About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Perfectionism

Inspired in part by a friend’s recent post. She had commented on how she copes with mistakes in her knitting, that she knows several ways to fix things, and that even if she chooses to leave one in, she doesn’t beat herself up over it. But in her music, if she hits a wrong note or doesn’t like her interpretation of a piece, she’s very unhappy with herself and cannot seem to let it go.

I responded, Maybe the difference between your margins-for-error in knitting and in playing the organ has something to do with when you learned to do each. Or whether you see yourself as a musician who loves to knit, or a knitter who loves to make music. I am one of the latter; I learned to knit as a child, and while I have always loved music and rhythm, I only learned to sing well after I joined the Church as a young adult and sang in Institute choir. [That is also where I discovered a relish for performing; *love* that connection with the audience!]

I am usually not satisfied to leave a mistake in my handwork. Yet there are times when it is not obvious to anyone but me, or will not affect how well the item wears, and I leave it in, shrug, and go on. This is not something that has sprung fully-grown from my forehead; it has been the work of decades to reach a point where something that leaves my hands does not always have to be as near to perfection as I can get it.

If I hit a false note when singing, I am usually able to take comfort from the fact that there are umpteen other sopranos hitting roughly the same note, and only if you knew me really well, would you catch the wince as I move on to the next passage. Besides which, there are more singers hitting the right note, at greater volume, and probably only three or four of the people around me are as keenly aware as I am, that I zigged vocally when I should have zagged.

I might have been a better human being, far sooner, if my errors had kept me awake at night. But that voice that torments so many of my friends, male and female alike, the one that says you’re too ______ or you’re not ______ enough? I am pretty much deaf or immune to it. Might be the clicking of the keyboard, or the knitting needles, that renders it harmless; who knows?

We now pause for a knitfomercial. This is the pattern I used for BittyBit’s washcloth.

Had *the best* visit with BestFriend yesterday. And made what is easily the least-inspired batch of mac and cheese in decades. Thought I would try the Ragu bottled cheese sauce, as having about the right texture while providing greater coverage than the small packet that comes in the Kraft Deluxe dinners. Cooked the shell noodles to perfection, stirred in the reconstituted onion [I am rotating items from my food storage] and minced garlic, dumped in a blob of cheese-like substance, and stirred away.

Bland.

More boring than my non-existent love life.

So I cracked some pepper into it. And grated a whole lot of the Asiago into it. Better, but still bland. A dollop or two of pineapple-apricot horseradish sauce. Not much help. At which point I needed to be on the road for a drive-by fooding of the missionaries and a road trip to my friend’s potluck in Oak Cliff. I called Brother Sushi after I dropped off the elders’ portion; he suggested red pepper flakes. Maybe; but they were back at the house, and I was already on the outskirts of Fort Worth.

What the mac and cheese needed was some ham or sausage or ground beef. None of which were to be found in the glove compartment.

When I got to my friend’s house, the casserole was cold. Somebody kindly grabbed it and put it into the microwave, where we all promptly forgot it. When I was ready to leave, I looked all over for that dish, finally rescuing it from the microwave. It’s now in my fridge, untouched, and I may try some of the red pepper flakes tomorrow. Or maybe some wasabi ranch dressing. And naturally, since nobody ate any of it, I will have enough to last for breakfast and lunch until Friday.

I think the first error was the bottled cheese sauce. The price may have been right, but the contents were not.

At the party, I met another knitter. She is on Ravelry but couldn’t remember her screen name there. So I gave her mine, and my email addy. She has been shopping at the place that shall not be named; I told her about the Shabby Sheep, which is close to where she works, and where the staff is unfailingly courteous, no matter how much or how little one buys.

Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts on Middlest’s behalf. Her interview went well; they were delighted that she was open to a night clerking or stocking position, and I took her to the lab for her drug test.

2 comments:

Tan said...

Perfectionism is a big source of anxiety. It keeps people from doing things they want to do because they wouldn't be able to do it perfectly. It makes people sad over things they've done that were perfectly OK, but just not perfect. Perfect isn't even real, except for Jesus. May we all be happily imperfect in the coming year!

Lynn said...

I'm perfectly agreeable with that ;)