PERFICK!

By ROSEMARY LORD

Just Rosie 2

I’m trying not to be – perfect.

Or ‘perfick’ – as H.E. Bates had Pop saying in The Darling Buds of May. For Pop, each day and everything around him was – ‘perfick.’

And that’s what I have always aimed for.

I’m very much a ‘Pollyanna,’ and always seek the best in every circumstance and find positive outcomes for the most dire situation. When someone tells me ‘No, you can’t do that. It’s not possible…” My reaction is always: “I’ll find a way!”

I have also been my harshest critic. Until a friend recently said, “Rosemary, you don’t have to be perfect. You are too hard on yourself. And you expect everyone around you to have those same high standards. They don’t. So don’t beat yourself up about it.”

Hmm. Food for thought.

Life has been a challenge for everyone in the last few months.

At first, I found the lock-down a sort of blessing. An opportunity for us all to take a collective breath and count our many blessings, reassess our lives, and think about what is really important for each of us. Find what it is we really want to do with our lives.

heartofhwd-wch-sketch-6_orig   It certainly gave me time to sort out a lot of Woman’s Club files, paperwork and organization. That makes it easier for me to delegate and hand over the reigns, so I can focus full-time on my writing once more.

And, working on the WCH from home, I was able to squeeze in writing time. I found more and more new writing ideas and goals and decided it was time to put my own life first. To make writing my full time work again. Sooner, rather than later. That’s the plan – and I’m getting closer!

As the Brazilian author of The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, said, “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them, will we understand why they were there.” Paulo’s parents committed him to a Mental Institution when he was seventeen, after he told them he wanted to become a writer! “Not to punish me, but to save me from that life,” he later said. They failed. Today he is a highly successful author.

Mercy! Makes us appreciate our own parents, doesn’t it? Thank you, Mum and Dad, for being you!

file3171299616544         But after weeks of world-wide shut-downs and no travel permitted, I also saw how small some of our lives had become. Often out of fear. When we do something out of fear – we cease to think rationally, boldly. Our courage leaves us. Some never get it back, especially as we get older.

We did as we were told and stayed home, closed down businesses, gave up jobs we liked, cancelled vacations and celebrations. We stopped going to the gym, too. And having our hair cut. (Well, that’s my excuse for my temporary extra pounds and my ‘mop’ of hair!)

 

Internet Friends World

But all was not lost, as many people became very resourceful and creative. They shone through this adversity. They found new ways to keep small businesses going, create sideline businesses, found new ways to communicate, and celebrate. Not worrying about being perfect, they just got the job done. People offered help to their neighbors and strangers, and acknowledged gratitude to those who continued daily schedules in the community as ‘essential workers.’ So, the Covid shut-downs had also brought out the best in some people.

But life had been put on hold.

Meanwhile, I have spent long hours at my computer, at home, on Woman’s Club matters. I’ve accomplished much in working through these months, including resolving a complicated, year-long IRS Audit. But I wished I could be speedier with that very work. I wished I could work faster and do shorter days. I wished I were more technology-minded and that I could work more quickly in these areas. I wished I could do more for the club with online events. But I don’t know how – and felt a failure in those areas. I chastised myself for not doing better.

Remember school reports? “Rosemary could do better. She could try harder.”

So that stuck with me. I could never do well enough for me. And that’s where my friend pointed out my frustrating perfectionism. I had created my own fear – of having to do everything to perfection. Are there any other perfectionists out there? It’s a disease, I tell you!

So, I have taken a deep breath and let go of some of it. Or I’m trying to… They say old habits die hard. And it’s really tough, sometimes!

Lady Typing 2   In my former writer-life I spent many solitary hours writing. I was oblivious of the world around me. I forgot to eat. Not good when you had a husband hoping for dinner, after returning from a long day’s work! But Rick was very patient and sometimes cooked for us, and a plate of food would appear in front of me, on top of my typed pages. “You haven’t eaten in hours. You’ve GOT to eat…” he would grin and return to listening to his music through headphones, so as not to disturb me. But I loved what I was doing. He knew that, so he was happy.

And I’d lost that joy since he’s been gone.

So, after losing Rick, I took on the responsibility of saving the Woman’s Club, as a way of  escaping or forgetting, I guess. But it was such a different challenge. So much administrative work I’d never dealt with before. But I made myself learn. How hard could it be. Ugh! But I felt I must do a perfect job – in order to succeed.

I changed, I later realized. I rather lost my sense of humor. I was NOT amused by the battle I had to fight. The corruption. The thievery! I gritted my teeth and battled on through horrendous episodes. I had taken on a responsibility and I was not going to give up.

