The Expectation of Perfect



Sometimes a perfectionist (in certain things) I can be mocked for the standards that I set for myself.

I expect myself to be the perfect Wife, Step-Mother, Marketing Maven… (hasn’t happened yet but I expect it of myself).  I expect my linen closet to be folded properly, my clothes to be organized and ready to go.  My house to be immaculate and there to be labels on many things.  My 500 pairs of high heels are stacked in the walk-in closet that is all mine (Kevin put’s his clothes in the other room now).  His 500 pairs of fancy runners and leather shoes are in there as an act of defiance.  They are usually neatly stacked in a row, which bugs me a little.

Who am I doing it for?  Me.   I don’t care if you come to my house and judge, because whatever YOU say will not be close to what I have to say about my house or my things, or my abilities, or my talents, or my relationships (or failed relationships)… you can’t hold a candle to the dialogue in my head that consistently tells me that, when it comes to life, I have none of this shit figured out or nailed down.    The record that plays in the back ground of my mind is not “I am better than everyone else” the record is “I am never enough”.  Same singer… totally different lyrics.

To all the men who dated and thought they loved me, be grateful it didn’t work out.  Living with me deserves a medal.  You escaped… be glad.   Kevin is some kind of super hero with powers I still don’t understand.

I get impatient a lot. Almost never with the kids because kids are kids… and I have more patience for our boys than I have for anyone else on the planet, except Diego.   I get impatient with the speed with which my goals develop.  Sometimes I think if I work harder, longer hours that I can expedite them which is true for fiscal goals.  But healing for instance?  Try to expedite that one… it simply doesn’t work that way.   You cannot flog yourself to heal faster (and I hate that).

I don’t ‘hear’ compliments.  For instance if you give me one, I’ll ignore it.  If you persist, I will shrug it off and change the subject.  If you continue to persist I’ll make a joke about you “hitting on me” or being an “EMO”.  I can’t let them in because I can’t trust them (yet).   If I let your kindness in all the way and it turns out that you are a mean person after all, I will hate myself for not being a good judge of character.   So I live in the land of “I’m rubber… you’re glue”.

Last night we went out.  I surprised my husband with an impromptu date that involved a lot of margarita’s, Chinese food and a visit to the Casino in Oklahoma.  It’s a short drive from North Texas.   All the way there (thanks to the ‘Rita’s) I was singing 90’s pop tunes (love me some Pandora) with Kevin.  We didn’t win anything at the Casino but it felt great to just be young, spontaneous and get out of dodge for awhile.   Tipsy also felt awesome because it allowed me to “check out” of that other tune that constantly plays in the back ground.

“You’re not good enough… You’re not good enough… You’re not good enough…  Oooh look!  Walking Dead slots!”

It was while I was in the Zen of penny slots that I had this ridiculous thought.

What if we are never happy with ourselves for our entire lives?  What if we are always just SUPPOSED to be an ongoing work in progress?   And perhaps I should stop aiming for the end of the evolution and enjoy the process of the evolution instead, marking progress not to a destination but rather… just feeling grateful that I am getting better?  And that I am the type of person that consistently wants to get better as she gets older, in all the domains that matter?

If I believe other people are entitled to be a “work of art in progress” why not extend that compassion to myself?  Embrace the foibles and the failures, and love the part of myself that still views life as an adventure.  That I will always be the person that takes the back road, because flat tires or not, the view is better.


You know you are getting old when hangovers make you existential.