Learning from imperfections

11 Jan

As I stated in the last post. I tend to be a perfectionist. Not a perfectionist with OCD but one who obsesses in her mind about something until it is done correctly. I stress about things as small as getting out the door on time up to big things like planning events for my team at work. As soon as one task is done I am on to the next. My mind is constantly racing. One task that occurs everyday is our morning routine. I try to keep us on a schedule. I have a routine that remains the same everyday but there is not one day that my Olivia can make it through the routine without some sort of event. Of course as much as I try to be perfect Olivia creates imperfect moments that throws off my routine. You see she is very smart but as smart as she is also scatterbrained. She is easily distracted and has a difficult time dressing herself. You would honestly think that after nearly three years I would be used to the imperfections. But being the one who seeks perfection I believe that I will get her dressing herself correctly. Yes I said dressing herself CORRECTLY. Yes she is 6. Yes she is book smart. Yes she has a quirt that drives me crazy most mornings. Here are a few examples of the quirt I am talking about. These are a few of the things Olivia has done while attempting to dress herself: She has put her head through the sleeve of her shirt instead of the hole for the head (more than once), she has put denim jeans on backwards and even buttoned and zipped them (only once thankfully), she puts dresses on upside down (a couple of times), she puts her clothes on inside out, she puts her shirts on backwards (too many times to count), and shoes are on the wrong feet 85% of the time. Now I know some of these things seem typical for a 6 ½ year old, right? Well that isn’t the most bazaar part. You will ask her “Olivia, can you guess what is wrong with the way you are dressed?”. Her reply after looking herself over “NO”. You think after taking 20 minutes to dress that everything would be on correctly but that isn’t the case for Olivia. Even after telling her what is wrong and you send her to fix it, she will come back at least once with it the same way she did it the first time. I often lose my patience because the perfectionist in me just takes over. I give the same lecture “Don’t you know how to dress yourself? You are smart Olivia Gabrielle! Do you know we are going to be LATE?!?!” She just stares at me blankly and then cracks up. Is that laughter I hear? What is funny I often wonder.. How can it be funny that we go through this everyday?! Well this morning was different. This morning she did something new. No, she didn’t get dressed correctly the first time lol. She wore a button up shirt and she put her head in between the first and fourth button And for the first time I decided to find humor in the situation. Most morning my thoughts go to how and why but not today. I found it so funny that I actually took a picture. You see since I have been trying to let go of perfection I am finding myself laughing so much more. I am finding that if I could just relax and allow these moments that Olivia dresses herself imperfectly become perfect moments to laugh at later then the stress would simply decrease in a lot of ways and I‘m learning that the girls sure have a lot more fun when their mother stops stressing over imperfections.

What things does your child or someone in your life do that you stress over and react negatively tos? What humor could you find in the situation to bring a smile to your face and theirs? I know that this morning Olivia and I had a good laugh over her shirt, then I took the time to fix it, and then we were out the door. And I’m happy to report I was also 15 minutes early for work. Maybe I should just find humor, snap a picture, forego the lecture, and simply fix the error. Yes, yes I should and I do believe this will be my reaction for now on. So funny how much children can teach their parents!

“The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake – you can’t learn anything from being perfect.” ~ Adam Osborne

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One Response to “Learning from imperfections”

  1. Aunt E. January 11, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    Funny! Laughing instead of stressing is a good response! Have a blessed day! 🙂

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