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Perfectionism Goes Out with the Old Year

     I was in denial until I caught myself reaching across three pews full of people to straighten the flowers on the lady’s print blouse.  That’s when I knew. 

     My mom warned me many, many times about the downside of being stubborn.  She never gave me a clue about the pitfalls of perfectionism.  Well, why would anyone design a blouse with upside-down flowers on it anyway? Some of them were sideways, but still…

     Wow! Antonio Gates just ran through snow and sleet and eight Cleveland Browns for a touchdown! What a - ’scuse me - what a perfect run!

     So like I was saying before Antonio took off down the field, why would anyone design a blouse with upside-down flowers? Leaves - that would be different.  They always go upside down in the fall.  But I’ve never seen an upside-down flower – not even in a floral arrangement.  Maybe the designer expected the wearer of the blouse to stand on her head every now and then.  Activewear…

     Oh well, it’s just a blouse and the Chargers aren’t Brees-ing through this game, but they’re looking like a win so they could have a perfect season.  Well, almost perfect.

     One of the big problems with perfectionism is that it takes so much time.  I’m running late; we have to be at the school program in ten minutes but the pin on my jacket is kind of at a slant.  Not much of a slant, but definitely a slant.  A slight slant.  Prob’ly no one would notice, but it isn’t straight.

     Now this pin isn’t easy to put on in the first place.  I know darn well if I mess with it, I’m gonna be late and still have a crooked pin on my jacket ’cause by the time I get done, it’ll slant just a little to the other side.  But I persist anyway and get it as straight as I can and walk out of the room.  I almost make it.  Three steps before the door I turn around and head back toward the mirror.  It’ll only take a minute to get it really straight and it’ll look so much better. 

     And then of course I also have to get to wherever-it-is-I’m-going on time.  It’s tough for me, but it’s a heckuva lot tougher on my live-in spouse in the other room, waiting for me to come dashing into the room at the last possible moment and announce, “I’m ready to go!” When I do, he’s smack in the middle of a suspense-filled paragraph in the latest J.  A.  Jance mystery and he’s not gonna budge until he finds out if she escaped with her shoes.

     It’s no better at work.  I put together a report for the two o’clock meeting.  Looks fine.  Easy to scan and get the information quickly.  It’s accurate.  I print it out.  Now, if I’d just grab it and run it into the meeting - but no, I have to glance it over.  Make sure everything’s in place.  No typos.  No missing numbers.  So at two minutes after two I rush into the meeting with freshly printed reports.  A few changes – perked up the title, added dollar signs to the interest totals, bolded the headings…

     It’s been a good year in spite of my addiction to perfectionism and I’m really looking forward to the New Year ’cause not only do I have the Chargers to watch in the division playoffs, but I’ve also made the best resolution of my life: I’m gonna work on this perfectionism problem and become a happy, well-rounded Imperfectionist by the end of the year.  I know if I work at it hard enough, I can do it perfectly.

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