Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So, Perfection is...Ugly?

Marilyn sure had it right when she said, "Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring."

Oh, who am I kidding? I still can't help but strive for the perfection part. I give myself some room for mistakes and refrain from sticking bamboo shoots under my fingernails when I skip a workout (every day for three weeks) or drink one too many at the bar (read: take those sucker restaurateurs for all their worth at happy hour), but typically I expect a lot of myself. So much so that it is often hard to keep up with my personal demands. Demand a lot equals deliver a lot...until I can only go so long until I crash and enter into the dreaded tub-of-cookie-dough-eating, less-than-enthusiastic, Do I have to shower again? sloth phase. It's quite a cycle.

Back in the day, I always tried my hardest and almost always met my expectations. I rarely ever failed as a young Kate and that screwed me big time for when I entered my 20's and started effin' things up left and right. Looking back, I also see I started risking more, hence more opportunities for failure, but at the time, it was beyond confusing to not get it right all the time. I developed my cycle of perfection madness back then and it always ended the same way: the inevitable health crash. I'd work to the brink of my ability, burn myself out, struggle to pull myself back to calm and once I was "safe," I'd get physically ill. Whether a sore throat, fever, migraine, or issues with "el estomago," I'd be a wreck. And when my health wasn't "perfect," it would stress me out even more. HELLO?! How did I not put this all together? Too busy charting out the path to world domination before the age of 25, I suppose. Thankfully I missed that deadline and am starting to mellow the f#@k out.

So where did this all come from? Recently, I read a great article, The Dark Side of Perfectionism Revealed, courtesy of a tweet from @stevepavlina, that made me take a deeper look into my perfection obsession. A look, that combined with other recent epiphanies, might just help me kick the habit away for good.  Bottom line: extreme perfectionism is just not good for your health. Cue the heavenly light and singing of angels. Setting such high goals on a continual basis leaves so many opportunities for life to get in the way of plans, as it so often does, and ruin your perfect record. Funny how in my attempt to get everything right, I just so happened to ignore such a basic, easy, simple, no-I'm-serious-you-didn't-get-that? truth.

There's no doubt I'll still strive for the best - it's part of what makes me, me. But something else that makes me, me is an ability to laugh at those perfectly imperfect moments.

And you know what? I love to laugh.

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