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My SIL is a perfectionist, and I've had a lot of opportunity to think about it lately. I see that it takes SO Much away from her life. She spends so much time on tiny things she can't move on from, and not a lot of time simply enjoying...or being out in the 'big scarey world' (second time I've used that phrase tonight). We went to supper the other night and my daughter spilled bubbles on her porch. An HOUR later, after she scrubbed and washed the porch to rid it of any potential stains, it was my daughter's bedtime and she hadn't even eaten supper yet. At first I was angry, and then I just felt sad for her. That porch was SO important that it canceled out any time she could have spent with family...even her own...her son. She's like this about many things. Christmas the tree didn't get decorated because she couldn't do it 'just right'. She spent all of Christmas eve up (until 4AM) because she had left things until the last minute...again, the pressure of 'doing it right.' She won't take help from others because they 'won't do it exactly right'.

She's really severe as far as I can tell, and I really think it takes a lot away from family gatherings. Yet all I really feel for her is compassion because the person she's hurting most is herself.

there are so many of these little obsessions that I think are all about fear and avoidance...and it pains me to see how many of us are willing to give up so much of our lives in this manner (including myself at one point...I still struggle with some things, but I'm doing better than I ever have before).

I'm in Montessori, and in Montessori they teach children to value the 'process' and not the product. That means you work hard, and well, and know when to say you're finished. It doesn't mean perfect every time. It just means you gave it your best.

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Ps, I learned so much from becoming an assistant in a montessori classroom. I am beginning to think that for those of us who didn't have this kind of education...we really should go back and repeat the 3-6 age range...to really learn about process instead of end product.

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