On Perfectionism.

as you may know, while i love coming here, to our blog, to “brain dump” my thoughts every so often, i love reading the words of others even more, so it would come to no surprise to many of you how much i love following blogs. late last year, as part of gearing up for #simplify2014 – more information to come on that, and soon, i promise! – i stopped following blogs simply because i followed them for a long time, or because i wanted to keep tabs on what was brewing in the world of weddings, home design or best practices in parenting.

instead, i weeded out many blogs from my blog reader, and i began following only the blogs that made my heart sing – that offered positive, energizing, fulfilling snippets of life.

one of these blogs that remained on my list – and is one of my most favorite to read each day – is Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s Ivy League Insecurities. recently, ADR posted about the idea of perfectionism. borrowing words from her post, she said:

Recently, during a spin class at SoulCycle, the instructor said something: You do not need to be perfect. You just need to be you. How fantastic is this? I thought to myself: I hope this is a message I am sending my girls. And myself.

as a perfectionist myself, this thought struck me so deeply in my heart, and this idea – well, ADR’s entire post on perfectionism, really – helped me to realize something that i’ve found rather profound about my own life, about my own perfectionism, a light-bulb-moment that i posted in the following comment to ADR’s blog that day:

I think I’ve grown out of perfectionism since having my son. I honesty believe that while I still strive to do things well and to tap into my fullest potential, I forgive myself much easier for falling short since having a child.

Mama-L-November-2013

i used to focus all of my energy on making the perfect to-do list, on decorating the perfect home. but at some point in the past handful of months, i’ve noticed that my perfectionist tendencies have subsided, at least a little bit.

my to-do list, which is now housed in Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner, is messy and full of scribbles.

our home is often cluttered and messy, evidence of our nineteen-month-old son present in every nook and cranny. dog bones litter the stairs, the bed, the rug, the house. laundry is put away only when Jord offers to help. clean, unused diapers are stuffed haphazardly in baskets, on end tables, and on ledges in every room, ready and waiting for the next poopsplotion. our decorating choices may seem silly or quirky or downright silly, but  the shocking part is this: i wouldn’t change any of it, this imperfect life.

instead of worrying about what i’m not doing, i’m grateful for all that i can do, all that i do get done in a day. instead of wondering if i’m making the “right” decorating decisions or if my home looks like Pinterest-worthy, i make myself (and Jord and L) happy and help our home to function best for them, for us. in other words, perfectionism ain’t got nothing on me, on this life of mine, anymore.

what do you think about perfection? is it an affliction? a choice? something we grow out of?

{photo by Larissa Lynn Photography}

About Sara

Sara works in higher education, but she's most proud of her role as a Mama to two precocious boys, Lionel Conner, age 4, and Quincy August, age 2. In honor of turning 30 in 2016, she pierced her nose to "keep her young." She loves watching guilty-pleasure television, writing about motherhood, decorating her first home, sipping red wine with her husband Jordan, and chasing after her sons.

One Response to On Perfectionism.

  1. valery February 3, 2014 at 10:20 AM #

    same here! i worried about the stupidest stuff and stressed over making something perfect, but now, for things like that – projects/entertaining/decorating/cleaning – mostly I just aim for “good enough” (with a few exceptions, obviously). I have mostly noticed this in the messiness of the house though – I am content to just have the toys corralled at the end of the day, not neatly placed in their rightful spot. like you said, I’m grateful I even get to it at all. :)