Brainwashed to Be Perfect

Dear FlyLady,

Thank you for the encouraging emails every day.  I am inspired by what other FlyBabies are doing to solve their challenges and comforted that I’m not alone in this.  I battle with perfectionism every day.  I know I was brainwashed to be perfect from day one. Grandmother, mother, teachers, employers, spouse, children all expect perfection.  They also reward it and feed it.

My house is getting so much better but my attitude is really what needed the change.  Here is an example from yesterday.

I decided to make red plum jelly.  I gathered supplies.  I attempted to “test drive” a new power pressure cooker/canner.  I struggled with doing it “perfectly”.  One thing that really paralyzed me in addition to this was a fear that somehow I would blow up my kitchen with this equipment.  After working myself into a tizzy, trying everything I knew because I should be able to do it myself and “What is wrong with me?”, I asked hubby for help.  The cord that plugged into the base of the pot wasn’t pushed in all the way and he was able to “lock” the lid as required and showed me how to lock it.  That should be the end of the story but it’s not.  This morning the jelly I made doesn’t look “set”.  Again my all or nothing thinking jumped in there with “Look at all the time and money you wasted, etc.” because the jelly wasn’t perfect.  Then I grabbed my mind and said “It hasn’t been 24 hours yet, the jelly could still set. If it doesn’t set, just look at all you learned.  Now you know how to use that pressure canner.  Now you can make pickled okra and fig jelly.  (I had looked up the recipes online.)”

In the past, I would have thrown in the towel and moped about being a failure and “not perfect”.  Now I can shrug it off and move forward.  This morning the kitchen was not at its best and I just set my timer for a 15 minute room rescue and got after it.  After 15 minutes, it still needed help so I set it for 15 more.  I was done before the 2nd timer went off.

Thank you for the flywashing!  Another thing that helps me is having 2 spots for “in transit” items.  One is a recliner right by the kitchen and one is a stand in the hallway.  There are both at either end of the house.  Whenever I find out of place things, I set them there.  Then when I’m traveling to the other end of the house, I take my stack and put the items back in their places.  This eliminates multiple dashes all over the house that wear me out and distract me.  I’m learning so much and am so much happier.

Thanks for all you and your staff do for us.

Okie FlyBaby

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