Perfectionism is Overrated

Ring the bells that still can ring / Forget your perfect offering. / There is a crack in everything, / That’s how the light gets in.
~Leonard Cohen

Being a perfectionist means that I only do things that I’m comfortable with and can execute with ease. This means that I knit the same scarves, bake the same recipes, and plod on with my creativity in the most uncreative ways possible. Being overly concerned with messing up means that I never really finish projects — I start and stop, hem and haw, and freeze from fear of “wasting materials”. Blah. How boring.

There are many things I would like to do that I haven’t done because first one must have proper materials, proper instruction, proper patterns, proper practice and after all of these things one has, thanks to an excess of propriety, a perfect product.

Frankly, I’m bored with being stuck in the proverbial rut.

So I’m going to quest and make myself do several things over the course of July that will force me to *gasp* flirt with mistakes, possibly ruin materials, and all in all make less than perfect things.


My goal is complete at least 5 of the following projects:

  • Organize my photos. Understand that I will never like nor engage in scrapbooking. I’m okay with only having Hope’s first 2 months in scrapbook glory. Get over it already and simply organize photos in books. I will not lose mommy points.
  • Purchase 1-3 clothing items from a thrift store to repurpose. That’s right, I’m going to add stuff: ribbon or applique or buttons or rip the whole thing up and sew something new.
  • Finish a blasted embroidery project and not second guess myself. You wouldn’t believe how I agonize over whether I used a split stitch when a back stitch would have been better. Ridiculous.
  • Write 5 entries in my journal and not spend half the page apologizing for whining or not writing a moving Virginia Woolf-esque post or being mundane. Actually write without fear of it being read. You are not Sylvia Plath no one gives a damn about your dangling modifiers and trite complaints.
  • Make my wedding guest list. Omigod. If anything were to challenge a perfectionist it is WEDDING PLANNING!
  • Bake something I’ve never made before and serve it to other humans even if it isn’t pretty. (i.e. don’t repeat the cake scene in The Hours).
  • Sew a dress. Damn the patterns. Just trace the cute black dress I love onto the funky vintage fabric and sew it already. Geez. Yes — and I’m going to sew with KNITS without a PATTERN. Shocking!
  • Knit something other than a scarf. Please. Georgia is only cold 2 weeks out of the year. Enough with the scarves.
  • Make something. As in sit down at the craft desk, pull out supplies, and go crazy. No planning and supply lists… just… go…

This will either be a freeing experience that increases my self-awareness and allows me to grow as a person OR I will find myself in a hotel room wearing cute vintage wedges with a copy of Mrs. Dalloway and a bottle of pills. Either way, it makes for great blog fodder.



  1. the third option is that we have a craft day on july 4th, and either we rock our crafts, or we don't. with no pills involved, but maybe some cute wedges. 🙂

  2. I am TOTALLY a perfectionist as well, and I've been knitting scarves forever just because I screw up other things 😉 Luckily I have a large family in the northeast to justify my incessant scarf knitting, because in Texas, I don't wear them so much.

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