Confessions of a Covert Perfectionist

It doesn't have to be perfect

It doesn’t have to be perfect (Photo credit: Thorsten Becker)

Unique. One of a kind. Original. Distinctive. I have always thought of myself as someone who is just that little bit different, special (my humble self is upset with me for using this word), inimitable—or at least hard to imitate.

Imagine my horror at discovering myself in the book “Overcoming Perfectionism” by Ann W. Smith. It was as if she were spying on my psyche, then exposing me to the world. Smith defines perfectionists as overt and covert. I am of the covert school of perfectionism. Without exception I have every one of her indicators—now some are more pronounced than others—but they pretty well sum me up. I have put the ones that fit me to a T in bold letters:

~ May have exceptional gifts and abilities that they are reluctant to pursue

~ Compare themselves to overt perfectionists and fall short

~ Have low expectations of those around them

~ Have high expectations of themselves, which they keep secret

~ May exhibit overt perfectionism when they excel at or enjoy a task or activity

~ Prefer being average and under the radar but secretly want to succeed

~ Are prone to procrastination, thinking they must do things right, so they have to wait and do it tomorrow (but not all procrastinators are perfectionists)

~ Worry about what others think of them

~ Act as chameleons, trying to find the right opinion or the right thing to say to avoid making a mistake

~ Underachieve to avoid pressure to succeed or competition with those who are better

~ Are inconsistent in achievements and keeping order—despite liking order and success, may reach a point where they have it, then sabotage themselves and fall back into disorder

~ Fear both failure and success and will sometimes resign themselves to being average rather than trying and failing.

Of course I am uncomfortable admitting to the fact that I have exceptional gifts and abilities, but I counter that with the true belief that everyone has exceptional gifts and abilities. Other than that I am thinking of suing Ms. Smith for invading my privacy (lol).

She says that not everyone is a perfectionist, but I think many of us have these attributes—I am just blown away with the fact that almost everyone hits the nail on the head for me (she did not include over usage of clichés though—guess that is my own addition—thinking a cliché is better than my own words at times.)

Perhaps you are an overt perfectionist—from what Smith says one of the main differences between the overt and covert is a matter of control.  Here are a few of her indicators for overt perfectionists:

~ May be born with a preference for order, but other factors contribute to a lifetime pattern of perfectionism

~ Have increased anxiety when they don’t have order around them, which may appear as frustration, anger or even rage

~ Are hard on themselves and may be even harder on others

~ May appear arrogant or judgmental, thinking that they know what is best and that everyone should do it their way

~ Fear failure and try to prevent it by being in control

Now that I know the symptoms, I will have to read the rest of the book, if not to cure myself of my overt perfectionism, at least to find balance in imperfection, which just so happens to be the subject of her last chapter.

Did you find yourself in any of the Indicators? Do you think you are overt or covert, or have you found a good balance?

Pacific City, Oregon

David does it again….I love the feelings this elicits………..and the total beauty

Live & Learn

Pacific City | Oregon from Ian Langenhuysen on Vimeo.

2 minutes from 6pm to Sunset on the Oregon Coast.  Music appropriately titled “Happy” by Secrets in Stereo.  Inspiring…

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Published in: on July 31, 2013 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Something stupid…………

Scan of Bad to the Bone cigar band

Bad to the Bone cigar band (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 A favourite word of mine is “Stupid”. Not because I like being stupid, but because the word covers a multitude of things. I do not swear (often) so I use the word stupid instead. I use the word stupid like most people swear because I was once told that I could not pull off spouting swear words. I was told that I did not look like a person who drank beer either, but luckily I shrugged that one off.

            I purchased a birthday card for a friend (Rhonda if you are reading this you must stop now) that is really stupid, but I just love it. On the front of the card is a picture of a bull dog who is saying “I want you to have a Happy Birthday”. That is not the stupid part. When you open the card, the words inside say: “You got a problem with that?” Now I would have written “You got a bone to pick with me about that?”  But since I do not make my millions writing for Hallmark I will let that one go. That is not the stupid part either.

            Now here is the stupid part—it is one of those musical cards and when you open it, the song “Bad to the Bone” growls out melodically at you. I just love it. And admittedly it is stupid. And if we don’t get together for a birthday lunch for Rhonda soon and I give her the card, I am afraid that the song will be played out by the time she gets it. It seems I just cannot resist opening the card randomly during the day and listening to “Bad to the Bone.”

            If you happen to be interested, “Bad to the Bone” was written by George Thorogood in 1981 and performed by George and his mighty band, “The Destroyers”. For your further edification, here are the lyrics to the first verse and chorus:

On the day that I was born…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… The nurses all gathered ’round
And they gazed in wide wonder
At the joy they had found
The head nurse spoke up
Said “leave this one alone”
She could tell right away
That I was bad to the bone

Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone
Bad to the bone

 Okay, enough of that stupidity. I have collected a number of “Quotes about Stupid” from the Goodreads site for your reading pleasure—hope one hits your funny bone (see what I did there—but if I have to point it out…):

  1. From that infamously wise man known as George Carlin: “Here’s all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.” (Now this may seemingly be politically incorrect, but hey, a man said it—and I don’t mind being called crazy.)

 2. Now this next one, attributed to author John Green, is a little more subtle, but stupid all the same: “I figured something out. The future is unpredictable.”

