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Archive for the tag “perfectionist”

Perfectionist Problems

https://image.shutterstock.com/image-vector/perfectionism-perfectionist-removes-nonideal-berry-260nw-337563263.jpgThe greatest problem with being a perfectionist is that you are never at peace. And the main reason you can never find tranquillity is because you are never satisfied. You always believe there is more, you can do better, you can achieve greater things, you can aim higher. There is no limit, no ceiling, never anything enough.

And that is a problem.

When others are satisfied with the bare necessities, you are always seeking for more. Something more extravagant, more original, something different. Ordinary is boring. You comprehend that fully.

But that means you are also disappointed when others don’t see as far as you do. When they don’t take risks, don’t try harder, don’t exit their comfort zones.

The problem with being a perfectionist is above all that you are different and have trouble fitting it with the crowd.

That is also your strength though. And it should be your greatest asset.

The opposite limits

opposite arrowsHer name was Patience, which was ironic because she had none. She was the type of person who wanted things done in a specific way, quite swiftly too. It was the consequence of being a perfectionist with a high dose of OCD. And the very fact that she was so meticulous and thorough with whatever she did, meant that she would be irritated by anything of lesser quality. But what was worse of all, was how she reacted to unjustified pressure.

Because often, people work harder when under pressure, as they feel the knife’s edge closing in. But Patience disliked being forced to do something she was going to see to either way. In her mind, it was a useless paradox that was simply unproductive.

So whenever her grandmother forced her to “eat all her peas”, Patience would not touch a single one. The same happened when her parents asked her to “clean up her room”. Or when her supervisor “demanded” a draft copy on his desk “by no later than midday”. She was the person who would eat her peas, clean up her room and get the report done on time, regardless. For this reason, she saw it as demeaning to be pressured so strongly to perform these actions.

As such, her family and colleagues soon realized that just like her name implied, Patience required that very trait, and in fact, the opposite treatment. So, they would tell her she didn’t have to eat all her peas if she didn’t want to. Or that her room seemed clean enough as it was. Or that the report could be handed in as soon as it was done. Left on her own terms, Patience was happy to prove that she could be better than what anyone expected. She gained a sense of satisfaction in that. In proving how disciplined and productive she could be, even without the added pressure. Because she believed that sometimes, that is all we really need. To be allowed to demonstrate your true capabilities without feeling that you are constantly being judged. Sure, it is good and necessary to have some kind of timeline and order in life, but just like everything, there needs to be a limit to it all.

Helping out a friend with a guest post

guest-post-blog-dream-creativity-love-joy-tantra-gift-economy1It’s always great to help out a friend. Especially one you share a blogging passion with. Jackie asked me to write a guest post for her wonderful blog. And of course I accepted.

So head over here to find out exactly how weird writers and translators are, especially when they are mentally grappling alone with the multitude of works that are muddled up in their heads.

Thanks Jackie!

An intricate loop

lost ringShe suffered from being too organized. If that ever was a sickness, she was the number one patient. Victoria was obsessed with having everything in order. She felt it was the only way she could control whatever life threw at her. That is why she succumbed to a panic attack when she realized that afternoon that she had lost it.

The ring Danny gave her.

She never took it off her finger, unless she was washing clothes by hand. Then she would place it on the little shelf under the mirror on top of the marble wash-basin and she would stare at it, daydreaming, as she scrubbed the delicate clothes clean. Once she had hung the clothes to dry, she would return, soften her hands by rubbing on cream, and replace the silver ring to its rightful place on her finger.

But today, something went wrong. She realized the ring was missing from her finger when she reached for a piece of cake during afternoon coffee with her friend Emily who had come over to share some gossip. What ensued could only be described as havoc, as an anxious Victoria stormed the bathroom and then paced nervously around every room of the house, re-tracing every step she had made – and which she remembered – in order to find the lost jewel. Emily could do little to console her friend.

It’s hard being a perfectionist. You can never take anything lightly. And never let anything go. Not even when Danny said the ring could be replaced. But for Victoria it would never be the same.

——————–

It was a beautiful afternoon in the park and Vincent had taken Buster out for a walk. The golden retriever basked in the sun for a few minutes, then sprung to its feet and called for a game of Frisbee. Vincent loved this game as his dog always made the most unaccepted leaps, catching the Frisbee in his mouth, no matter how far it went. So he always tried to throw it as far as possible; for him this was also a very good way to make new acquaintances. And Buster was on his own so adorable.

The Frisbee was heading for the lake when Buster made a leap worthy of professional jumpers, and caught it with his teeth glistening in the sunlight as he fell in the waters with a grand splash, cooling everyone who happened to be around the scene. Vincent ran to apologise to the surprised onlookers, when he saw something small glistening at the edge of the pond.

