Perfectionism vs. A True Perfect Moment

AUTHOR: | POSTED: November 5, 2012 | COMMENTS: 7 Comments

Carolyn Savage

We picked off the first of our November traditions this past weekend and it’s not my favorite.  It’s certainly not the worst task, but there’s something depressing about winterizing our outdoor spaces for the looming snow and cold.  In an attempt to work efficiently, Sean went off on the mower and I drew the short straw and started in the garage.  You see, our garage is our family dumping ground.  Retired baby gear, half used guck-covered spray paint cans, and an endless coating of microscopic dust littered every service of what’s supposed to be a place for us to park our cars.  (Hah…cars in a garage!  What a novel idea.) 

Thankfully, I had asked a friend’s daughter to come play with the girls while I tackled the task.  Unfortunately, I could have had her move in with us because there wasn’t a chance in Sam’s hell that I was going to finish  in three hours.  It honestly looked like Superstorm Sandy had made an appearance and dumped someone else’s junk in our home. I don’t have the slightest idea how we accumulated so much stuff.

Adding to the mountainous job-at-hand, I have a horrible habit of not staying focused.  I think I get overwhelmed by the maginitude of the project and eventually I find myself working on something that wasn’t part of the original plan.  It always goes a little like this…

Hmmm…first I’ll drag these old strollers into the driveway.  Hey…I bet if I clean these old strollers I could donate them.  Oh wait…didn’t I see a part of this old stroller in the basement?  Wow, this basement’s a mess.  Ahh…I’m so glad I cleaned the basement and found this stash of Halloween candy.  Wait…why am I sitting on the floor in the basement eating Halloween candy?  I’m supposed to be cleaning the garage. 

Then I get mad at myself for allowing our garage to get to the point of chaos that it did.  There was a time in my life that, that would have never happened. 

 And I think about that fact. 

Why is it so easy for me to allow chores to go undone now?  How is my life different than it was back in my organizationally obsessive days?

I think my life has changed drastically as a result of our journey.  It took a real jolt to learn that it’s okay to walk away from “getting stuff done” in favor of “getting  important stuff done”.  What’s the “important stuff”?  Well, for me, it’s playing doll house with MK… …


 or pushing Isabella around on her new favorite toy.

She’s so proud of herself sitting there. She’s stay for hours if we’d let her!

 Or…stopping my work when my boys are willing and able to talk, which are rare fleeting moments that are becoming more precious by the day.  Clean garages are nice and should be a priority a few times a year, but I used to get bogged down in perfection, missing the moments that are truly perfect. 

My priorities have rearranged as I’ve grown older and (dare-I-say) wiser.

I think I’m more balanced now.  At least I hope so!

I am happy to report that I eventually got the basement…wait…I mean the garage cleaned.  It took four hours longer than anticipated, and I’m pretty sure, based on the pile of trash at our curb,  our neighbors think the Clampetts were living in our garage.  (Actually somebody could have been living in there and we’d never have known!)

Oh…and bonus…I found three spoons

Mission accomplished.  Now off to some moments of true perfection!

Getting there. Slowly but surely!


7 Comments on “ Perfectionism vs. A True Perfect Moment ”

  • Mary Schanberger Hennessy (Facebook Comment) | November 5th, 2012 7:28 pm

    I really enjoy and relate to what you write about…

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  • Debbie Byroade Schaaf (Facebook Comment) | November 5th, 2012 7:29 pm

    Debbie Byroade Schaaf Priorities over perfectionism. It has taken me a life time to figure that one out, and I’m not sure I am quite there yet. But loving the freedom in my soul that it is bringing!!! Thats the beauty of “do-overs”!!!!

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  • Angela Bonner (Facebook Comment) | November 5th, 2012 7:30 pm

    Angela Bonner This was good, and had great pictures

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  • Beth Austin DeFilippis (Facebook Comment) | November 5th, 2012 7:30 pm

    Beth Austin DeFilippis Agreed. I still crave those clean spaces so badly but am happy I’m able to ignore them to enjoy my boys more often than not 🙂

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  • Teri | November 6th, 2012 10:00 am

    I have a basement and a garage full of stuff my family just dumps. Don’t have a place for it! Throw it into the basement. Not sure what to do with it?? (TRASH IT…..)No just throw it in the garage.

    I have videos that we played in our old van from when the girls were 5 & 7. They are now 13 & 15. Videos? Still in the basement. God forbid we should ever throw anything out.

    I’ve seen this before and it always makes me laugh: We’re just 1 dead cat away from an episode of Hoarders.

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  • Robbin | November 6th, 2012 7:09 pm

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who wanders while cleaning. I want perfection and get overwhelmed. Thanks for the reminder of taking those moments with family as they happen. I’ve been an empty-nester for years, but some of our best, most serious, family discussions have been in the car. Your kids are captive. I think you experienced that on the college road trip with your son.

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  • Marion Downing (Facebook Comment) | November 7th, 2012 9:23 am

    Marion Downing Other people have told us we need to do everything perfectly and that’s why so many people are depressed. They don’t have the ‘perfect life’ the media says they should so they don’t feel like they’re enough. Enjoy the perfect moments in this imperfect life xoxo

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