Perfection is Overrated

There’s been a light bulb moment here at Chez Calidore.

You see I’m one of those people who strives to do everything.  Keep my house clean, see to my family, craft, work with Ashley,  be a good friend, try to blog and generally I seem to fall into the trap of trying to do everything all at once.

It has been driving me insane trying to keep the house clean just as we are about to begin renovating the office and sewing room.  Lets face it when builders arrive (hopefully on Monday) and begin work there will be dust and noise and crap everywhere for some time.  Well there is already but there will be more of it.

With “Destructo Dad” in full force a week or so ago,  getting everything ready for the builders, I had a pretty good initiation of what things are going to be like around here for a few weeks.  By the time they cut holes for new doors, windows and install them and rip down walls the dust levels should be pretty amazing.  Add to the mix the plasterers and painters and hopefully carpet layers and the cupboard man and it will be bedlam.  Of course – me being me – has decided that it should all be done by Christmas so I can spend the week after Christmas, when Ashley doesn’t work, resorting and stacking the rooms and reorganising the house.  So much for rest and relaxation

Throw into that long working hours with Ashley – which seem of late to be conducted in hot and sticky weather and I’m pretty well exhausted by the time I get home.  But do I rest. NO!!!

Instead I race around trying to get everything done then throw myself down into my chair to pick up knitting needles and continue knitting a tea cosy for Mum for Christmas – which I might add is now finished so that’s one more item off my Christmas list.

Add to the mix some facewashers that I decided to crochet around, more granny squares – I’m quite addicted to them and nearly have enough to start sewing them together – and a pair of socks and a pattern that I’m longing to start but haven’t yet and you are getting the idea of just how insane it is not only in my life but also in my head at the moment.

Thankfully I did manage to get all my swap items made.  This little bag that will be filled with chocolatey goodness was the last to be made and I should get them all wrapped and possibly posted this next week all being well.

So to the light bulb moment.

It occured to me – a stray thought amongst all the many others in my mind – that I’m am self taught.  Very few of the crafts that I try have been shown to me by a real live human being.  Mum showed me the basic knitting stitches and I went from there.  Grandma showed me how to crochet – but it was so long ago I had forgotton most of it but thankfully books and the internet have woken the odd instruction she gave me and I went from there.    I learnt to quilt from books.  I bought a gammill quilting machine – sight unseen – and worked out how to use it by trial and error.  I have learned to spin by looking at videos on the  internet and again, trial and error.  While I have yet to have an “actual” spinning lesson from the ladies in the spinning group they are very free with advice and suggestions..vbg.  Most of which I follow to the best of my ability.

I taught myself how to do Brazillian Embroidery and crazy quilting – again with advice from friends – via email not through one on one teaching.  I learnt how to dye fabric and then wool by trial and error and again the internet.

I have had one quilting lesson in my life – the one on Hand Quilting that I did at Ballarat Patchwork and to be totally honest I think it was more of an excuse to have a weekend away than anything else.  I have had one dyeing day with the spinning group and it was more to meet the ladies and have fun than anything else.

I cook by instinct and thankfully have a fairly forgiving family who eat most of my messes….vbg. I garden on instinct.  Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.  About the only time I get lots of instruction is when I’m working with Ashley and he tells me what he wants done.

Now I’m not trying to blow my own trumpet or make myself look better than I am.  I’m defiantely not that kind of person.  Some of my efforts are pretty darn scary when all is said and done.  But I am so INCREDIBLY proud of myself that I have had the will power to get out there and try new things.  Sure they may not be the sort of things that will make a difference to world poverty or bring peace and harmony to our planet but in my little corner of the world they bring joy and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

In all of these things I don’t expect perfection.  In fact perfection rarely happens.  Yet I push myself to be the perfect wife, mother and housewife most of the time.  Then there are the  times when I’m so darned tired that I just don’t care anymore.

It occured to me, when thinking of all the things I enjoy and not expecting perfection, that they are the times when I am happiest.  Most content.  Enjoying life to the fullest.  My family is happier to because I’m not on their backs to help me out all the time.

So I have decided that PERFECTION IS HIGHLY OVERRATED and that I’m not striving for it any more.

Rhonda at Down to Earth summed it up brilliantly in a recent blog post ” Don’t mistake perfection for happiness, they are two entirely different things”.  How right she is.  I have printed out that quote and put it on my fridge as a constant reminder.

I will still do my very best – after all that’s the kind of person I am – but I will no longer beat myself up if I don’t get it perfectly right every time or even some of the time.  Instead I will learn from my mistakes and strive to do better next time.

So now having exposed my heart and soul and patted myself on the back for suddenly seeing the light I’m off to take two teenagers shopping, hang out washing and possibly find time to sit down and continue reading the very, very good book that Elise’s friend has loant me.

I hope your weekend is spent doing the things you enjoy and not worrying about perfection.



8 thoughts on “Perfection is Overrated

  1. You taught yourself everything? three cheers for Calidore – Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! Hip, hip, hooray! YOU should be proud of all your achievements and balancing acts and juggling that go on in your busy, busy life and I hope you will continue to share them with us here in blogland.

  2. However what I recall of your crazy quilting and embroidery is too darn close to perfection for my jill of all trades/master of none comfort….maybe that should be mistress of…..certainly not madam!!
    Go girl go.
    I keep being tempted by gamills etc by room is what I so far refuse to sacrifice which stops me saving….LOL!
    I do have two living areas and there is nothing but pride to stop me using one……but I am still longing for one of the Golburn Yurt Company Yurts
    The big one…….and the garden big enough to place it in amongst large trees….with a nice clear lawn space all around to protect me from bush fires.
    Dreaming is fun.

  3. Yay to you Catherine – your comments have turned the lightbulb on for me too
    Although I havent tried spinning yet!!! Ive gone down similar roads to you, also not married to a tradesman but a dairyfarmer (which I spose is a tradesman of sorts)
    Keep doing what you are doing and as long as you are reasonably sane that is a good thing!!! (I will try and achieve the same)

  4. Thank you so much for having a lightbulb moment and sharing it!!! It is something I also need to learn that ‘near enough’ sometimes is good enough!! Each day this week I am going to try to spend just a little time doing something for myself as a start to the new relaxed me!!

  5. Nice work Catherine! I’m self taught too and the classes I have been too have been a day out of the house and a chance to meet a few people. I hope those new rooms look fantastic!

  6. I think I gave up on the perfection thing years ago but still the pressure does build up, mostly in my head when I give myself expectations and don’t meet them. We have this image in our head of what we should be but as you’ve pointed out we’re much happier just being who we are.

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