Never Too Late?

I just finished reading the short text by Anna Quindlen entitled Being Perfect.  It was a random selection at the library today.  It was not my intent to get away from the new arrivals display.  Lately the fiction featured  there has provided tons of guiltless excuses to avoid chores.

Those chores don’t go away.  Since I am the only resident in my home, no one else will take up the slack and complete them. They remain undone, and highlight my stalled efforts to check them off my list.  And that list is figuratively speaking.  I don’t actually have one.

Chores started or planned have been stymied by a hazardous trap – perfection.  Conversations lately  with family and friends have traipsed all around it. So, it being in my mind in my present, the short skinny book with that title caught my eye as I wandered around the library. It was a quick read, providing fuel for thought, and thought is the impetus of change.

It just may be the tipping point in tripping the trap that has held me captive since being transferred to a school for the gifted in  grade 5. I am thinking that I can move beyond the procrastination tendency that pops up when it seems I might not be able to complete a task to perfection.  Avoidance is easier sometimes when one can’t decide the perfect direction to go or the perfect choice to make.

Who really cares if the kitchen is not perfectly organized in an efficient, elegant way as long as stuff is clean and put away, and the surfaces are clean and clear enough to allow me to  use the kitchen as intended?

The books stashed here and there, stuffed under and above, need to be on shelves, even if those shelves don’t match each room’s intended decor.  Books need to have homes so I can easily find them and continue to enjoy them.  There are many that I own that I haven’t read yet, but who knows where they are?

That’s an issue with my clothes, too. It is such fun getting ready for the day when what I want to wear is easy to find and not in need of laundering or ironing.  I have been beating myself up over the growing mounds but beating myself up more for not knowing how to organize it all.  Who cares?  I don’t have to share one single inch of closet space with another soul, so hanging and folding  and storing in any of the closets or dressers would work.

With dishes done and counters cleared, books shelved and wardrobe out of sight, I wouldn’t need to forever cringe at the thought of someone dropping by. Cabinets can always be reorganized, shelves can be moved, clothing eventually sorted by season or color.  Just as furniture can always be rearranged,  none of my chores have one perfect completion.  They just need to be finished.

It ‘s quite a far out thought, but if I could jump over the perfection trap and delve into the necessary, I might even enjoy discovering newfangled ways to organize my stuff and a sense of style might emerge.

Quindlen included this quote by George Eliot in her conclusion: “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”

I’m counting on that being so.



About Teresa Pearson Lee

Retired after 33 years of teaching English and French (one year in private school in Memphis, TN and the rest in public school in Doniphan, MO. Enjoying new adventures - all those things I put off for lack of time, energy, now I can try them! Pottery, writing, traveling, camping, kayaking, dancing, listening to some of the best live music ever, and making lively new friendships. All christened with an appreciation for great red wine! Created and operated KC's on the Current, then sold it and managed it for new owners. You might still find me at the reservation desk when spring rolls around. Born and raised in St. Louis, MO near The Hill. Though a transplant to Southeast Missouri, still a city gal at the core with a deep love of the natural resources in these Ozark foothills. Currently I am a content coordinator for Poplar Bluff Living Magazine and a columnist/stringer for the local weekly The Prospect News. My rescue Siamese helps with most of the proofreading; he has a great ear. I relish the solitude easily had in the Mark Twain Forest but thoroughly enjoy lively outings for music, wine, conversation close to home or in my beloved hometown. Technology is my greatest challenge but so worth the shared connections. There may be a need for solitude but there is little loneliness. The material in this blog written by Teresa Lee is her property and cannot be used without express written consent to do so.
This entry was posted in Being Perfect - short text by Anna Quindlen, perfection, Quindlen, Anna, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s