Thursday, October 16, 2008

By The Book

I’m not a perfectionist...but I do possess some of the tendencies.

I take my clothes off and leave them on the floor even though the dirty clothesbasket is literally touching the clothing that I have just left on the floor. I make my bed everyday but sometimes it’s sloppy. When I’m in a hurry I leave wrinkles on the comforter and the pillows with the indent of my head still in tact. I can go months without washing my car, vacuuming the upholstery or dusting the dashboard.

However, I get pissed off and want to punch someone if I’m late. I get wound up if I can’t find the right words or way to say something. I cringe at misspelled words. Clutter makes me crazy. I literally feel out of sorts if junk mail starts piling up on the counter. I gas up every weekend whether my car is empty or not to start the week on ‘full’.

I used to be more anal about some things, like timing the exact seconds it takes to walk from the parking lot at work to my desk after lunch so that I was neither early nor late. I used to feel bad about asking for a day off work so I rarely would and calling in sick only happened if I was puking. These days I don’t stress about making certain that I am living to EVERY letter of the law. I have found a little more calm on the inside since I’ve loosened the reins on this way of living but there are still places in my lifestyle that need to chill out.

When life does a fake-out number on me and I am left with spinning and crossed cuckoo clock eyes, it makes me stop and say, ‘what just happened?’ In my examination I can see that in the same ways I have adopted hard-lined practices of doing some silly or small things I have also carried the same system of thinking into relationships.

I have unconsciously bought into believing that if I do A + B, I will end up with C. In life, that is not necessarily so. We are people, not mathematical equations. We are complex and unique. Just as each person may react to the same situation differently, I can’t expect to fit people neatly into my small perspective and assume to know another person’s intention based simply on my own previous experience. I need to be reminded that things are not always on one extreme or the other. So much is missed when I do that. I need to stop putting everything into a logical category and enjoy whatever twists and turns may take place along the way especially when it doesn’t fit into my idea of how things should go. Stress and fear are the only things I have lost when I live without the extreme rules. Still, I continue to seek the balance.

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