Wednesday, September 17, 2008


It may surprise some of you to learn that somewhere deep inside of me is a perfectionist. In his book The New Birth Order Book, Kevin Leman refers to me, and others like me, as "discouraged perfectionists". I find this to be a brilliant description.

We first-borns (and only children, to an extreme degree at times) have a tendency to want everything to be a certain way. When we realize that it can never be that way, we either try harder, or we get discouraged and quit. Guess which way I lean. If you've met me, you know.

I am working through this discouraged phase. There are times when my failure to reach the level of perfectionism that I feel my efforts warrant becomes too much for me. As you may recall from "Such High Hopes", it can get to me. It doesn't bother me when nothing is as it should be, and I'm not trying. But when I do try, as hard as I can, mind you, it should all be perfect!

Well, it isn't. Although I try my best to be "easy going", deep down the perfectionist part of me is going nuts. I don't think that a happy balance comes naturally to me, or other recovering perfectionists. That's why there's grace! I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's not about me. And that's a very good thing.

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