The Quest for Perfection

3 min readNov 4, 2022
Photo by eleonora on Unsplash (Not a picture of our house — LOL)

No one’s perfect; so why, at 75, am I still trying?

I’m lying-in bed, trying to settle down enough to get asleep. But my brain keeps working overtime.

I’ve made a list of things “to-do” the next day. I’ve read that writing down tasks can put those tasks out of your head.

It didn’t help.

Many of the household tasks I felt I “had” to do were too difficult for me — with ongoing upper and lower back pain and shoulder pain from a badly torn rotator cuff.

We live in 170-year-old stone farmhouse; an addition was added fifty years ago; it sits on almost 3 acres of lawn, pond, meadows, and woods. There is a lot of household tasks with my hundreds of books and many of my husband’s collectables. We also have four cats.

That there are a lot of household tasks is an understatement. Unfortunately, my 81-year-old husband and my 75-year-old self have problems, physically, that prevent us from doing these routinely. We have some paid help and my daughter lives with us and helps around working on her PhD.

But I grew up in the 50s and 60s when the household tasks were relegated to the woman of the house. If something was a mess — it was HER fault. If food wasn’t prepared — it was HER fault. If clothes weren’t washed, pressed, and put away — it was HER fault.

I’m still in that mindset — and trying, unsuccessfully to get out of it.

When did this all start?

I think it started when I was around eight years old. That’s when I started to become “chubby.” I was trying to be a “good girl” and clean my plate at the insistence of my parents who grew up in the depression and felt that food was most important.

That was the time I met bullies –male bullies in elementary school that taunted and made fun of me because I was overweight.

In those distant times bullies were not reprimanded. The victims were told they had to change — the way they looked, acted, talked, dress…whatever. Bullies were given free reign.

I must have thought way back then that I wasn’t good enough not to be teased and taunted. That in order to be left alone, I had to be perfect. Thinner, prettier, smarter…in other words, perfect.

And I wasn’t and never would be.

But still, it haunts me — even now with multiple physical issues — I feel I must be perfect to earn love and respect.

Whenever I worry about the condition of the house, my daughter says, “Why care? The Queen’s not coming.” I guess now she’ll have to say “King.”

I care because I still have the 1950–1960s view that I’m responsible for everything.

No, I’m not perfect-never was and never will be — I’m me, still a bit chubby and living in a slightly messy house with a very messy husband and four lovely kitties.




A 70+ year old retired RN who’s following her 60 year old dream of being a writer, one interested in everything unusual.