Not Chasing Perfect

Mammoth / TiffanyAOlson.com

Mountain Biking at Mammoth Lakes

It seems there are a lot of recovering perfectionists out there. Several books have arrived or will be arriving on the scene which all have to deal with the idea of giving up their perfectionist ways. A short list includes, Shauna Niequist’sPresent Over Perfect, Emily Ley’s, Grace Not Perfection, Lara Casey’sCultivate What Matters (coming out in June 2017) and recently I read Unashamed by Christine Cain which wasn’t about perfectionism but touched on problems it has caused in the author’s life. The one issue I do not have in my life is chasing perfect.

My house is clean but not immaculate. I am not big on clutter or dirty bathrooms but I have to admit, the blinds in my dining room window haven’t been dusted since we moved in last August and we are now in the month of March. I probably shouldn’t mention the half wall which was removed in this room which spread sheetrock dust everywhere. I opened those blinds the other day and winced. But there are books to be read and blog posts to be written along with laundry, dinner, kids sports, helping at the office and runs to be ran, so to this day, the blinds in my dining room have not been dusted. And although it bothers me when I open and close the blinds, it obviously hasn’t bothered me enough to do something about it.

It’s funny to ponder on this idea of perfectionism because no one is or ever will be perfect until we get to heaven. Unfortunately, the antithesis of perfect is flawed/inferior/second rate or incomplete. I don’t consider myself inferior or second rate because my blinds are dirty, I do, however, wonder if I had the desire to be a little more put together then things would be different. It is not lost on me that these recovering perfectionists are all authors, speakers and or thriving entrepreneurs. Their perfectionist ways have driven them to various levels of success which I have yet to achieve. Even with this knowledge and as much as I desire to make my mark on the world, I am not willing to give up my current season of life to chase it.

I didn’t get married till I was 30. We began having children when I was 33. Our eldest is now 13 and we only have 5 years left till she spreads her wings and leaves the nest. 5 Years! I don’t want to miss it. I would rather do less, have less and be less in the world’s eyes than to chase the idea that we have to have it all together.

On the flip side there is guilt associated with not desiring perfection because as much as I don’t want to take the time it’s going to take to make life perfect I love how I feel when everything is in order. What is a girl to do?

  • Decide what is important.  Do those things. For this season of life, important to me is God, Mr. Wonderful, Natalie and Bridger (our kids), running, writing and reading.
  • Let go of commitments that don’t help you achieve what is important. I am shedding off all things which hinder what’s important. Time is short, whatever I commit to needs to center around what I care about most or I will inadvertently miss out on what brings me joy.
  • Focus on little things each day to help life feel orderly. To ensure my house isn’t a total disaster or to keep the other necessities of life in order I have made a commitment to tackle one small thing done each day. (ie. wipe down bathroom counters and swish out the toilet before I leave the house in the morning.)

I will leave you with this…

I wrapped a gift for our daughter’s friend the other day.  It was her 12th birthday. As she opened the gift she looked at how it was wrapped, giggled and asked if Natalie had wrapped it. I chimed in and assured her it was me. The edges were rough and not folded smoothly, scotch tape was everywhere. Yes, I would love my gift wrapping skills to mimic those I see on Pinterest, but in the moment I had a choice to make. Am I going to sit here for a half hour and try to make this wrapping job look perfect or am I going to slap some tape on it and call it good? Tape slapping always wins because I don’t have the patience or the skills for smooth corners and the truth is trying to get it perfect stresses me out. I would much rather laugh at myself later in front of a group of people than sit at home and sweat over the imperfect creases in my wrapping paper.

Now, I will go clean the blinds…

Have a fabulous day my friends!!

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Sandy Mitts says:

    Tiff, I have used the motto ” In light of eternity, what difference does it make “. Nat will remember her Mom laughing with her rather than whether the blinds were clean. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You are my kind of person and you know what I’m doing.

  2. Sandy… your the best.♥

  3. Tiffany I think you got it right. The only two things that last for eternity are the word of God and people. Take time for what matters. You are loved.

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