Friday, September 12, 2008

We interrupt this blog to bring you yet another confession......

Yesterday I came to the realization ( I kinda had a clue ), that I can be just a wee bit obsessive... I have been preparing my home for a gathering ( my 50th Bday... yikes...you may send me support if you have survived this milestone, or go "nanni nanni boo boo", if you haven't... a shameless plea for sympathy ... I know)... but back to the main story ....... while I stumbled across two very interesting reads.
The first one was a comment that was left on a decorator's blog by someone. It was berating her for being too obsessed with beautifying her home and showing off her pretty "things". Saying that there are more important things out there and go take part in "life", so to speak. I read it and thought at first, "how rude", but then the little voice in my head said to me (shut up, I know you hear one too ) "hey dummy, he's talkin' to you too!." Well, I realize that I can spend a lot of time sewing, painting, upholstering, decorating and tweakin all my little "pretties", but that's my hobby (especially now that it's just me and "Stinky", hanging out) .. "I'm not that bad..." another little voice said.... (isn't it funny when they argue with each other... lol..).
So, I went about my day, sprucing up every little nook and cranny of my house, when I came across the office (after reading Gollum for so long, I want to call it the library , sounds so much better) and I looked at the shelves...... Oh, let me move this around a bit, I tweaked until my arms and shoulders ached, still not satisfied with the result, too may pictures here, the vase is too large there, books are not the " right " colors , well.... you get the picture. What was going to take me 15 minutes, ended up taking two plus hours....

As I was taking some books off the shelf to rearrange , I grabbed one that I had never read. It's called "Simple Abundance" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Wondering what it was about, I RANDOMLY opened it up to a page titled " Little Miss Perfect"... I kid you NOT !!!! I sat down to read what this little section was about and the first sentence was a quote from Anne Lamott. .. "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life." Wow, I thought, that's a bit harsh! Nothing wrong with a little perfection... Another sentence said, "The road to hell is paved by perfectionist working with grains of sand..". Uh-oh..missed a spot... She summarized by saying, "Like workaholism, aspiring to be Little Miss perfect is an addiction of low self worth." She goes on to say that when we were young and did something right, suddenly voices other than our own sang our praises. It sounded like the Heavenly hosts, Champagne or chocolate couldn't begin to compare with the ecstasy of genuine compliments. We're creatures who live by our senses and since the response we got for perfection felt wonderful -even if for only ten seconds- we wanted to repeat the experience. So we set in motion a cycle of self-destruction that frequently felt as comfortable as a straitjacket. Still the persuit of perfection is the opiate of choice for millions of women."

Okay, I can relate to the feeling of the "straitjacket" when I want my home to look perfect when I have company. I must confess to being guilty of this ... I needed to read this to remind myself that obsessing over the little details isn't always a healthy thing....
I close the book, finding just the "right" spot for it on my shelf.... hum...it's got a peach and green spine on it. .. I can't put it next to the one with the red spine, it'll clash... So on I go, listening to my "oppressor", searching for a better place for it, maybe next to this photograph.... perched on a bar stool and reaching as far as I could to the right of the shelf I find a great place to put it and then........ (AGAIN, I KID YOU NOT!!!!) the stool slips from under my feet and I fall flat on my butt , still grasping the book in my hand!!!!!!!!!!!! Coincidence?.............. I think NOT. What a clear and loud message I received ! Despite my pain, I had to laugh at this strange and powerful experience.... it was 1:35 a.m..... I GOT THE MESSAGE..... I left the office in disarray and hobbled off to bed.

27 comments:

Diane said...

OMG, you've given me the giggles again! I hope your back side has survived the fall!

Yes, I've passed my 50th birthday by, I no longer have birthdays btw, and I have somewhat relaxed the urge to be perfect. While I may still obsess over some things, I've given up on others. It doesn't matter what other people think, or what you think they're thinking, just make yourself happy.

Enjoy your birthday & watch those stools! ;0}

Diane

EmBee said...

3 Things:

1. Nanny, nanner!

2. You said: "especially now that it's just me and "Stinky", hanging out" Is that any way to talk about Charlie?

3. "I can be just a wee bit obsessive"... Ya think?

Allow yourself the desire for perfection only because it pleases you... Don't spend your precious time aiming for perfection simply to please others nor to gain their approval... Otherwise your like a cat chasing it's tail.

P.S. Stay off of stools.

Judy said...

