Another year, yes.
Lots of time!
High time, in fact: overdue.
I’ve been waiting to offer up my new useless word.
Why wait? Procrastination, perhaps, holiday rest, but not JUST that.
Let’s reflect on the last year, especially on all the holidays lately.
So much pressure, high expectations, spending, debt, frustration, conflict, presure…
Today’s Useless Word is “perfect.”
A nice idea, so poorly used. Legions of would-be perfectionists obsessing about perfection, never getting there, grinding away on their imaginary treadmills… Holidays simply speed up the mills until they, and our souls, heat up and smoke. This is what holiday means? Really? So enjoyable lots of people drink just to get through it all. Woo hoo! We’ve lost our way, isn’t it clear?
How can you go wrong with perfect? Doesn’t it motivate you, serve as a goal, drawing you forward even if you never reach it?
That’s not what I’ve seen over the years. I’ve seen people obsessing over trivia, pouring so much time and energy into avoiding any flaws that it offers more distractions than goals. I’ve seen people beat themselves up over even minor mistakes and imperfections, rationalizing and numbing themselves from dark thoughts : too fat, not rich enough, not the best at everything, unable to outdo Martha Stewart (and her legion of helpers) at every meal and party. Seeking perfection usually devolves into fretting about imperfect.
We might try a little experiment this year.
Instead of grandiose leaps to the mountaintops where the Perfect Gods dwell (as if), instead of flogging ourselves and disappointing ourselves, again and again, let’s try something different.
No more giant leaps, unless they’ve served you well so far I suppose. The rest of us, let’s look for imperfections as targets. Imperfections : there’s no shortage, right? I have plenty. We can continue to fret about them, hide them or pretend we’ll suddenly erase them forever (no more grandiosity, remember?). OR we can make good use of these flaws, frame them as resources. They offer us opportunities: without flaws, there’d be no room for progress. Boring! Pick a few to focus on, plan reasonable, DOABLE steps forward. A year later, we can all trade notes on our successes, all those steps.
Not on anything perfect. We’ve had more than enough of that.