Monday, October 5, 2009

Doing it right the first time

People are different. I've found, even for people in the same socio-economic class, same basic background - still may not be able to complete the same tasks in the same way or time frame.

When I discovered this, I was a bit shocked. I think I was under the mistaken impression that everyone could do things like boil water, balance a checkbook or check out a book from the library. While most people can do these things, not everyone can. Or can do them with the same general amount of education or instruction.

In my life, there was always a lot to do. Even before I had children. And recently I've been learning to take care of myself, to speak up for myself. Instead of what other people want me to do OR what will make other people happy.

I am not one of those people who will be sure to fully complete a task, so that it is done the right way the first time. I'm just not that way. I try to finish projects on time - sometimes in a half *ssed way. I'll admit it. Growing up in the home that I did, there was always a ton to do - there was often a void that needed to be filled. It made sense to do as much as possible - whether or not it was perfect.

The point where this becomes problematic is when you wait to do it perfectly, and so avoid ever getting anything done. (there is a great dilbert cartoon about this - which I have up in my cube).

To wait until the walls are washed before inviting people over. If that were the case, for me, I would never invite anyone over. Not only that, if I did have people over to my home, I would spend the entire time on pins and needles - exhausting myself ahead of time.

We all have different standards of cleanliness. And it makes sense to try and live in an uncluttered, low dust home. There's nothing wrong with washing your walls - if that's what you need to do. I am speaking for myself here.

But sometimes, it seems to me, we just have to take a leap of faith. We do the best we can at the moment, with the knowledge that we may make a mistake. That we may have to do it over. Because something needed to be done - to be completed.

And so much in our lives does not have to be perfect. We have to accept that we are human and that others are human. And that everyone has different standards.

It is a difference I have from many of my friends - again, just a personality difference. Other people are better planners, better executors. They can get things done right, on time. For me, I recognize that I push myself hard enough as it is. I'm not going to push myself to do things perfectly the first time.


carrie said...

it was a bit of a revelation to me when i was watching a show about hoarding disorder (it might have actually been "oprah") and a psychologist described it as a variant of obsessive-compulsive disorder. before, i had thought that no two conditions could be more different, but it can be a paralyzing fear of not being able to clean or organize perfectly that leads to the piles of magazines, pizza boxes, clothes, etc. that fill a hoarder's house. my mom has an OCD diagnosis (doing great with good meds) and keeps an immaculate house, and my mother-in-law verges on hoarding. i used to think of them as having completely different issues, but now i'm not so sure.

Aerin said...

Thanks carrie. I would have never made the connection either, but I can see your point.

Freckle Face Girl said...

I think most of us accept that everyone else is human, but we try too hard to present the ideal side of ourselves. For me, that is very clear when it comes to a clean house. When people come over, I want mine to be almost perfect. However, I don't judge others when I am at their house.