The quest for perfection
December 4, 2011 § 1 Comment
The quest for perfection. This has been a lifelong vision of mine — and I AM a visionary. I can SEE how perfect that new bag would hold all of my stuff; how fabulous this room would look if it only had some custom-made valances; how gorgeous I will look in that new red coat with matching hat; or how beautiful my table will look with those placemats and napkins.
It’s also my special talent to walk into a restaurant or other customer-focused business and be able to identify the single thing that either makes the place or breaks it. (Sometimes there’s more than a single thing, but I can usually hone in on the single biggest thing.)
When someone hits the nail on the head, I am passionate about that perfection and I become a “brand ambassador.” (Tervis tumblers for example — made in America, lifetime guarantee, keeps beverages hot or cold without outer condensation, plastic is perfect for travel and around the pool, and they can be customized. We take our Tervis tumblers on every road trip to refill. I take my Tervis to the office with my coffee in it and then rinse it out for my water the rest of the day. Note: I don’t work for Tervis or have any association with them.)
So, what’s the downside of this quest? The graveyard of imperfection. How many things do I buy thinking they are JUST the perfect thing — the perfect shoes; the perfect bag; the perfect chair; the perfect tablecloth — only to have them fall short in some way? If they fall short immediately, I’m ruthless with returning. I don’t mind paying good money for the perfect thing, and as I’ve downsized my acquisitions over the past couple of years, I find that I pay more to get exactly what I want and I’m willing to do without or to wait. BUT, that means when something falls short after use, it’s much more painful to purge it because it has more value to me. I also still have that original vision of me using it in just the perfect setting and sometimes it just sits around waiting for that perfect setting to arrive. So I still have that perfect portable doggie bowl and water bottle for when I take my dog on the road (except she doesn’t like long trips).
And I’m not even talking about the things that WERE perfect for a time in my life that no longer exists. I have the perfect scrapbooking collection complete with rolling storage tote, (but I haven’t scrapbooked in over four years).
In my new quest for semi-minimalism, I’m working on these two things:
- Defining “enough” … how many pairs of shoes are enough? How many drawers are enough? … and then working toward and living with that definition.
- Embracing the wanting … it’s the human condition to want. Even with unlimited funds, time and space to fulfill all of my wants, they won’t go away. The only thing that stills the wanting is gratitude and that means being grateful for what I already have.
What I’ve found so far is that the more I get rid of, the more I feel the abundance that already surrounds me.