Well, Santa, seeing how today is my birthday, I have passed and survived being 50. Let me just say that it only gets better (if only my body would believe my mind)! My daughter and DIL had a surprise party for me for my 50th b'day and Elvis visited me at work (no he was not still alive)! I met my husband when I was 50 (and he is 12 years younger than me) and we've been married almost 5 years (you do the math).

Hope your backside is okay....

Judy

Justine said...

OMG, that is sooooooooooooo weird, but I guess you really are obsessed! Be careful on those little stools!

Justine :o )

santamaker said...

Thanks Diane! I think I will be 49 next year and keep getting younger! sounds like a good idea to me. You are so right, about being perfect... I am not, that's for sure in any other part of my life, but when it comes to playing house, I am a bit obsessive. I should definitely spend more time cleaning it than decorating it!
I'll stay off the stools, thanks. A couple three ibuprofrin and I'll be fine!

Annie100 said...

You are absolutely TOO funny! You WILL survive the big milestone, I had mine 3 years ago & I'm still alive & kicking! Your story reminded me of this past Sunday's sermon at church - about how much is enough? and why we want all this stuff? gee, I gotta hurry up & send my 'stuff' to the consignment place! Have a great B'day! - Oh, I tried being 49 a couple of years, until my kids wised up, so now I've been trying to be 52 for awhile! Hey, I got away with being 35 until I was 41! My kids nearly stroked when they found that out! haha

Happy To Be said...

OH Santa...I hope you did't hurt the old bun too much,,stop standing on bar stool..I love your blog girl you are too funny. hope you have a great weekend..Hugs and smiles Gloria

santamaker said...

Hi Gloria,
My old bum is still sore, but thank goodness there's plenty of padding back there (I knew it would come in handy, some how...LOL )
Have a great weekend, sweetie!

laurie said...

YIPPEE! I can leave a comment. Sorry I have been such a nag about it, but I love your blog, I was so frustrated that, as a non-blogger, I wasn't able to leave a comment. Santa, thanks so much for getting this fixed (just for me!) I really think there are other non-bloggers who want to comment. You're becoming a pro at this blogging thing. I started to say an "old" pro, but thought you might be a little age-sensiive right now! laurie (bargainhunr)

Justine said...

Got a little award for you on my blog!!!!!!

Justine :o )

Naz said...

I must admit that 3 years prior to my 50th birthday I was stressed. Then the day came and went and I figured out that I felt exactly the same as in my 40's. No big deal actually. You are what you make it out to be.
As for the book, I took it in a different context, especially when you fell down. Throw the book away!
:-)

Raxx - A day in the life said...

Hi, Justine made me visit!! Kidding, well not exactly, found you on Justine's blog, and I thoroughly enjoyed this post, I am 39 (going on 40) and will be 37 by my next birthday.

I am stressing too, pointless right?

As for the qust for perfection, with a 3year old and a 7yr old I have postponed it. But it does not mean I have stopped yearning for it, at Christmas time I again strive, to the detriment of my back and nerves.

Off to check out your older posts.

Raquel

Gollum said...

I loved this post. It came at a good time.Hope you are feeling better. I use anything and everything for stools. My husband says that's asking for a broken ankle. I am too impatient to pull out a ladder. lol

Bridget said...

Nanny nanny poo poo, I am older than you are by nine months! It's all downhill from here! LOL
I hope you get your puppy!
Bridget

Eve said...

I am loving your blog. I have never had a perfectionist gene, ever. I have to kick myself just to use a matching set of dishes. Whatever, is always alright with me. I could use a little boot in the behind probably to push me in your direction.
But I guess, I do need to rearrange the books under my side of the bed. Meshe is getting disgusted with me, because that is where she like to hide from the boys and they are all falling all over the place. LOL

Susan (Moonlight and Magnolias on RMS) said...

Hi girl...well, you are preaching to the choir on this one...I'm have begun to realize I have some of that perfectionist gene in me, too. I'm not obsessive about a clean house, but I am about arranging stuff on shelves, etc... I think they make meds for this! :o) Susan

decorator101 said...

Oh my gosh girl.. I hope you are ok...nothing worse than taking on an injury to make our home ... Happy Birthday... and many many more....I too am so guilty of using anything and everything to climb up to make that one area just "perfect".. hope you're feeling better girlfriend..
hugs ~lynne~

Kathy said...

Hope you are OKAY!!.

