Saturday, December 1, 2012

Are you perfect?

Are you a perfectionist?  Do you have the discipline the master a craft, profession or hobby, to play a musical instrument?  Do you spend hours...days...weeks... practising? working at your passion? learning everything you can about something you love to do?

I am.

I am a perfectionist.

But I am not your standard run-of-the-mill perfectionist. I am not the perfectionist who spends hours, days months and years in disciplined activity desperately trying to better my skills.

I am the anti-perfectionist.  The kind of perfectionist who is so afraid of failure, so paralysed by the idea of not being perfect straight away, that I give up on things before I have a chance to fail.

This most annoying attitude applies to many many things... like playing piano, singing lessons, writing stories, academic study, keeping my house clean (or just generally being the "perfect housewife"), playing sport of any kind, controlling a class, cooking...

It is a frustrating trait.  For me, for my husband (who would totally love it if I took up further study, or became the domestic goddess that he sometimes wishes I was...). I would totally love to excel at everything I love instead of feeling mediocre at everything.

I would be able to say "Yes I play flute and oboe and piano", instead of saying "well I played flute for a few years, and my piano teacher fired me because I wouldn't practice".  I would be able to say (like a friend of mine) "Sure, I love cooking.  I cook every meal my kids eat; breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday", instead of saying "No I don't cook.  My husband does all the cooking in our house.  But I bake" in a please-don't-judge-me tone.

Some people would laugh at me.  Some would say "work harder at doing better".  And they would both be right.  It is comical to be the anti-perfectionist.  But it would be more godly to say "Screw my tendencies towards failure avoidance.  I am going to work harder to perfect the skills and knowledge that God has given me the capacity to achieve".  For once I could stop being extremely intelligent and capable in my own mind, and actually be that way.