A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

Blah Blah Blah…Oh and My Emilie

on June 4, 2013
Dahlia Lavender perfection

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My life is always all or nothing. Either nothing is going on or so much is going on that I cannot seem to stay on top of it.


My daughter, Emilie, is graduating 8th grade. She’s completed her home school course, submitted all her paperwork and now waits for her grades and diploma. Impatient as I am and as fast as my calendar is filling, I’m in the process of planning her graduation party which will take place this weekend.


Family gatherings, for me, are some of the best times of my life. They are also some of the most stressful.


I’m a perfectionist by nature. Not in the sense that my house has to be perfect. But in my head, I’m always thinking about what others are thinking about the event. I’m hoping they are happy with the food served and with the timing of the event. Wondering if I will have enough to talk about. (In my family, it’s really hard to run out of things to talk about! We’re very chatty!) I make mental notes of all the recent news I want to share (and what I don’t). I try to take pictures but this usually falls by the wayside in the midst of entertaining. I try to make sure all the food is ready on time, served on time, everyone has enough to eat and is happy with the day I’ve planned. When the event is over, I go to bed ruminating over conversations, getting down on myself for stupid or tacky comments made and remembering all the things I wanted to say but didn’t.


I usually need a day to recover.


This weekend will be no different. Family will come and I’m already stressing out over the food, the decorations, the cake, where people will sit in my tiny house, making sure pictures will be taken with Emilie in her graduation gown, will her hair turn out the way she wants it (I haven’t even begun to practice). I’m a mom. I want this day to be perfect for my little girl. I want perfection.


I don’t often get it most of all within myself. So one lesson I’m trying to teach myself is to step away from the lifestyle of the perfectionist. For example, my older daughter is 15 and has a typical bedroom of a 15-year-old – meaning you cannot see her floor. I tell her to clean it and she does. She creates her idea of disorganized organization. Drives me insane because, in my mind, I want it to be the way I want it to be and not the way she wants her room to be. So now, I have to choose; to argue or not to argue.


But the real argument is not a battle of wills; it is a battle against her idea of perfection and mine.


Shelby prefers a laid-back lifestyle. She’s cool with who she is. She doesn’t judge anyone else and she prefers not to be judged but if she is, no worries. It’s not going to change her. She is everything I wished I was at her age and I know her confidence will serve her well. It already has. She has weathered the storm, and continues to do so, for choosing to be true to who she is.


Emilie, on the other hand, is a mini-me. Sometimes, that’s good. Sometimes, it’s not. I can already see seeds of perfectionism growing in her. I can see my bad habits of “if I can do it perfectly right off the bat, I will not do it at all” attitude. She gives up easily if she cannot master something quickly. She worries far too much about what others think of her positive they’re judging her for all the wrong reasons instead of praising her for all the right ones.


I admit to not knowing how quite to curb this in her so she doesn’t have to go through the mental struggles I go through. I pray high school will give her the opportunity to grow into that confident woman I see inside her eyes. I pray she will understand her own inner strength sooner rather than later. I pray she will not be afraid to try.


One chapter in her life closes. Another opens. I cannot wait to see where the road will take her.



2 responses to “Blah Blah Blah…Oh and My Emilie

  1. Rob Russo says:

    Just beautiful! Changing from the people-pleasing perfectionism is relatively easy, I have found. Simply let go. Take a deep breath and let go. The challenge more often is to give ourselves permission to do that. Go for it, love. 🙂


  2. hlexh says:

    I’d advise a little deep soul searching over the perfectionism. Where it comes from & where it’s going, the damage it can cause. Mostly I hate the paralysis it induces in me, as my ears ring with ” if u can’t do it properly, don’t do it at all” which if course is nonsense. Everything you do blesses your home & family. Another thing: people never really remember the surroundings or the food too much, just the company and pleasure of conversation. They’d much rather you enjoyed yourself. Oh and photos! Delegate it.or buy disposable cameras and give them out to a few people (or bored teens). The results are often interesting, mostly hilarious and always spontaneous.xxx


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