My first visit Santa and I am hooked, haha. Being 50 (Aug 2007) I felt was perfectly acceptable, however!. being 51 (Aug 2008) or more to the point "the WRONG SIDE of fifty" is so not acceptable I cannot begin to tell you (so stretch that year out as far as you can girl haha.
Obsession, perfection yep when it comes to the home I think we all have it to some extent!!, I just looked at all my books and although they are all in strict height order, they are not colour co-ordinated YIKES!!, now that is gonna bug me. haha, thanks for the giggle, Kathy.

tardevil said...

Happy belated birthday Santa! I'm not at your milestone yet, but let me tell you how bad I'm dreading it b/c that's where you come of age & the doctor says you have to have a colonoscopy. What could be worse if you've survived childbirth? When I was a kid, I put my rocker on a stool (I think they called them hassocks? way back then....they're probably clogging up landfills now) because my mom wouldn't get something down off the closet shelf fast enough to suit me. Needless to say, it ended up poorly w/ me in the ER. Now while I admit that was pretty blonde of me, I learned a lesson...stools aren't my friend, so I have to be super careful. I bought that Simple Abundance book too (years ago). I never read all of it, but I do remember it had some good stuff in it. Now about that perfection thing...as I tell my TK (terrific kid), we will never be perfect, but I think we should always strive to do our best (the perfectionist disease) and that's just what Southern decorators do. On that note, I apologize for the synapses...sometimes I think I'm the human version of Dory (Finding Nemo). Cheers!

Elizabeth said...

This is my first visit to your blog, via Justine and Bridget. I like certain things to be perfect, and others I don't care. I can see how the comment tweaked in your brain, it does in mine, too. I do think that the writer was rude to say that to the blog writer. Maybe she's a shut-in and the blog world is all she has.

Anonymous said...

HI Rose, just read this post and have to say, I, too am guilty of perfectionism, however I really believe it springs from my childhood. My Mom was NOT a good housekeeper (to put it mildly, and kindly) and for as long as I can remember, I TRIED every day to clean up our house....to no avail! Talk about frustration! So, now I have a NEED to keep my home CLEAN and NEAT!!!! It's ingrained, but I have to say, as I get older (I am 11 years older than you) I seem to be able to realx a LITTLE!!!!!! Thank God! Hugs, Pinky

bj said...

I was drinking coffee while reading this and spewed it all over my screen..laughing so hard.
Once, a while back, I was Mizz Perfect regarding my house, too.Never anything out of place..spick and span all the time...then....GRANDCHILDREN entered my life. Oh, a day at the park seemed MUCH better than running a mop around my kitchen...an afternoon movie was 10 times better than folding those clothes waiting for me...buying live minnows and heading off to fish awhile, play awhile was way at the top of the list for the day..cleaning the baths could wait!
See what I mean?? Oh, most of the time my house looks just fine...other times, especially after 4 little grand-girls spend
the weekend with me, it MIGHT could use some work!! :O)

Anonymous said...

Just read your blog on having the need for everything to be "just so". I definitely have that gene, but as I get older (50 is not so bad..I turned 60 this year- yipes!!!) I am finally beinning to relax-a little. Having grandchildren has helped me loosen up a bit. I don't want to be as uptight with them as I was with my own kids. I like to think I have learned something in 60 years! Loved reading about your experience..It was good to be able to see a funny side to this being perfect. I need that book! :-) Linda

Rhondi said...

Hi Rose
You made me laugh. I'm sure we all can identify with you in many ways.
I passed the 60 mark last year and it is even more scary than 50. Not that I feel that old , but it sounds so old!
I don't know if you've actually read Simple Abundance, but I found a lot of good tips in there.
Hugs, Rhondi

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

Cute, insightful post ~ I could have written it myself. I fell off a stool yesterday while reaching for the elusive "perfect" demitasse cups & saucers for my Tablescape Tuesday setting!

And of course, everything has to be perfect for company ~ I'd have lots more company more often if I could just get over this!! Hmmm, I need a copy of that book!

Big TX Hugs,
Stephanie
Angelic Accents

nikkicrumpet said...

OH I LOVE this story....how come I couldn't have read it before I spent the last week spiffy things up for my families visit. Heck I just could have left the MESS and instead taped a copy of your post in every room!! It sure would have saved my knees and feet! Crap I guess I should have visited her earlier!

Penny said...

Oh my goodness I thought things like this only happened to me. Thanks for sharing this great story! Hope your butt made a full recovery. :-)

If we lived next door to each other we'd have a well worn path in the grass because we'd be in each others homes tweaking and tweaking and loving every single moment of it.

Happy Belated Birthday. Fifty is Nifty!