January 12, 2010

Relinquishing “Good” and “Perfect”

My one little word is “release”. In my quest to live this word, I am trying to start with stopping the feeling that I always need to be the good one, and do what’s correct and responsible 100% of the time. Folding a towel “just so”. Refolding a towel my child or husband folded because it’s not how I would do it. Creatively, not making a mess… coloring inside the lines… being too symmetrical. I want to get creatively dirty and wacky and not feel guilty or self-conscious about it. I don’t want to follow my self-imposed rules, or learned behaviors and monkey-see-monkey-do reactions anymore.

One synonym for release is “relinquish”. I must relinquish my feelings of needing to control, to do the “correct” thing (different from doing the “right” thing) and make things as perfect is possible. As I’ve said before, I KNOW I’m not perfect, but very often I feel the pressure to be perfect or to make things perfect for others, when I know that is simply impossible. I want to let go of that feeling like I need to be perfect. So I’m starting small. I’m starting with a book. A journal, actually, called Wreck This Journal, by Keri Smith. I found this book on Amazon.com when I was Christmas shopping and set it aside as something I wanted to get myself someday. Then, someone else received it and talked about it on Scrapbooking from the Inside Out, which brought it back to the forefront of my mind again.

I knew someday had to come soon, or I’d chicken out, or just plumb forget about it. So… here it is:

I bought it. It was delivered today. This book has all kinds of little tidbits on how to destroy the book. Books are so important to me… it was important as a child that I didn’t color in them, or write in them (even text books! Not if you wanted them to resell)… not to fold down the corners of the pages and not to leave them open, face down, because it would eventually hurt/crack the spine. Keep them looking new. I don’t know if I can change that for “real” books, but I thought… a small step to releasing that “have to keep things perfect” control is working my way through this book. Some things it tells you to do are: “Place sticky things here” (on the page), “Scribble wildly, violently, with reckless abandon”, “poke holes in this page using a pencil”, and “tie a string to the journal, go for a walk, drag it”. All things I would never, ever do to a book…even one of my own journals. Even a coloring book!

I am hoping… hoping, hoping, hoping… that I will be able to stop feeling so “uptight” and needful of doing the “right thing” (like coloring inside the lines). I want to RELEASE myself to be more creative; allowing myself to try things that are just “oddball” and not what I would normally do. I’m hoping that this also helps me explore more on my scrapbook pages.

My first challenge is to NOT set it aside, “perfect”, on a bookshelf. Ready? Here I go…


  1. I have that book and worked with it a little last year. We had an online group going who posted pictures of the destruction they wreaked on that poor book. I got a little scared about setting it on fire though...

  2. You can do it! I sympathize with the perfection complex... A couple years ago I finally realized that the reason I was re-organizing my supplies over and over was because deep down, I was afraid of starting to create. What if I did it bad? Or wrong? I finally made myself stop organizing and start creating and it feels sooooo good... can't wait to see what you do with this book. I believe in you!


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