Of Rainbows and Perfection

We’re finally finishing up the nursery, nearly six months after the twins’ birth. It almost seems silly to me because I really have no intention of throwing them in there and shutting the door, but it will be fun to have it decorated.

We’re using a Noah’s Ark theme and decided we would paint a giant rainbow on the wall. I had a very clear image in my mind of what this rainbow would look like upon completion. My imagination doesn’t often translate very well into reality, because my imagination has a lot more tools and skill than I do.

OW and I discussed, planned and researched. We decided we would trace out the ribbons of color with chalk and then paint, fading each color into the next. I searched and searched for pictures or instructions for how to paint a perfect gradient using tempera on sheetrock.  Alas, I could find nothing that really fit, so I tried to come up with a plan using cobbled together bits of information from various websites.

We’re finished but for two more ribbons and I have to admit that I am less than pleased with the results. The fading from one color to the next has not materialized the way I’d hoped. In fact, it looks to me like we just weren’t sure where one color should start and the other end. OW decided to override my techniques for the gradient process and barreled forward with his own. And I hate it. And I think it sucks. And I think it looks like shit.

There, I said it. I could not possibly say that to him because he’s so proud of it. I’m nervous even writing it. What if he somehow sees this? Of course, I don’t know whether my plan would have worked any better and he’s much more likely to be right about something than I am, so I acquiesced.

This business of having a firm picture in my mind of the end result of potential projects causes me to procrastinate about a lot of things. I know I haven’t the skill or knowledge to achieve the desired result, but nothing less than perfect will do. So I just don’t do.

Is this practicality or an excuse to avoid potential failure? I hate rejection. HateHateHateHate. Failing to complete a project in a way that I find acceptable means I have failed myself and therefore am rejecting my efforts and myself.

Truthfully, left up to me, the rainbow would never have gotten painted at all because I would be too afraid to start. So is it really as crappy as I think it is? Is a crappy rainbow better than no rainbow? How far below perfection is acceptable?

What price do we pay for never even trying?

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.


Posted on October 10, 2011, in Questions. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I am not a perfectionist in all areas, but when it comes to some things, I absolutely cannot let go. It is a curse. I also have more skills in my imagination. I’m absolutely sure the rainbow is lovely.

  2. I’m amazed that you can even think of decorating. Our nursery is blank after we moved house a month ago when the twins were 8 mos old. And we just don’t have the time or focus. So applaud yourself for having an idea and making it happen. That’s more than most twin parents do, I’m guessing.

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