I remember as a little girl wanting my room to be neat, tidy, clean – any or all of the aforementioned conditions. I remember arranging and rearranging my room so that it was ‘just right’. I loved the feeling after changing my space around – that ‘clean’ feeling because everything was clean. Every time I moved (or present tense ‘move’) furniture around, everything got vacuumed under, wiped down, Lysoled, dusted, 409′ed, Windexed, bleached, whatever. You could not only eat off the floor, but under the bed, on top the dresser, wherever you’d choose to eat that hypothetical meal.
Call it perfectionism or being obsessive compulsive, but it has its blessings and its curses. Combine it with having Parkinson’s and it’s a curse. Or – is it a blessing?
Lately it’s been a major curse. I am finding that the fine motor movements aren’t so fine. They are practically non-existent if you ask my fingers. Take this article, for example. It has taken me over half an hour to get this far. To think I used to type 70-75 words a minute…
Anyhow, enough of that.
Being a perfectionist and having PD do not fare well together. They most certainly do not. Take for example folding sheets…
When I folded sheets ten years ago, they would look like you just bought them. They were creased just so, lines matching up with other lines, all sheets and pillow cases ending up in a perfect, stackable square that would placed upon another set in a perfect, stackable square. It was wonderful. Did I mention I could perform this simple task alone? Yes, well, now I can’t.
I can’t do it alone. To begin with, I can’t hold the sheet up by myself because I can’t lift my arms above my shoulders without pain (an invisible part of PD). Second, my fingers won’t cooperate with the matching of corners and lines. Forget about getting them in perfect, stackable squares. When (there’s no question of ‘if’ anymore) I ask for help, I don’t complain about not getting it ‘just so’, because I am grateful for the help. And therein lies the blessing.
Having perfectly folded, stackable sheet sets doesn’t matter anymore. Matching lines don’t matter. Asking for help is easier now. It’s a letting go of what never should have mattered that much to begin with and getting done what is needed to get on with what does matter – spending that extra time I now have to love on my grandkids because I have stopped obsessing over perfect sheets and have started asking for help.
And for me, that is a blessing that overcame the curse.