Monday, January 27, 2014

The Dark Side of Perfect

NaBloPoMo January 2014  


Both time and perfectionism put pressure on me; they probably put pressure on you too.  For me, perfectionism is the bigger issue.  I spend hours and hours trying to make something perfect ... right up until the point where the scale is tipped and time constraints crash down on me, crushing me to a greasy little spot on the floor.

Suppose I live in the perfect zip code, drive the perfect car and wear the perfect clothes.  Does that make my life perfect?  What if I moved.  Would anywhere else be less than perfect?  Would my perfect friends still be friendly?  Or would less than perfect not be 'good enough'?

For example, I have a relative who owns and drives a Cadillac.  Unless they discover oil under our house, or we win the lotto, or I become a best-selling author, that's never going to happen to me.  And that's ok.  (Besides, if I'm going to spend that kind of money on a vehicle, I'd rather have a Jaguar!)  She says she only knows how to drive Cadillacs.  (This isn't true.  I've seen her drive a Lincoln.  And I bet the rental counter clerk wishes they had had a Cadillac that day.  Oy!)  Do I like her more because she drives fancy cars?  No.  Would I like her less if she drove a less-than-antique, run-down Chevy?  No.

Why?  Because she is not her car.

We are not our possessions.  We are not just our abilities.  You've heard the expression, "You are what you eat"?

We are also what we do.  Nobody can be us better than we can.


  1. Oh, I am a perfectionist too, but I've learned as I get older that the result is what you just have to accept, and it's more about the effort. I'm a healthy perfectionist...I think;) We are what we do. I like that:)

  2. So true, Courtney. As a Christian, I call what you have described "grace". It is my (our) responsibility to put forth our best effort, and even though we may never achieve 'perfection', grace will take us the rest of the way.