It was a silver ring.

He picked it up and read the inside engraving “I will love you forever, Danny”.

Someone must be very concerned this is lost, he thought. But on the other hand, what if it was intentionally thrown away? What if this was a love story gone all bad? Sometimes love doesn’t always head in the direction the heart wants, he pondered, as Buster joyfully bounced to his side requesting another round of Frisbee.

——————–

She had done this for ages. It was a profession carried on for generations, for as long as she could remember. Her mother had taught her how, and she was in turn trained by her mother and so forth. They roamed the country practicing it and she had learned to read people better than she read the cards before her.

People came to her seeking a glimpse into their future. They wanted to feel the illusion of being able to control what would arrive. The majority never really believed the fortune-teller and they all thought that she was just taking their money in exchange for a few positive words that had no reasonable basis. Yet they still went. People are like that. Silly and gullible.

Yet they are also longing and hopeful. And this is what the fortune-teller relied on.

She only remembered the cases that most strongly made an impression on her. And there was this one couple she could never forget. Not even five years later. She had felt their aura since before they had entered her tent at the local fair. The young woman had convinced the man to go see her. She had said it would be fun. They were newly-weds and you could tell by the sparkle in their eyes, by how they gazed into each other so lovingly, by how in love they appeared.

The first thing the fortune-teller noticed when they sat before her was the silver ring on the girl’s finger. There was something about it. It had brought them so much love and happiness, but for some reason it would also bring them so much pain and suffering.

She pretended to look into the crystal ball and began to tell them that they would have a long and happy life together. The couple smiled and squeezed each other’s hand. But the fortune-teller was not telling the truth. It was one of those rare instances that she looked into the ball in her hands and felt a déjà vu. She felt her vision become misty and could almost see what the couple’s future would be – it was cloudy and grey, shadows had creeped over their rays of sunshine, and it was all caused by a small circle, a loop, a ring.

Hold on to each other, but not too tight, or else you will lose one another forever,” she said as the couple walked out of the tent. The girl looked at the fortune-teller as she turned to leave. She said nothing, although her smile had faded.

The fortune-teller looked back into her crystal ball and saw a reflection of her own dark complexion staring back. Fate was never something anyone could ever foresee. Or control.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads

Superpowers aren’t just for heroes

MagicPOOFWhen doing all these online quizzes (with which it’s so easy to procrastinate doing anything else), there is almost always one question that asks what superpower you would like to have – usual replies are: the ability to fly, to read other people’s thoughts or to be invisible. Between flying and invisible (because do you really want to read other people’s thoughts?) I would often choose invisibility. But unless it’s Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak, what I would much rather would be to disappear.

There are some days more than others that you really do wish the earth would just open up and swallow you down. Well, maybe not while you’re in bed wearing your pyjamas, because if there is anything down there worth exploring, you would at least like to be decently dressed for it.

But the urge to disappear comes mainly due to all the things that are happening during that period. The constant running around, nothing going right, the countless responsibilities you have, the fact that there is not enough time in a day or even in a week to do them all, the lack of sleep, the insufficient food, and above all the immense tiredness that strikes your emotional chords leaving you close to a nervous wreck. And worse of it all, the fact that no-one understands this, or even cares about it all.

I admit there are days that I actually have to drag myself out of bed, after hitting the snooze button on my alarm clock – actually my phone – so many times that it automatically stops yelling at me. And then after I get up, I spend five minutes looking for my phone, only to find it hidden under the pillow.

It’s a problem being good and diligent at what you do. Because it doesn’t allow you any time to rest. You know, as well as all those who depend on you, that almost no-one can do it as well or as attentively as you. Without meaning to sound boastful, that is the perks of being a perfectionist. But it is also the curse of it. And although I actually like all the things I do, sometimes all I want is to simply disappear. Even if it is only for a while. I would like to see how all these things I do, and which to some may simply seem as though they magically appear to be done out of nowhere, how all of them would be done if I were gone.

Haven’t you ever wanted to disappear, even for just a little bit? For starters, you would be able to encompass the flying power with the ability to hear what other people were thinking / saying about you – well, at least in my head you would!

But it would also allow you to see the world without you, how your loved ones and the people you deal with every day would actually be affected by your disappearance. It might bring you further down, but if you really are the struggler you believe to be, what you would see would really bring you back up. Maybe in your absence they would actually express all the things they don’t in your presence. Maybe that would even get them to understand that some things should be said to others while they are still there – like how much they are appreciated and loved, and how much all that they do is recognized and acknowledged.

Disappearing is not just a magic act. It’s a wakeup call to everyone. Including yourself.

Sometimes you think you want to disappear, but all you really want is to be found.

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