Perfectionism, a garage door, and some compulsivity.

My garage door had some work done. The other doors are going to talk – it looks five years younger, all shiny with a lustrous dark brown coat.

New paint.

The TLC was overdue. I’ve lived here for twelve years and prior to last week, the only maintenance the door received was an occasional drive-by washing.

I can be shockingly negligent with home maintenance. It’s not that I object to the work, exactly. I don’t dislike painting or pruning. It’s an execution problem. As in, my perfectionism weighs in on the execution and mostly, it finds me lacking.  It’s fatiguing hearing about how you’re a failure over and over again at everything you attempt.

It’s easier to avoid action. Doing things just provides perfectionism with ammunition. And it doesn’t just talk the negative talk. The walk becomes problematic too. Criticisms create compulsions that turn into behaviours that can become obsessive. Perfection or die trying. It’s a hard and rather joyless way to live.

I’m improving. I’m getting better at letting go, at “good enough is good enough”. Which explains why I’m not on the ladder trying to make the garage door paint job so perfect that strangers will marvel and take photographs. I’m working on enjoying the process and detaching from the result. Blasting the tunes at a robust volume helped.

It’s been nice, not obsessing over a door.

I believe I may be ready to imperfectly paint the mudroom.


I’ve been having a problem with Word Press. Not with the writing. Not with the tagging. Not even with titles; I’ve accepted that mostly, they’re going to be awful. The problem lies with what’s next. The problem is related to the publishing. The problem is the preview.

Once upon a time, I’d prep the post, preview it once, and hit publish with enthusiasm. But then a post disappeared. The Word Press techies fixed the problem and yet, I now had a worry. What if it happened again? How to prevent it?

Check twice. That’s the obvious solution. Check twice before I publish. Just to make sure. Just in case. Prep the post, preview it once, preview it twice, and hit publish with enthusiasm. And maybe some anxiety. What if it disappears despite my focus? What if double-checking isn’t enough to prevent a problem?

Check three times. Check thrice before I publish. Just to make sure. Just in case. Prep the post, preview it once, preview it twice, preview it thrice, and hit publish with enthusiasm. And maybe some anxiety. And some self-disgust. The checking is escalating and I know it’s a problem. But something might change after the first preview. Or the second. Magic computer things. Three times to make sure. Three times to be safe.

Three times is the wake-up call.

Obsessive previewing of a post before releasing it into the wild is not fine. It’s perfectionism and compulsion run amok.

10 thoughts on “Perfectionism, a garage door, and some compulsivity.

  1. I used to paint houses for a living and everyone including the boss kept telling me it didn’t have to be perfect. Maybe because they were all stoned but me, who nose?

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