. How long is a reasonable amount of time to search for the right table before I concede that I would rather have a table, however imperfect, than continue to live without. Ideally I too would like the perfect dining room table or living room sofa. But really, what I would like more, is to snuggle next to my husband on a sofa – any sofa. Or at least, in writing this post, that is what I am telling myself. And so I fight it, I really do. I work every day at changing my thinking patterns and focusing on enjoying the journey. I try to hone in on imperfections and cultivate an appreciation for them.
I make such an effort to look at those mirrored doors every damn day and force myself to love them – not in spite of their imperfections but because of them. Because they’re ours. Because we’ve created a home full of love and laughter and honestly what is more important than that?