 3. Bertrand Russell made this observation: “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are so certain of themselves, but wiser men are full of doubts.” Quite philosophical our Mr. Russell was, and I am certain he was not one to suffer fools gladly, but I could be wrong.

4. Victor Hugo said something I am not so sure I agree with. He said: “An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.” Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you are in hell, do you really care if it is intelligent? Just asking.

5. And my favourite is this one, by a man after my own heart, John Green (remember you met him in number 2?) who seems to swears like I do: “Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, crap, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, crap,….”

What is your favourite word you use instead of cursing?

Published in: on July 29, 2013 at 5:01 pm  Comments (25)  
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I liked this and thought I would share. David Kanigan finds the best things…..

Live & Learn


– Last words spoken by Steve Jobs as reported by his sister, Mona Simpson

What an incredible story – and what timing – a few days before Christmas. Peggy Noonan describes these words as “the best thing said in 2011.” Here’s the story:

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Published in: on July 28, 2013 at 10:44 pm  Comments (6)  

Always Hope

Melbourne Central Marionette Fob Watch

(Photo credit: Rexness)

 This quote proves that hope really does spring eternal:

“Time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past; you still have an entire tomorrow.” ~ Denis Waitely

Published in: on July 28, 2013 at 11:52 am  Comments (14)  
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No One Said It Had to Make Sense

This proves that sometimes you should just not hit publish!

Daily Prompt: A to Z

Create a short story, piece of memoir, or epic poem that is 26 sentences long, in which the first sentence begins with “A” and each sentence thereafter begins with the next letter of the alphabet.

A memory

Brought back by

Contemptuous thoughts.

Delayed gratification

Edified by

Future thoughts of


Hold your own

Inspired by lack of


Kindness rears its

Lovely head while


Necessitate Mind

Over Matter;

English: Statue to Grazyna based on epic poem ...

This has nothing to do with the poem–I just liked it and thought it would give you something interesting to look at.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prayer and





Unequivocal  forgiveness.


Win out over

Xeroxed feelings  that deny



Hey, no one said it had to make sense. Actually there is a total deeper meaning here, you just have to parse it out (lol).

Published in: on July 27, 2013 at 9:57 pm  Comments (34)  

Cherry Salsa

Cherry Macro

Cherry Macro (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fresh Cherry Salsa

 1 1/2 lbs. cherries, pitted and roughly chopped

1/2 cup minced red onion

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. salt 

Mix all ingredients together well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid. Refrigerate until serving time.

(at least a couple of hours for flavours to marinate)

Serve over grilled chicken or pork tenderloin or veal chops.

I received this recipe from a friend of mine who knows my skill set when it comes to cooking (below average) and she sends me recipes that she knows I am capable of carrying out. She always prefaces a recipe with the words “Dave can do it” referring to her spouse. I am no longer fooled by this phrase, which once comforted me, because now I know Dave’s skill set when it comes to cooking is a few steps higher than mine–but this cherry salsa sounds wonderful and so I am going to try it for two reasons:

1. my husband loves cherries

2. I love cherries

Now, tell me, does this not sound just too good not to make? What seasonal fruit, berry, or veggie do you love the most?

Published in: on July 27, 2013 at 1:53 pm  Comments (19)  
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Feeling happy is much more connected to the world than being happy–Julie says what I have been trying to say…………….


I think feeling happy is a bit different to being happy. Maybe this is because when you simply are happy (because your bank account, love-life, health, job, family and friends etc. are all okay) you don’t notice the happiness; you don’t appreciate it. But when you feel happy, you are noticing the fragile edges, blossoms, and sunsets of whatever happiness is and you are learning how to create it day by day by day.

Today, my happiness was hugging my baby peacock, having lunch at an Indian restaurant with my friend/niece, Jane, buying baking utensils for my new cooking phase, watching TV with Anthony in the nursing lodge whilst giving him the last of the sticky date pudding with lots of thickened cream, knowing my ma will be home soon from Scotland, riding my bike, watching ‘Undercover Boss’ with Ming, and looking forward to tomorrow’s unfolding.

pea 461

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Published in: on July 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm  Comments (1)  

Oh, did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

Published in: on July 26, 2013 at 11:56 am  Comments (13)  

My New Word

Cover of "The Daily Writer: 366 Meditatio...

Cover via Amazon


“…a story possesses verisimilitude when it gives readers the sense that it has captured the situation with total authenticity.” ~ Fred White from the July 24th entry of The Daily Writer

This is my new word of the day. I love this word. I love trying to say it aloud. I am at times awkward in my pronunciation of words, (room and broom being two that send people into fits of laughter when I say them) but I try anyway.

I belong to a very forgiving Writers’ Group and when I read my “literary” offerings aloud I find it embarrassing that words I use with abandon in my writing I cannot pronounce correctly. I have either not heard them said or because of a defect with my tongue (which is imagined, not real) I cannot say them properly. Dishevelled is just one, but there are many.

I am fairly well educated and this should not be a problem. But it is my personal  albatross or millstone around my neck, which could explain why I have trouble with some words—having such impediments shackling my burdened neck is a hindrance don’t you think?

Anyway, I like my new word. Ve-ri-si-mil-i- tude. And I think I have captured my problem of pronunciation with verisimilitude—it is an authentic problem that does not, as White says: « filter out the disturbing details. »

Do you have any millstones around your neck? Or a favourite new word?