The tyranny of perfection: why fitness, food and knitting slip-ups no longer faze me

Years ago, I was a perfectionist.

I held high expectations for myself and all of my endeavours. Workouts had to be all or nothing. If i missed one, I was ‘lazy’ and ‘soft’. Diets had to be adhered to ‘to the letter’ or abandoned entirely. Recipes had to be tried and perfected before serving to company. An accidental right slanting decrease rather than an SSK in my knitting? Rip it all out and start again.

Then I had children. The perfect anti-dote to perfectionism. They remove your ability to control the world around you. You can fight it, but it is an tireless and insanity-making battle. Embrace the chaos they embody or go mad.

Evidence that I’ve moved beyond perfectionism?

This week, I missed my Friday workout due to (yet another) Pro-D Day, Saturday yoga because I slept in (an extremely rare occurrence) and Sunday step class (sorry guys, I’ll be back next week) out of sheer exhaustion. No worries. There’s always tomorrow and sometimes rest is as good as a change. No one de-conditions over the weekend :).

Valentine’s Day chocolates tempted me to relent on my ‘no sugar’ meal plan. I enjoyed each and every one of the nut and caramel-filled treats, without guilt or worry that I would immediately revert to my old ‘sugar filled’ ways. (And more importantly, without running to the bathroom scale to see whether I’d gained weight)

I finally finished the sweater I’ve been knitting and cast off only to discover a mis-crossed cable. I decided to leave it there in the age-old tradition of quilters who purposefully make one mistake per quilt just to acknowledge that no one’s perfect.

Bet you can’t even spot it (okay, maybe you can, but I’m not going to worry about it!).

Pattern is Irish Coffee knit in Madelintosh Vintage (Briar colorway); ’cause I know that somebody will ask!

My children have taught me that life is TOO SHORT to fill it up with negative thoughts about errors and might-have-beens. A little imperfection is a small price to pay for a more relaxed, enjoyable life!

Enjoy the rest of your perfectly imperfect weekend; I know I will!

Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.

Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.

Comments

  1. If I promise that I cannot spot the knitting error, do I get the sweater? Huh huh? perfection is highly overrated! And you are sooooo right that kids are the perfect (ha ha) antidote to perfectionism. Or being already perfect suffices. Riiigght. I think your remaining chocolates want to come to my house.

  2. Love the sweater and totally can’t find the error. I’d just be thrilled to be able to knit. (I’ve tried to learn several times, but it’s just beyond my coordination.)

    My kids have taught me to roll with the punches. I’m much more flexible about things than I used to be.

  3. I look forward to the day that I can say “years ago I was a perfectionist”. Right now, I’m still working on it πŸ™‚

    Who cares about the sweater and the chocolate (did i just say that?!) – I’m admiring your biceps!

  4. Thank you Kirri! You just made my day!

  5. Hopefully, I will have kids one day and they will break me of my perfectionist ways :). I’m still learning to let go!

  6. Love the sweater! I can’t spot the mishap. But I did that once to a friend’s baby blanket I was making. Well, she never did get the blanket cuz I never finished it.

    Kids definitely taught me patience I never knew I had. And now I thank them for that. I just wish my husband would pick up on it. LOL.

  7. Definitely a perfectionist myself, but I am able to tone it down in some areas. One of my favorite sayings derived from a Voltaire quote is: “Perfectionism is the enemy of done.” I like to keep this in mind when I’m trying to get something “perfect”.

    When it comes to exercise though, it’s hard for me to skip a day. I vary my routine to avoid injury, but I still like to fit something in every day. I need to learn to give myself permission to take a day off πŸ™‚

  8. can’t spot the knitting slip up at all – beautiful sweater! Kids sure do put things in perspective – and sometimes you really do need to just slow down. Oh, and speaking of slowing down – I did come to your class for the first time today – and was sad you weren’t there, but totally get why. Still got a good workout, and maybe I can fit it in next week (kids were at the in-laws, making going to the gym on a Sunday a rare treat for me!).

    • Oh Anna, I missed you!
      I’ve been feeling quite exhausted, on and off for the last week or so. Decided to have a lie-in today to get ready for my Monday double-header. Hope to see you next week!

      • Me too! Worked out well today – kids were at the in-laws and hubby wasn’t paddling. Fingers crossed for next Sunday!

  9. Great post, I just need to learn this lesson without children πŸ˜‰

  10. Again, an old posting, but I just LOVE the sweater. I would give a day in the gym for a WEEK for the pattern, though I will have to modify it to a V-neck. Big girls like me often get the ‘uniboob’ look with anything that doesnt have it. Can I get the pattern by chance? I looked hard for your miscrossed cable and was unable to find it.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The tyranny of perfection: why fitness, food and knitting slip-ups no …The tyranny of perfection: why fitness, food and knitting slip-ups no longer faze me. Posted on February 19, 2012 by fitknitchick. Years ago, I was a perfectionist. […]