C+ Living

school-303928_1280Raise you hand if you are a bit of a perfectionist…Raise it high. And straight. But just high enough that your upper arm doesn’t flap. And be sure you aren’t blocking anyone behind you. Is that a pit stain? Might be a pit stain, so lower your hand ever so slightly to get that situation covered up. But does lowering your hand imply that you’re less of a perfectionist? Might be. Raise it high. Oh but the pit stain. And not too fast or the arm will flap. It’s hard to hold that hand up for this long. Need to work out more. Weight bearing activity reduces the chances of osteoporosis……..WHAT WERE WE TALKING ABOUT?

Oh yeah–perfectionism.

I live with it. Being a perfectionist doesn’t mean that my life is perfect–it means I feel constant guilt because it’s NOT perfect. So maybe I’m a lazy perfectionist.

Yesterday, I was talking to my friend about people who either give themselves 100 points or zero points. Anything less than perfect is an utter failure. She and I were at the employee Health Fair. We were at  the height and weight station for BMI calculation. I got on the electronic scale and it said, “One at a time, please.” We each got our BMI and consulted the chart. Hers was 25 and she was crestfallen. “It’s in the overweight category!” This woman ran 12 miles this weekend, so she was a little bit annoyed with the BMI number. I looked at the “Healthy Weight” category. Guess what the highest range was for healthy BMI? 24.9

One tenth of a percentage and she was dissatisfied. Stuck in the wrong category after all that work. Damned by .10 on a broad scale.

It reminded me of grades and school and all those arbitrary measures we impose on ourselves. Is a 92 really that different from an 89? Is a BMI of 25 different from 24.9?

I have to remind myself constantly that C is average, not A. In those times, I shoot for C+ living. Average, with a teensy bit to acknowledge some extra effort.

10 thoughts on “C+ Living

  1. Chris Antenen

    I see you got one of my old report cards. Just add the Ann. I went by Mary Ann back then because that’s my name. Funny things, names. My Latin teacher called me Mary A because there was another Mary Ann(e) in the class. Pissed me off. It would have been better if she had called me Mary Ann two, or wait Mary Ann one. Well, that’s a problem. It doesn’t help that Mary Anne was a friend. Just think about the possibilities. Miss Lamb (ha) could have called me Mary Ann without the E, and for Mary Anne, she could have said, Mary Anne with the E. And if she had used both of those names, or even cut off the Mary Ann and just called her ‘with the E’ and me ‘without the E,’ better yet, she could have shortened it to ‘E’ and ‘no E,’ or ‘with’ and ‘without,’ but there was no encouragement for imaginative teachers back then. What imaginative teacher wanted to teach Latin I, Latin II, Latin III, and Latin IV anyway? Lordy, I hope there wasn’t a V that I missed. Wasn’t there something about Gaul and Caesar?

    So this was supposed to be about perfectionism? Well, how about narcissistic perfectionism. Will that work? Or are those two words synonyms?

    No matter what the scale or anything else says, ‘average’ is not a word I would associate with you, not even ‘above average.’ How about this reality – Ashley, very often successful perfectionist? Or we could go the other way and say — Ashley, very seldom screws anything up.


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