I'm a perfectionist. I thrive when given a new task and enjoy creating things my way (the right way...of course!). Okay, maybe not thrive. More like heart-thumping anxiety and end-less planning to get the job done above what was expected.
This works well in the business world. I get the thumbs up from the boss in the conference room and my heart begins to slow and I smile in the inside; still cool and confident on the outside of course. But in real life (life outside of work), I have a hard time balancing my perfectionism and stress.
Last week, I had house visitors. I was beyond excitement and spent the weekend prior scrubbing, re-decorating and planting flowers out front. My excitement however, morphed the first day when I realized I would continue working my 50hrs that week, rush to work-out, grocery shop for whatever my guests desired for dinner, cook, clean-up and then tirelessly provide conversation. A schedule that continued for four days.
By the fourth day, I had reached my breaking point. While making dinner, one that I was most certaintly proud of (frozen pizzas), I exploded. In my defense, the dishes were not done the night prior so I had no dishes or cooling trays to put the piping hot pizza's on. They instead laid flat on the top of the stove, slowly seeping cheese between my electric stove-coils. My perfectly spotless kitchen just three days prior now was a mess with crumbs on the floor, cheese on the stove and a sink and counter filled with dirty dishes (why can't people keep the same cup all day long!). With audible grunting and anger, I quickly chewed through the pizzas using a pizza cutter, to a shape that somewhat resembled an actual pizza slice. On a paper towel I placed two slices and with the attitude of a 13-yr old, tossed it down on the table next to my guests. I ate in the kitchen that night, by myself, nursing a glass (okay...you got me, the bottle was toast by the end of the evening) of Pinot Noir.
Today, I received an email. In the context it wrote, "remember when you had a breakdown cutting up two pizzas?" They hadn't forgotten. How is it that I can complete my job and for the most part handle everything else in life, but a silly pizza and dirty kitchen got the best of me?
It has been endlessly researched and noted that to ease stress a person should exercise, meditate (or other low activity hobby such as reading), eat a healthy diet and keep a regular sleeping pattern (I believe the recommended is still 7-8hours for an adult). I am the anomoly. I run and workout daily, get at least 7.5 hours of sleep and consistantly follow my healthy lifestyle diet (minus the frozen pizza...remember this was a low-point for me). What else could I have done to prevent this silly, somewhat public, breakdown?
Well, perhaps I was just due for one.
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