Monday, March 21, 2011
I have watched more than my fair share of the hoarding shows on TV. One of the comments I hear a lot is "I'm a perfectionist" -- and this statement is often uttered (thanks to the producers, I'm sure) in front of a startling pile of junk, a moldy bathroom, or a sink filled with frightening piles of dishes. At first I found it ironically funny: what "perfectionist" can put up with filth like that?
It just clicked with me: the perfectionist may have trouble addressing such big problems because they know they can (or may) never actually get them to be "perfect." So to do nothing is the only way to avoid failure at perfection. I'm not psychologist -- this is just my take on things.
So back to Mildew Central at my house. How does perfectionism come into play here? Well, I think it's because I DO (and not in a good way) have perfectionist tendencies. I don't mean that I am perfect -- far, far from it. I mean that I like things to be perfect. Perfectly clean, perfectly organized, perfectly, crazy-making perfect. I think that perfectionist tendency in me was just avoiding the scary basement mess because I KNEW I could never get it to look perfect. Some of the rugs were stained or just plain ruined. The cement floor, already a mess, was even worse. Water had crept into places I probably didn't even know about and that bothered me, too. So to just ignore the whole things was my way of avoiding failure -- my fear of not being able to make it right.
So how did I overcome this particular obstacle? I called for help. And luckily for me the best cleaner I know of is my mom :) and she was more than happy to spend an entire evening mopping, bagging wet stuff, laundering rugs, etc. etc. Her positive and knowledgeable enthusiasm was what I needed to get going and address the problem.
Is my basement perfect? No. Do I feel better -- and am I trying to learn from this to help myself deal with future problems? A big, resounding YES! It's ok to NOT be perfect. Someday I'll get that.