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Perfection, noun

“the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects”Oxford Dictionary Pointless pursuit of perfection

Why do we strive constantly for perfection, what is perfection? What is enough? When do we find acceptance and understand that we can only do so much before the cracks start to show, before we start to splinter a little bit at a time, before the cracks become to large and it becomes difficult to find our way back.

I am a perfectionist, a work-horse, a task master, an unyielding “encourager”! Which at times I am told, is hell to live with – this I cannot deny.

I am  one of those people who clears the dishes right after the last person puts the last morsel of food into there mouth (this can sometimes feel like an eternity with an 8 year old). I am the person who packs the dishwasher as I am cooking – just so that I can work in an ordered environment. I am the person who brushes their teeth and wipes down the bathroom bench top at the same time. I am the person who cannot climb under the bed covers during the day if I decide to have a rest – bedcovers are only going to sleep at night you see. I cannot go to bed and sleep peacefully with a  kitchen piled with dishes. I like my knee rugs and table tops to be neatly arranged when I lie my head down on my plumped pillow at night. I agonise over which pen to write with as I like a really fine nib that doesn’t “splotch” or mark my papers. I have started hand-written journals a dozen times only to throw them out – what’s authentic about writing in pencil only to rub it out because it is not neat enough or the grammar is questionable. If truth be told, the list goes on and on and it is simply a part of who I am.

I can laugh at these character traits in my personality, it’s my quirks and foibles that make up the person that is me, but, where it becomes a problem is when it impacts on those around me and creates tension, stress and discontentment in them. Over the years I have pushed my husband to strive for bigger and better opportunities, to push himself hard towards that elusive place called success. In reality he was already on that path by his own means, I simply rushed it along at a dizzying speed. This was not all bad, it meant travel, adventure and promotion, but, along with that came stress, discontentment and uncertainty, not the ingredients for the “perfect family life”.  Am I responsible for his success or failure, no, but I am guilty of putting my own measure against it. Unfortunately my pursuit of perfection does not always remain contained in a box just for me.

I have two bright, kind, generous, beautiful children, an intelligent, kind and generous husband. They are not perfect, they are human and fallible just like all of us, but, at times I forget that. I forget that they don’t function on my command, they make their own choices, they do their best, they make their own mistakes, have their own successes. They measure all of this by their own yard stick, not mine.

What I have learnt: Through my journey of introspection, forgiveness and acceptance, I have learnt I have the capacity to accept life as it is. I have learnt that I can only adjust my own behaviour and perception and that everyone else’s is there own, and how they choose to use the life they have been given is not in my control. I have learnt that I can provide a safe, loving, healthy home for my children, so that they may grow into the human beings they choose to be, but I cannot force them to be anything other than themselves. I have learnt that it is possible to truly love someone even if at times, I do not like them. I have learnt that we are all enough.

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