This is an interesting topic, and as usual, I’m not really going to address this in the literal sense. I am just going to say that all my adult life and possibly all of my adolescence I have been a perfectionist; and when I wasn’t I aspired to be one. Guess who my favourite character from Desperate Housewives is? That’s right, uptight Bree. Mind you, I’ve only followed the first 4 seasons so I don’t know if she changes later on. I even find her the best looking even though people usually prefer the youngest actress, Eva Langoria. It’s just that Bree’s style is so put together, her manners so perfect, she bakes from scratch and brings her neighbours home-made muffins. Never mind that the contradictions in her life drive her crazy and obviously her character struggles with conservative values and breaks the rules most of the time.
So what does it say about me that at the tender age of 20 when I first started watching that show, I wanted to be like her? Seven years on, I’m glad I am not like her, it wasn’t a healthy ideal to begin with. It’s great being organised, it’s nice to have the drawers in order, fridge wiped down, make-up brushes washed, hair in place and skirt ironed. It means that I lose less stuff and waste less time looking for things and carry out activities efficiently. But all this should in principle lead to a less stressful life, and that quite frankly just isn’t the case.
The act of thinking ahead to control and limit damage and disaster (however slight) is a never ending battle. Staying on top of all the chores is a never ending cycle. Continuously struggling to perfect every aspect of one’s life is crazy.
So now I look towards an entirely different ideal. Towards somebody who can relax and enjoy having people over without worrying about the place looking perfect. Somebody who can go out dancing without planning every detail of the night or figuring out how she’s going to get home, somebody who catches moments and enjoys them, who smiles and laughs easily. Somebody who can look in the mirror and say, “I look great! No need to spend an hour here”, somebody who looks back on pictures and thinks, “That was a good day, it went so well”. Somebody who has faith in the future and lets God be her safety net.
Aiming for this new ideal is in a way setting myself up to fail as somethings just aren’t for everyone, and the girl described above just isn’t me. But if I can be like that at least some of the time, it’ll be good enough. See? I’m aiming for good, not perfect.