Faithwalk: Procrastinator plus Perfectionist equals Paralysis

This morning I’m procrastinating. Why? Well, I have received one comment, of no fault but my own. I have not put the word out about Faithwalk@angchronicles. I guess it’s time, since I have five posts for my readers, with photos. So this week check Facebook messages and email boxes, and follow me or not.

Maybe another reason I’m procrastinating is this thing I should claim: perfectionism. Several years ago, I participated in a 22-month Steven Covey coaching program. At the end of the session, the coach said: “Angela, you are a perfectionist.” I adamantly disagreed. In my mind, I rarely got things right, struggled at writing, slow at reading, terrible housekeeper, inadequate cook–the list could go on. And a sign of perfectionism: getting it right 99% of the time if not 100%.

In hindsight, I analyzed this accusation of perfectionism. Now, I can understand this label. I’m not one who believes in labels. However, let’s take a look back. One year, a friend invited me to a book club, four days notice. I said: sounds fun, but I have to read 80 pages a day to complete that task, and my calendar is full. I went shopping with friends and spent 30 minutes looking through for a purse with compartments. Before purchasing a dress or shoe, I think about what it matches in my wardrobe. In the past 18 months, I have moved twice, the boxes and bags were completely labeled home office, upstairs, writing books, religious books, shoe, purses, coats. After my divorce, I made a checklist dos and don’ts for the next man in my life. When my students ask if they can email an essay, I deny the request. I like all essays in alphabetical order, in a pile, so I can read and mark quickly. Here’s the topper:  three days ago while cleaning out files, I discovered a collection of poems and short stories I had written in grad school. The professor scribble encouraging remarks: interesting, good, I want to see more from this piece. Why did I not go back and revise those pieces then. Perfectionism. Then, 11 years earlier, I wanted to get it right the first time. Wow, I would not have put the pieces together Angela a perfectionist.

Well, I’ve revised one of the short stories, and plan to revise the remaining work for a short story collection. I refused to let perfectionism paralyze me. As a matter of fact: I’m letting go of perfectionism. Aha, I have realized why that song “Let Go and Let God” rattles me: I thought I had let go and let God, but in all reality I have a long way to go.

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