Saturday, July 21, 2018


Perfectionism is a bitch. FWIW, I do not consider myself a perfectionist, 90 per cent of the time, but this reno is bringing up all of my big-time issues. It's is like sugar addiction - relentless in its drive to consume and to be consumed.

It's pretty safe to say that, at this point, the reno is not about the reno. It's about me. It's about how I acclimate, how I accept, how I engage (or do everything feasible to avoid engagement - because engagement is so fucking all-encompassing and it sickens me).

While I do what I can to forget about parenting, early or otherwise - I mean, right now I have 6-months of child-free living (as the kid is at Katimavik) - I'm continuously reminded of the moment my daughter was born and it's incisive.

The circumstances of Miranda's birth were traumatizing. No question, we were blessed with good-fortune in that she made her way here robustly, nervily. But, as a person who (only in retrospect) understands the sickening push-pull of stimulus, that was a mind-fuck to end all others.

I don't have many regrets - and even those I have seem unnecessary, anachronistic - but I wish that I had found a way to engage with M when she was born, not to have blamed her for the chaos that unmoored me, but to have been joyous for something I had created with love and effort. I wish I had not sent her away with Scott and my mother and the midwives. I wish I had not said: Get that thing out of here. Sure, I was legit half-dead and tortured by the idea that she might die, but I'm certainly not the only one who's found herself in these circumstances. I mean, all you need to do is watch Netflix to get that. Those mothers still embrace their babies, despite shock and pain and the unknown.

This may seem absurd, but I want to feel about my home the way I couldn't feel about my daughter: I want to accept it, despite associated imperfections and momentary, if incessant, discomfort. I want to feel confidence relating to it - willing to acknowledge its fundamental beauty, recognizing that perfectionism is an illness because it is the barricade of contentment.

I cannot change the past but it's my spirit guide to the future. It is because I didn't have the means to be "better" then that I can find a way to be different now.

When perfectionism prevents joy - when it's the greasy film between what you have made and how you perceive it - well, it's maladaptive. It's challenging for me to accept this. How does one accept anything but absolute perfection? How does one find perfection in the imperfect? It just isn't there.

My new brick wall is the salve of this home. It's chipped. It's paint-splotched. It's multi-coloured in a completely random way. When the morning sun shines against it, one sees the irreverant reflection of reality - different colours and textures and saturation. It defies flawlessness with its mass and strength. It says: If you don't love me, you can just fuck off because this is how I'm supposed to be and, if you don't get that, it's on you.

Perfection is the least perfect thing because it brings pain. Acceptance is perfect so I have to broaden my scope to find it. And I will. But man, liberty is expensive.


  1. This: "When perfectionism prevents joy - when it's the greasy film between what you have made and how you perceive it - well, it's maladaptive. It's challenging for me to accept this. How does one accept anything but absolute perfection? How does one find perfection in the imperfect? It just isn't there."

    Yes, yes, yes. I struggle mightily with perfectionism, and the gap between what I want and reality, and man, it is an uphill battle.

  2. Wow. This is so powerful I cannot respond adequately beyond that first statement. <3

    1. Yep, that's my response as well. xo Anything else I could say now, in this space, would seem trite.

  3. Perfection is subjective but it does not prevent joy, (your wall is a good example) but as you've discovered striving for perfection can be ruinous for health and wealth.

    As you say this is about your perception, yet
    are an optimist and when you're pointed in a positive direction you soar, there is so much evidence of successful fulfilment in your life. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater (sorry), focus on what works, the rest will follow. Try not to overthink.

    Sent from my iPad

  4. Perfectionism has diminishing returns.

    Life resources are devoured achieving AND maintaining perfection.

    Embrace "sufficient" in what will do, and devout the rest of you to those in your life (including you!).

    Ours is a world of no guarantees - it's all in a lifetime and slipping away.

    While in this chapter, juxtapose the rustic wall with something refined, and move on to what really matters - your loved ones, your pursuits, and making room for new self-discoveries. The rest is just busy work to impress transient others.

    Follow your gut, and go on.

  5. Kudos for such radical honesty. As the oldest in a large family (within an even larger extended family) I've known since childhood that I wanted to live a child-free life. And looking back on my half-century of life, it remains the only choice I've made that I know -unequivocally- to be the absolute right choice. Other decisions regarding career, education, marriage, location - all those I could imagine having gone another way and turned out fine.

    But being child-free was a moment of shining clarity for me. It is literally the only thing about which I have zero regrets. For me, it's not about perfectionism, but about impatience; my (very limited) patience is all for dogs & the elderly. My personal vision of hell is sitting through kid activities & pretending to be engaged. (I'm a kind person, so, had I been a parent, I would've devoted enormous energy to faking interest in kid things while trying not to resent it, thereby sapping my will to live. Heh.)

    My point is that I think self-awareness is our gift to others, as much as to ourselves. Most people think I'm a very patient person (it's even noted in my performance eval's) which I find hysterical. Really, it's that I know myself and have shaped my life accordingly to align with that in positive ways. I think the same can be done with perfectionism.

  6. A highly-educated and spiritual man once said to a class that the word "perfect" as used in the New Testament can be equally and accurately translated as "all-inclusive" from the original Greek, from which the New Testament was translated. A whole new perspective on what is "perfect."

  7. The first two paragraphs of your post today really struck home with me - I just went on to share it with my husband. It's so true and he and I need to reflect on this!

  8. This is incredible. There really isn't more I can say.

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