Confessions of an Opposite-Perfectionist

Thursday, March 23, 2006

My mother has always told me to clean my room. To make my bed and to wash my sheets. I never listened to her. Ever. She told me that my room represents my life, and that by having it messy, my life would inevitably be the same.

"The Lord's house is a house of order" she'd say.

I've been out of my mother's house for two years now. My room is a mess. It always has been, and I'm starting to think that it always will be. I don't really understand how this happens. But I'll clean my room, wake up, and suddenly notice clothes that I haven't worn sprawled about the floor. Books that I haven't read in ages will be open on my desk. Papers are just floating in the air, and somehow, all my picture frames are crooked. And I sit back and look at my bedroom. My lair. My place of living that represents my life. And it really does.

I am an opposite-perfectionist. I would like to be a perfectionist, but lo, I suck at it. So sub conciously I tell myself that if I can't do it perfectly then I might as well not do it at all. I find this attitude in almost everything I do. School, cleaning, cooking, dressing, even hygiene. Everything except for relationships, prayer and cracking a joke. And I'm pretty sure people around me are fed up, God
is shaking his head, and most people don't laugh. (Except for my twelve year old sister. She thinks I'm hiliarious. But I digress).

How do I break this? Self discipline has never been a talent of mine. I find the whole idea confusing. You're taught that when you do something wrong, you get disciplined. Why would ever want to inflict this upon yourself?

So I went on a quest to figure out just how to get over these opposite-perfectionistisms that plague me:

I now go out of my way to mess things up. Not like big, eternal consequence mess ups- but maybe, I'll trip down the stairs. Or forget to brush my teeth. If I forget to brush my teeth ON PURPOSE it will drive the perfectionist part of me absolutly nuts. Then I will say: "I just can't do this. I can feel the plaque," and brush my teeth. This feeling of accomplishment will then motivate me to get other things done. Like, buying a new toothbrush, perhaps. And then once that is done I might tidy up the bathroom. Maybe notice that my towel is dirty. Before you know it, I'm doing laundry, and already half my room is clean.

And if we can each pick up half of our lives and clean them imagine what else we might notice to clean up around us.

So mess up on purpose my fellow opposite-perf's. And watch as my prophecies clean up the world.

1 comment:

  1. You inspire me. Look, there I a spire. Seriously, that is an amazing idea. I think I shall put it to use, my friend.


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