Addicted but Improving

August 13, 2023

Yesterday as I sat for my hair trim, my friend shared how she needed time to prepare for her cleaning lady coming later that day. 

“What do you mean by prepare?” I asked, secretly suspecting the answer.

I have to clean up before she comes to clean up!” she admitted, beginning to chuckle.

I instantly joined in.  Amidst our laughter, I shared that I’d never met a woman yet who didn’t admit to doing the very same thing prior to a cleaning lady coming. 

To be fair to myself, my fear of not being or doing enough has improved some in this area of life: Now, the dreaded humiliation wouldn’t come from someone encountering my clutter; it would originate from the deeper negligence, the compounded dirt being discovered: the tracks in the sliding door that may get vacuumed but never thoroughly cleaned… the areas beneath kitchen appliances where dirt & grease accumulate… the shower scum that both my husband & I are sometimes too lazy to address when we’re simply trying to relax for a few uninterrupted moments under the soothing cascade…

Speaking of… my husband recently shared a photo of a local fence that seemed to display a boldness, maybe even defiance, against perfectionism: the cedar boards were all uneven in length & top edge (& the rest of the yard looked completely finished). Oh, how I envy that freedom!

To be fair to myself, I have been addressing my addiction, however modest my choices might initially appear: Deliberately not straightening the comforter folded neatly over our sofa… leaving a button undone on my sweater… not sweeping the deck before a friend’s arrival… not re-wiping the countertops when just a few crumbs missed my first swipe.  OK, maybe my second swipe.  These “small gestures” sometimes feel like Herculean acts of courage & defiance– I’m making progress!  That said, it would sure feel reassuring to know others out there sometimes struggle with the same self-inflicted perfectionism…

Hint, hint. 😉


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