‎”Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection demoralizes you.” Harriet Beryl Braiker

While paging through a new book of inspirational quotes, this one seemed to jump off the page for me today.  Ironically, Rick and Maria addressed this same subject in their blog recently.  Perfectionism was something I worked hard to attain in my younger days.  It sounded so important: “I am a perfectionist.”  As I get older, and hopefully wiser, this doesn’t seem so good after all.  That road is loaded with potholes, big and small.  I’m getting tired of dodging them.   Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something.

Most of us love those perfectionists we encounter professionally.  They are always on top of every little detail and seem to accomplish super-human levels of productivity.  My family can tell you, living with a perfectionist is not always wine and roses.  My husband will never let me forget the “sofa incident.”  We were moving into a new house and buying our first new sofa in over fifteen years.  We started looking when we broke ground for the house and were still looking when we moved in – with lawn chairs.  I finally settled on one that had to be ordered and there was much rejoicing when it arrived.  By everyone but me.  There were some “lines” in the upholstery that did not match up.  I would stare at the thing for hours and refused to sit on it.  After about a week, he loaded it up and returned it.  On the way home, he stopped at a furniture store and demanded I choose one.  I was not allowed to look at anything with a pattern.  We came home with a blue sofa that I never really liked very much.  Over the years, I have tried to break this cycle.  The problem lies with many years of perfecting the habit of perfectionism.  I have made progress and now I mostly procrastinate.  One more pothole on that road.

Last week, I got my shipment of the new black Zentangle tiles.  I DO love black and white, so these tiles just called to me.  What a quandary I was in, I had never worked on black and haven’t had much luck with the white pen when I tried it.  Maybe I should wait a bit, think it over.  After all, I would hate to mess up one of those lovely black tiles.  By the weekend, I was pretty fed up with myself and decided to just dive in and see what happened.  It wasn’t so bad, only one total reject in the batch.  Riding the ripple in my puddle of success, I pulled out my markers and colored pens.  Sue Jacobs shared her process for adding color and I had been thinking about using color for a few months.  The first one is a real dud, but the others are not so bad.  Just in case the universe is watching, the “learning tiles” are here too.