Help! I’m a Recovering Perfectionist
August 29th, 2013
Hi. I’m Dawn Falcone and I’m a recovering perfectionist. There. I said it. “Recovering” because honestly, there are times when the urge to do something perfectly creeps back into my life (more on that below). I work hard to fight those urges. I know that some people list being a perfectionist as one of their greatest qualities. Hooray for them. For me, it’s been a hindrance in so many ways. It has even hurt me physically.
Case in point:
I was prepping for my Monkey Boy’s backyard birthday party. I chose a carnival theme. I went a bit crazy hand making games, decorations, popcorn, favors & food. I started the process weeks in advance. The day of the party, my husband and others offered to help set things up, but I had a master plan that only I could accomplish. I was placing one of seventy-two colorful pinwheels in the ground when my back completely gave out. This had never happened to me before. I was in agony. Thank goodness someone was there to help complete my over-the-top/crazy person party vision. I’m pretty sure I would have crawled on the ground with those pinwheels in my teeth to get it done.
While I did make it through the party ( hunched over & in pain), I was completely out of commission the next day.
A neighbor paid me a visit to do some bodywork on my back. She asked me how I injured myself. I went into vivid detail about all the party elements. She listened patiently and then she finally asked, “Who were you trying to impress with this party?”
“Umm, well. I don’t know. People…….it was for my son!” I blurted out
“Dawn, your son is two. Most of the attendants were two or younger. You spent weeks working on this as if Martha Stewart was coming to photograph it for her magazine. Give yourself a break. You’re the mother of a toddler and you are running your own business. Stop putting so much pressure on yourself. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect for it to be lovely and fun.” She said all of this in a completely non-judgmental, matter of fact way.
It took months for my back to recover and even longer than that for me to get over my need to have everything be perfect. Having a now 5 year old boy has helped with that process. My little boy does not want perfection. He wants love, snuggles, ice cream, dirt and trains. I can look like a rag-a-muffin and he still squeezes me tight & tells me how much he loves me.
I mentioned above that some things can still set off the urge to be perfect. I found this on Facebook this week and POW! It started to creep back in.
I opened my linen closet & pulled out my fitted sheets and was just about to follow the step-by-step guide when I was zapped back into reality.
I’ve seen Martha Stewart do this herself on her show. She rocks it. And Ms. Kym, the owner of my local laundromat, is a master at it too. I’m not even close. Maybe my arms are too short. Maybe if I had worked at The Gap I would be able to do it effortlessly.
I was going to post this to my biz FB page but then I realized that most of my clients are super busy working moms. They’ve got enough on their plate and folding fitted bedsheets perfectly is not one of them.
I do fold my fitted bedsheets in my own way. They fit neatly on the linen shelf, but Martha would not approve.
You could always get a basket for your bed linens. Stick the fitted sheet on the bottom of the basket in any old way. Then you can neatly fold the top sheet and pillowcases. You just may be able to fool Ms. Stewart with this method.
And I’m pretty sure you won’t throw your back out trying to accomplish the task.