If you’re here from Little Green Notebook, welcome, and I hope you stay for a while. It’s a lot of fun here ;-). If you missed my announcement on Facebook, Little Green Notebook mentioned my DIY Faux Marble tutorial as her inspiration for her own faux marble top creation. Thank You, Jenny! And if you missed that post, you can find it here.
Revisiting that DIY post, reminded me of a topic that I meant to discuss with you: Perfectionism. I know I discussed some ideas on this here. But there’s something else that I wanted to share on the topic, which I’ve thought about throughout the summer as I’ve tackled several small home projects, as well as professional projects. (Maybe I’m a recovering perfectionist of sorts…???)
As Jewish women, I think we have an innate drive for perfection (some of us more than others, perhaps ;-) ). After all, our souls came to this world to perfect it, and ideally, we are here making a lasting contribution towards that goal.
However, we often let our perfectionist drive stifle us. There I said it! Perfectionism often stops us from doing very good things! (maybe not perfect, but very, very good things, nonetheless!) Did you ever hear that joke – “They told us that practice makes perfect. Then they told us that nobody is perfect. So, I stopped practicing!” ?
Today when we’re constantly bombarded with Pinterest perfect everything, this topic becomes all the more relevant. I’ll give you a very small, simple example as an analogy: My new gallery wall.
You remember earlier this summer when I told you that I was finally starting to frame some of my kids’ art work? So, last week, after years of thinking that I should put together a gallery wall in my living room, I stopped thinking, and actually did something about it.
I had a few good reasons not to put together that gallery wall. And if you ask the “professionals” or the “gallery wall experts,” I probably should have waited longer and thought about the process a lot more. Let me explain.
Number one, I want to have my living room painted in the near future. Number two, I hadn’t yet amassed enough commanding pieces of art, and I am still considering some Jewish art to invest in, hopefully in the near future.
But, you know what? The near future is not near enough. As I mentioned in my first post here, “when something is worth doing, it is worth doing now.” Instead of enjoying the art that I do have- all special to me and my family in some way- the art sat in a pile on a shelf cluttering my office. Meanwhile, the living room wall kept staring at me saying, why don’t you do something about this already!?
So, one evening I gathered some of the framed art that I already had, and got to work on my gallery wall. It took me two hours and I had the best time doing it- I really enjoyed the process of selecting, moving, changing, and so on…
There are a lot of techniques out there on how to put gallery walls together. Do you know what’s my technique? Trial and error. I am not dismissing the professionals at all, and I have read plenty about all of those techniques, but at some point a girl just has to roll up her sleeves and do things. And that doing, often times, might involve some trial and error, mistakes, lessons, and some less than perfect, yet great results.
I have created gallery walls in my homes before- making the delay in tackling this even more ridiculous. This is how I usually go about making a gallery wall. I mostly eye ball it. I have a feel for what I want to create, play around with it, usually make some mistakes with nails and holes that often get hidden behind a picture, and after a few hours of playing around, end up with my wall. If this seems daunting to you, here and here are two good resources on how to create gallery walls in a more systematic and “professional” way.
My point is not to dismiss those guidelines, but rather, not to let our desire to achieve perfection, stop us from actually doing something- something that will ultimately get us closer to where we want to be. Or rather suggest that if you’ve been saving Pinterest boards on things that you want to create and bookmarked every tutorial in the world, yet have not taken any steps to get closer to creating that, you might be suffering from stifling perfectionism (or shall we call it Pinterest stifling perfectionism?)
Is my gallery wall, Pinterest worthy? I don’t know, but what I do know is that I love this gallery wall. I love it, even though it is not perfect. I might make changes and improvements on this in the future, but there was tremendous value in working with and doing the best I could with the resources I had available right now. All of these pieces have a special meaning for me and my family and having them up in this wall, has made this corner of our living room much more enjoyable for all of us.
Do you feel that your drive for perfection sometimes stifles you from doing more? Can you take on a small project knowing that while it might not come out quite perfect yet, you will be much closer to your goal?
I wish you all a productive (even if a bit imperfect) week ;-).
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