The Perfectionist

I want to share a story with you all which a friend of mine once told me. If I can define her in one word she is a perfectionist. I have had several impromptu plans of visiting her place and her house has always been spick and span. Never an unattended cup lying here and there. I have always admired her for this habit and more. Also because I am not that person. I like things neat and clean and all my work always perfect, not a comma here n there but then I can’t spend my life focusing on it.

So one particularly bad day for her, she had unexpected visitors and in a hurry to cook for them and make everything presentable, she shoved the dirty dishes in the oven. Cut II, the visitor arrived, obviously in awe of the super clean house. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation while laying out the dishes, the visitor opened the oven to check if any dish from the oven had to be laid out on the table. You can imagine the expression on my friends face (emoji), maybe these can do some justice.

The role model that my friend played crumbled like a broken mirror in front of her eyes. She told me that everything that she had worked for in her life and everything that she valued didn’t hold any meaning. As though her existence was under questioning. N while my friend is shaking in self-doubt her visitor came and hugged her, ‘Now I can be friends with you!’

Guess what no one is interested in your obsession with cleanliness, order, control, your china, your flatware, your blooming roses or your kanjivarams. Live your life for yourself, buy that China for yourself, kanjivarams because you love it not because you want to win people. You might end up spending two days preparing for someone’s visit – that’s your choice. Do it because you like to do it, but not because you want to please. No one will like or dislike you for how many dishes you cook for them – but they will like you if you listen to them, if you understand them, if you don’t judge them, if you can stand by when they need you in thick and thin. Life is too short trying to spread yourself too thin for other people and then resenting because they didn’t stand by you when you needed them the most because you made five dishes for them. You do the math – making five dishes won’t help you. Looking out for yourself and not building resentment will help you.

The risk of being judged irrespective of being Perfect will never end. So what really matters? You and your happiness or the way people perceive you to be?

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