Perfection and Overwhelm and Purity and Deterioration and Rebellion

I’m a perfectionist. For a long time, I didn’t realize it because I thought if I were a perfectionist then I would do better at things. I thought a perfectionist was someone who actually achieved perfection. It pains me when I know things could be better, and they aren’t. I suspect that accepting a certain level of imperfection is just part of adulthood. I just have to do the best I can and get on with living life. Done is better than perfect. Unfortunately.
I get overwhelmed easier, and when there is too much going on, when things are going badly, I want to just go to bed and pull the covers over my head and go to sleep until it’s all over.
I’m a purist as well, which tends to look like perfectionism. I have this beautiful ideal in my mind, that is impossible for any human to achieve, and when I can’t have it I am terribly disappointed. If I can’t have that ideal, I don’t want anything. This is not helpful for housekeeping, or eating, or teaching. Or life.
I recently realized why I don’t like change. I feel like I’ve already achieved some sort of balance in my life—I’ve got my schedule down to the best of my ability, I’ve figured out how to get a minimally-acceptable meal onto the table, we can get through most of the school work we need… And then some big change sweeps in and upends everything.
Change is a deterioration of the present condition, a previously optimized situation that I had worked hard to establish. Because change never seems to be about making things better, at first. However, and this is hard for me to realize, most of the time, what change does is force me to re-examine my optimizations and see where they’ve become stagnant, and then re-optimize for the new situation. Those new optimizations are usually sweeping and require changes to areas where I’ve already optimized (when Tuesday night’s schedule needs to be tweaked, it might affect my meal planning for the entire week, for example). So change can also be a stimulus towards fresh optimization.
I’m just grumpy about it.
Possibly I’m grumpy because I also tend to be rebellious, and don’t like to be forced to do anything. Which makes me ridiculously easy to manipulate into doing what someone wants. For some reason, nobody around me has figured this out (or maybe they have but do it subtly enough I don’t notice).
I’m not sure if I’m even going anywhere concrete with this—I’m just marking the boundaries of my mental landscape, I suppose. Perfection, overwhelm, purity, deterioration, and rebellion. Everything I do, every choice I make, needs to take that reality into account.

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