But I lost my writing along the way. And that wasn’t all. I’d lost spending time with good friends; friendships neglected. Life was whizzing by neglected and unlived.

These months working alone again at home I realized that, yes, I was a perfectionist where the WCH was concerned. Although no-one else seemed to notice. After my friend pointed this out, I realized I was being too tough on myself. I wasn’t having any fun – and I’d lost my sparkle. A girl has to have some sparkle. And I don’t know where I’d left mine.

So, I began to turn my attention to life around me again. Little by little. Now, new people have appeared to take some of the responsibility of the Club from my shoulders. And if they are not doing it as perfectly as I would like, that’s okay. It’s good enough. Gets the job done. They’re champing at the bit to get back out there. Back to work. Organize fun, interesting events. Escape from the Zoom Room. They are energized, brimming with ideas. And they think it’s fun!! What a relief.

06694-rosemaryatburbanklibraryjpg So I am becoming a happy writer, once more. I’ll be even happier once we’re allowed to travel, too. Even if I’m not going anywhere, at least I like to know that I could if I wanted to. I’m a dreamer, too.

So, my less-than-perfect writing schedule is coming along. With my less-than-perfect editing in my less-than-perfect office space – also known as a messy desk. And my definitely less-than-perfect filing system works just fine.

I’m remembering to eat, most of the time. Sometimes it’s a late-night dark- chocolate bar. And so my girlish figure is less-than- perfect. But that’s okay too. I still occasionally mutter, “I promise to do better.” But now that makes me giggle, instead.

I LOVE what I’m writing, and can’t wait to sit in front of my computer and create – or grab my pad and scribble notes.

writer Lady 3

Mark Twain once said “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow-lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Sounds wonderful to me…

Just perfick!

 

 

13 thoughts on “PERFICK!”

  1. Rosemary, straight from the heart, as always with your posts. Yes, indeed there is a hidden value to the lockdown, giving us time to reflect on what the heck we are doing with our days. Glad you have found some of the answers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jill. I think we’re all come to some major realizations during this lock-down. And you’re looking at things from the other side of the country now. How’s the view?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy reading your thoughts on life. They come from the heart and often touch the soul. And they inspire us to seek more out of life. Thanks again, Rosie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that’s one of the blessings of this blog – that we all get to look seriously – or humorously – at what we’re doing with our writing and with our lives. Thank you for bringing us all together in the first place, Gayle.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a heartfelt post, Rosemary. We all can relate to and empathize with what you’ve written. Yes, we can choose to mourn what we can’t do or embrace what we can, depending on our attitude. I’m reminded of a scientist who said the glass is neither half-empty or half-full. It’s always completely full – half liquid and half air.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Miko. I hadn’t intended to be so self-indulgent – but needed to share what I thought might help others going through ‘stuff.’ And yes – I’m a glass half-full girl! Good point.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I love your “completely full glass” attitude! I’ve always said that the glass is half FULL when you are pouring something into it, and half EMPTY when you are drinking from it – so neither is bad.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. How great that you’re writing more again now in addition to all the wonderful things you accomplish for the Women’s Club, Rosemary. Sounds as if you’re really aiming for a “perfick” life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s something to aim for, Linda! It’s getting closer, I can feel it! And this Blog platform is such a great and safe place to work through challenges with our writing life.Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. “Just perfick!” post, Rosemary! There are several points you mentioned that have sent me down introspective trails of thought and life-evaluation. Pandemic-thinking-time is a strange thing, and in the long run good, I think? So glad you’re writing away…music to the ears. Loved your post, you always succeed in livening(sp) me up! Thank you…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just saw this: sorry I’m tardy! But thanks, Mad, for your encouraging words. It’s good we can share our thoughts on this Blog, during this odd, isolated time. Now back to my writing!

      Like

  6. I loved your quote from Mark Twain. But I’d better make it TEN years from now… Ha ha. There is so much I’ve been regretting NOT doing during this lock down time, especially one. I wish I’d taken the time each day to write a journal about my thoughts and the day’s happenings. I’m glad I posted on Facebook each day. At least I have that. But actually, I’ll probably never go back and read those posts. Writing has been put aside for me, so I’m even more glad for you, that you are picking up the pen again. Keep on, Rosemary!!
    (As an aside, I’m amazed for writers who DID persevere and are publishing books that have come out of the lock down. A big cheer for them!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s just never enough time, is there? I, too, am amazed at those who have written and published books during this lock-down. And I am always impressed at the Face Book postings that you consistently do. That’s a continent I have yet to properly explore. But, you have always nudged me to get writing again. So here I am! Thanks, Jackie!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s