Friday, March 19, 2010


I know, growing up, I had perfectionistic ideals. But I never really considered myself a perfectionist because I knew I was far from perfect or the desire to be perfect. But I think God has been showing me otherwise lately.

I am the type of person who needs to explore every option before I settle on a choice. Like when I chose a font for a particular scrapbook page - I have to go through all 1000+ fonts on my computer, sometimes applying the best contenders to my paragraph that has been copied/pasted several times so I can see my options side by side. Even when I'm 90% sure I've found the one that I know will do the job. I've always just figured that's how I'm happy operating.

But lately, I have this desire to make my scrapbooking count. Of course, any type of scrapbooking counts. I'm quick to point out that for the person that feels that THEY think that their work isn't worth it because THEY think they aren't as talented that they always include very heartfelt journaling (even if it is just in Times New Roman).

But I am keenly aware that this trend of paper scrapbooking can get out of hand. I, personally, use their scrapbooks more as photo albums - all of their pictures will be kept in the books, whether they are "scrapbooked" or just stuck efficiently on a white page. I try not to do single picture layouts because it is a waste of space - most of my layouts have as many pictures as if I had just left them as 4x6's and taped them down on a grid, like in a photo album. When I'm dead and gone, my (hopefully appreciative) kids will have several books each. (plus the family one that they will have to split or copy) But what if they marry someone who's mother has done the same thing? Now they have half a bookshelf of heavy scrapbooks. And yes, my grandkids may like looking at them, but what happens when THEY inherit them? Who has the room to store so much, 2 or 3 generations down the road? I don't want the books to be a burden. I know I need to not dwell on it. I need to just scrapbook because I enjoy it and want it to speak to my children when I can't. I just know that our current culture has so much storage (both real and digital) at our disposal that we just don't know how to par down to what counts. I'm trying. Like deleting the 800 pictures taken in 2009 that were duds, repeats, etc. before I archived my 2009 pictures (which still numbered over 1000). And it seems like I'm always paring and purging - which feels good to do, but it takes a lot of time and gets to the point that it is overwhelming before it gets done.

I haven't been couponing much, either. So I haven't been grocery shopping much. I hate paying full price for things when I know if I'd just do my homework watching the sales and clipping the coupons I could cut my grocery bill in half. Yes, half. I can be a very savvy shopper. And since I'm a at-home mom, I feel like it's almost my job to. Especially since we are working hard at paying off our debt. Last Sunday, with over half of the month left and only $150 left in grocery money, the weather was so beautiful that we decided we wanted to grill at suppertime. We were driving home from church at 11:30 with 2 hungry kids in the back of the car when my husband mentioned that we were out of charcoal. Rather than turn around and go back to the discount department stores that would have charcoal cheaper we opted to go to the more expensive store on our way home and cut our losses, since we were on a time crunch. My husband came out with a bag of charcoal that was $12. !!!

TWELVE DOLLARS! I was prepared for $8.

On sale, with coupons, right around Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, I could get that same bag for $5.

I sent him back to town later that day and he bought twice as much charcoal for $15 at the discount store. The other bag is in the back of my car with the receipt waiting to be returned.



But I felt like we don't have much of a choice if we want to make a good effort stick to our budget.

Which leads me to this quote:

A man would do nothing, if he waited until he could do it so well that no one would find fault with what he has done.--John Henry Cardinal Newman

I do nothing.

That's bad.

Not that I'm worried about what OTHERS think - it's holding up to my own standard. And that's where I get the perfectionist thing from. But I feel like there is no other way.

But I don't think I have high standards...

I'm not a polished person. I don't wear makeup, my clothes are washed out, my house has migrating piles of clutter that I can't seem to get rid of any easier than the dustbunnies under my refrigerator. And anyone who's been to my house knows I'm not a fan of housework. I know I can be practical, like publshing this paragraph without polishing the flow and grammar. I will try to remember to spell-check, though.

But something is debilitating. And it's called Perfectionism. And it robbs people of joy and peace. It adds to feelings of depression and self-worth. And it's gotta go.