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Are You Sacrificing Happiness for Perfection?

By PAULA WELLNITZ

Start enjoying what you get done, and stop focusing on what you don't

Did you grow up learning sayings like: "Anything worth doing is worth doing well.", "Cleanliness is next to godliness."? Now do you feel guilty if you haven't done things so that they came out just right or if things aren't in perfect order? Do you feel constantly tense and hurried with no time for yourself? Or time with your spouse alone?

The above sayings are used as a means to encourage a desire to do better. What has happened in families often, however is that more and more things seem to have to be done. Parents are stretched physically, trying to get everything done perfectly at home, making sure their children get to all the things currently in vogue with each age group, frequently besides, working at a job. Emotional and psychological needs have increased also. Some things have to slip by. The individuals feel guilty and try harder.

No one can keep up with all this perfectionism. In the attempt, children and spouse relationships may be neglected. There is no time for regular chatting. Tempers may flare over inconsequential things. Others are expected to be just "perfect" and are blamed for not being so.

If this is you-you can decide your family is more important than being perfect. It is okay to fail by your definition of perfection. Being together as a family is more important than doing every activity. Perhaps some things have been let go for you as an individual or as a family that are really more important than those you are doing. You can assess with the others in your family what really needs to be done and done as well as possible-not necessarily perfectly.

To do this will mean you and each in your family will pass through the stages of transition we talked about the last few times. But you will find there will be a peace, a wanting to be doing what ever that is that enters you. LIfe will be simpler and more joyful. It takes a use of caring communication, common sense and decision-making.





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