17 June 2009

I'm imperfect

Somewhere lately I've read this piece of advice: Done is better than perfect. That's what I say to myself now when I take the silverware out of the dishwasher and put it into the drawer without sorting it. No one else gets in that drawer. Why should I worry about it? For a moment after I shut the drawer I feel a creepy gooseflesh on the back of my neck: Don't walk away. There is a mess here. Fix it. Fix it. Alert. Alert.

I'm trying to learn to embrace imperfection. For one thing, I think perfectionism contributes to my (very annoying) habit of procrastinating. If I am working toward perfection, then I can never finish because calling something finished also means admitting that I fell short of perfection. I have a room full of projects partly finished. They hold within them the seeds of perfection. Let it go. Work toward good, or even brilliant, but you can't be perfect. Face it.

Perfectionism prevents me from embracing myself. I hold myself to a much higher standard than I do others. For example, I know people who carry a lot of extra poundage, and that rarely enters my mind when I'm admiring them. A smile, the flash of an eye, the way someone moves can delight me. But let me look at myself in the mirror, and here comes that critical bitchy mommy voice telling me my hair is frizzy or my skirt doesn't hang right or my legs are as white as a fish belly. I appreciate a little of my own feedback, but I am going to have to learn to cut myself some slack or I'm going to be very unhappy as I age.

I'm trying to whip myself up into a frenzy of self-improvement, but I also want to learn to like myself the way I am. I want to be able to get some stuff out of my too-small bag and wear it again. That's the only place I'm going to get new items right now. Goodness knows my budget won't stretch to any of those new sleeveless paper clothes WalMart is selling, which look a lot like they were stitched up on My First Sewing Machine by ten year olds with spools of rotten thread. And may well have been. (The Evil Twin's Wife called it "the Mart of Wal" in her blog this morning, and I let out a little *squeal of laughter* when I read that.)

The exercise continues. Three days. Shew. Still taking big old man steps or, as powdergirl called it, walking like "a purposeful woman". (Check out the comment powdergirl left on the previous post. She makes it sound so easy: Keep walkin'. Eat for fuel. Stay away from carbs. Yes, ma'am. I'm going to do it.)

Yesterday I put on a DVR I made of a Christine Aguilera concert and tried to follow every move Christina made, except when she got on top of the piano and lolled around. Oh, I'm sure it would have made a very funny video. I put on my whorey silver platform pumps for the last number, but if I had caused an injury that required an emergency visit, I'd have lied like a rug about that. This morning I weighed myself and I feel chicken-livered not to just blurt the number out to you, but I can't seem to do it. Let's just say that I've not reached circus proportions.

So for now it's my secret number, and I'm going to make it go down. I am going to hold on to the idea that after exercise I feel really good - I mean it too; good like I used to feel back in the seventies. I will try to learn a little about this stranger who passes for my body. I know this: I like her cleavage and the way her hair curls up when it's cut the right way and her little deep-set blue-grey eyes. I want her to be able to cross her legs and carry a typewriter and go up the attic steps without trembling.

Pick you up tomorrow about the same time? And leave some comments, would ya? I need all the help I can get.

Are you a perfectionist? A procrastinator? Is your body your friend or some big piece of meat you drag around with you?


Lydia said...

"she" is beautiful.

And this made me cry, until I laughed at Mart of Wal and the shoes. I want to see the shoes. If you post those shoes, I will post my whore-y Dorothy shoes. Promise. Pinkie swear.

I know you're perfect from your art.

The window dressing will change as you will it.

But your art and humor are who you really are. So do what you want with the windows! I can't wait to hear what you do. I'm sure you will succeed.



