I got out in my yard yesterday and found one thing after another that needed tending. Flower beds that were not surviving the heat needed to be dug up and soil turned. Weeds which don't seem to mind the heat needed to be pulled! I fluffed up the mulch in areas with a rake so it would look a bit better until more is installed next week.
As I worked it came to my mind that I was definitely not a perfectionist. My yard looks nice and whatever I do I try to do well, but I am far from having a perfectly kept home and yard. Better than most but worse than others!
Some perfectionists aren't usually too fun to be around so I think it can be a good thing. Ever around someone who has to eat strictly planned meals, exercise perfectly, have a perfectly neat home and manicured lawn, every hair in place? Perfectly behaved children? Everything under control and seldom able to relax? Often we can feel the energy of those on edge.
I guess some occupations call for more of a perfectionist's skill, like airplane pilots. I don't mind a perfectionist at the controls then! And what about skydiving? You need to be a perfectionist in your thinking before jumping out of an airplane... Maybe that's why I've never had the a desire to skydive!
I can appreciate those who have seemed to perfect their talents. An amazing ballet or symphony performance where each step and note is spot on. It seems human potential and accomplishment has no limits.
But, yes, back to gardening. If I was a perfectionist it wouldn't give me half as much joy as it does. I wouldn't want to be upset and anxious each time a new weed sprung up or a leaf or twig fell on my lawn.... but I can do something. Just care a little bit. Or a lot. But just not insist on perfection.
What I do believe in is making things better than they were. Improving a situation. Wherever we go we can leave a trail of good. Maybe if that were our goal every day it would make a huge difference in the world. I think it would.
When I recently visited my dad I spent time doing what I could.... vacuumed, dusted, changed batteries in outdoor lighting, made some meals and desserts, had his internet back up and running, got him a better computer, changed sheets, did some laundry, changed tablecloths... and more. I told him I sure wasn't a perfectionist, but I can at least make things a little BETTER.
We can burn out if we try to do everything, but we can usually do SOMETHING.
I think that leads to peace more than requiring all to be perfect.