Perfection Paralysis

As you already know if you read this blog, back in September, my dog suddenly and permanently lost the use of her back legs...corgi

As far as things going as planned, owning a paralyzed dog had not been on my to-do list, but when life hands you lemons, make lemonade...


or order a doggie cart.

Around the same time this was happening in my personal life, I had an initial meeting with a new client who had been struggling with decisions involved with a renovation. When I asked her what was troubling her, she said,

"Well, if I choose the wrong _____ (fill in the blank yourself--rug, paint color, furniture arrangement, chatchka...), then all of the other choices I make for the room will be wrong too, and I will never be able to enjoy it....ever."


This statement stopped me in my tracks.


This woman said out loud what I fear so many of us say to ourselves in private. What often keeps us stuck--paralyzed with things in our houses (and life in general)--is this idea of there being only one RIGHT choice (meaning everything else would then be wrong). The only thing that can really be appreciated or enjoyed is something that is perfect, right?


What a high-pressure, anxiety-producing situation. If I felt that way I would be paralyzed too.


So, as you ask yourself: "What if I make the wrong choice??" 


I then ask you:  So what if you do??photo 2

Now, I am not saying that you should be cavalier and spend hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars changing things around your house willy-nilly, without some serious thought and planning (I wouldn't have a job if I thought that was a good idea). However, waiting for the heavens to open and provide you with the divinely-inspired decor items or decluttering solutions you have been longing for is a way to always stay on the sidelines of life and never have any skin in the game.


Lately I have been reading Brene Brown's book Daring Greatly, and I love what she says about perfection:


" all of my data collecting, I've never heard one person attribute their joy, success, or Wholeheartedness to being perfect...perfectionism hampers achievement...[and] is self-destructive simply because perfection doesn't exist."


The reality is that none of our houses or lives or anything can be perfect. As I type this there is a paraplegic (and at times incontinent) pup sleeping at my feet, in the hall closet is a heap of summer pool towels on the floor intermixed with winter coats my children didn't bother to hang up, and on the porch a couple of rotting jack o'lanterns awaiting my attention-- but that doesn't mean that I am not proud of my house, or that it does not bring me comfort or joy.


Your house cannot be perfect, no matter how much money and time you spend on it to make it so.  But it CAN feel like home, support you in the way that you want to live, and bring you joy. It can be darn good


If we use Hermione as our example, while having a set of wheels to help us move may not be our first choice, we can embrace our imperfections and become comfortable with them--comfortable enough to even fall sound asleep with our short, little paralyzed legs hiked in the 1

"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."        --Voltaire