Jayne said...

are you kidding me? My very act of reading your lovely blog is purely made of procrastination. I have several big house projects I have put off for almost two years now. The dealine has come, yet I do nothing. I have a studio full of a partially finished project...I will finish, but will end up in a frenzy at the last possible minute. Can't seem to break that pattern. See, then, when it is done-it has to move on and I am too happy to be done and too exhausted to notice all the imperfections I would have otherwise ruminated about for hours/days/weeks... could go on and on. Procrastination often = my own insecurities

On a different note, congrats with your exercising! I am a averagely serious athlete- partially because it is my natural antidepressant, my way of taming my dogs, stress relief, and partially because I am a product of my body-perfectionist family.(trying very hard to not pass this stupid gene on!!!)

When it is for the right reasons, it is a wonderful and balancing thing! But also remember that you are a talented artist and writer, with a wonderful sense of life and humor. Just this much shows through your twitter and blog...can't imagine how cool you are in person. :)

Ah, wrote too much again. signing off.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

I definitely procrastinate. And, this never makes me very popular, but I have a very good metabolism and a slight frame, so I like my body - even my post 2 c-sections body. But, I like to make my face look nice. That's an important part to me feeling productive each day - by doing my hair and make up, even if I have no plans. I just "feel better". I'm a bit OCD, so you just don't know what you'll get over here.... LOL.

powdergirl said...

I'm not a perfectionist, I wouldn't dare.
Perfectionists work too hard, I kmow a few, and Damn! They work hark HARD at it.(and I can and will run a jack-hammer for 14 hours at a stretch, so I know what I say when I say 'hard work")
Unless I'm working, and some times at the gym. Other that that I'm happy with sloth.

Other than that, my body is my friend.
Always has been.

Not to say I don't abuse it with alcholhol. Hell, it's my best drinking buddy. I've beat the crap out of it for years with said hard work too.
That's not different from any other kinds of neglect, or the damage you inflict. But the body is powerful, and it houses the life of the mind, so I am grateful to it and try to put back what I take out.

Jeez, how's that for 'going on'
I'd wish you luck, but I don't think you need it : ) oh hell, good luck,stick to it!

The Gossamer Woman said...

This was a great big honest post and it mostly made me smile in sympathy and grin at your humor.

I have learned to embrace who I am now, which is, I admit, a person who weighs 35 kilos less than she used to. I couldn't embrace that fat woman. I had to loose the weight first.

I'm still chubby and still losing weight, but I like myself now and think of myself as a normal, acceptable human being. I don't hide who I am or feel embarrassed about myself. Nor do I judge other people by standards that are less than kind and forgiving.

It's important to loose weight for your good health and to eat wisely and not stuff yourself. I had to learn this. It was all emotional eating. What love and sex is to other people, food was to me. Comforting!

I get a kick out of the clothes I wear now, even with my still chubby body. I am a daredevil. Just wait until you get there. It will be fun.

Sweet Pea said...

There you go again expressing all my inner most thoughts and feelings. You do it in such a charming fashion that I already feel better about myself. Yes I procrastinate for all the same reasons. My body and I have been at war for years and the words "diet and exercise" make me want to slap someone. I like to think that hating to exercise and loving food are as genetic as your eye color. That means I'm only partly responsible for my behavior. I never tried to resist athletic endeavors like you did in gym class but it took me years to figure out I just wasn't very good at sports etc. The last one picked for kick ball and touch football always should have been my first clue. I could dance and loved to--still do but don't. Maybe I need to borrow those platforms! I'm glad you are finding things that work and learning not to strive for the ever elusive state of perfection.

DeadpanAlley said...

i always have a few secret procrastinations despite my attempts to kill off that part of myself. heh.

i agree about the carb thing big time. i've been a chubby-ass my whole life and low carb is the only thing that keeps me under a size 10. you are definitely a beautiful lady, and you are going to be even more beautiful carrying a typewriter with legs gracefully crossed whilst climbing the attic steps un-tremblingly...??


SugarCain said...

You guys are the best.

Cheryl said...

I loved reading this post! It's so true, you always judge yourself more harshly than you do others. I'm a recovering perfectionist, an every day battle believe me. But as an artist, I really can't afford to be a perfectionist or my output would slow down even more. Great post, thanks for sharing!