MS and Perfection

I was wrapping presents for an hour this afternoon.  That’s all I could do.  My back is tingley and tight, my arms feel like two balloons.  I feel as if I can’t move for at least an hour.  It’s even tiring typing this and I have to rest my hands frequently.  I had similar feelings in my whole body this morning.  I can’t describe the odd sensation behind my eyes, like my eyes were spinning.  The odd thing was it seemed to be caused by the sun, as it started as soon as I walked outside.  The weirdest sort of dizziness.  It lasted 2 hours, the whole time I was running errands…that’s why it took me two hours.  Hello MS you haven’t bothered me like this before.

Just when I need the most help I’m up all day, still have dishes to do, then cook dinner, do the dishes again.  I’m just plain not going to be able to do it.  My body is refusing to cooperate.  The boys are going to have to pitch in.

Antique tailor’s scissors

I don’t tell you this for sympathy.  I write it because I want people to understand MS and how many different ways it manifests itself.  I’m trying to understand it myself.  This time it got to me.  As I rested in my car between shops, I couldn’t help but see me helpless, unable to move, that I’m damaged and no longer perfect.  It took a little effort not to follow that train of thought, and I was pleased I could put it aside.  I let pragmatism rule.

But that’s not my only reason for posting.  As I was cutting the Christmas paper with great grandma’s scissors (they must be 100 years old and are sharper than any new scissors, I think they’re made of steel), I wondered when we stopped caring.  Or maybe its me, that I stopped caring.  I stopped caring that I couldn’t cut a straight line when 3 generations ago it was mandatory.  When did “good enough” become good enough?  Have we “settled” for mediocrity?

I see it everywhere, I can’t cut a straight line, because I was never taught, and never cared to learn.  I didn’t need that.  Now I’m trying to put an octagonal-shaped sheet of paper with all these weird angles onto a square box and attempt to fashion a suitable covering.  But it’s ok.  My husband doesn’t care. He’s just glad to receive it.

If it was so important to be perfect 100 years ago why did we stop?  Have we as a nation stopped caring if the job isn’t the best you can do.  We settle for mediocre.  I recall great grandma’s knitting was still perfect at age 100, the age she finally couldn’t do it any more.  Her hand writing had been beautiful, while I can barely read my own.  When did we stop caring?

Have we lost something?  Or have we gained an understanding that perfection on the whole is not that important.  That we are who we are?  Dropped the facade?  Is that the reason there seem to be more rude people, you know the ones who expect you to hold the door for them and doesn’t thank you.  It’s not in his wiring.  He has a wife who stays at home, and has her gifts wrapped by the pros in the mall.  People who think it’s the rest of the world that’s a problem.

knitSo, I wonder do you always do the best you can, or do you say to yourself, “self, I think that’s good enough.”  I know I do, but not with everything.  Writing needs perfection, house cleaning requires, close enough.  Not quite what gramma was doing 100 years ago, but I’ve got other things to do.  Unlike them, we have to run errands and go to the pharmacy, the grocery, the dry cleaners and the vet, while they only had to go to their yard, grab a chicken, and set the kids to picking potatoes.  (do you hear the sarcasm?)

I suppose great grandma wondered if life was stricter 100 years before her, and whether they had lost something with the passage of time.  I see a lot of programs about how precise ancient man was.  Look at the pyramids and Stonehenge, Macchu Picchu.  The knowledge of healing and weapons, and how to improve on the many ways of killing our enemies.  We lost the healing of herbs and plants, and are only now re-finding.  Could we build the pyramids without the modern machinery?

We are weaklings compared to our ancestors.  Are you sure we aren’t devolving?

14 thoughts on “MS and Perfection

  1. Sorry you’ve been feeling unwell….. I definitely think the overall work ethic has changed drastically… I’m sure there are still some that take their work seriously..but it seems there’s a general lack of wanting to do the best job that one can do… but instead do enough to get by… I even found it the latter years that I worked… and it probably carries over into other areas…. I’m not exempt right now as far as sometimes only doing what absolutely needs doing and putting off a whole lot more…. but I would guess at times we all do that….I definitely don’t work as hard as ‘grandma’ did!….. Diane

  2. A lot to think about in this one. Like Diane, I hope and pray you will come through this latest siege of symptoms stronger and more determined than ever. As for the shoddy workmanship of today’s products here in the U.S., it’s a national disgrace that shows no sign of getting better. Sad.

  3. A sad thing it is with health issues and then trying to deal with manners and quality of workmanship..Every which way?? My era people seemed to care more,,, but it might have been lack of publicity and ignorance,,but manners and politeness cost nothing,, and with a little effort it could be brought back into the world… I hope you are learning more and more about your issues,,, 😉 take care..

    1. Thank you for your comment. Today I am nearly back to normal, which is a huge relief. As for the rest: I try not to be rude, and always understand (or try to) other people’s position, even when they are rude. It’s all we can do is our best and to make our little corner of the world more habitable.

  4. part of the issue is how much we have on our plate now. not that women didn’t have a lot to do back in the day. now we have the home, kids, spouse and outside jobs. there seems to be more self-imposed challenges now. my daughter lives in charleston s.c. and the women there have to have the best birthday party for their little darlilngs, along with the big house and job. our parents and grandparents didn’t worry about this. they were too busy just trying to survive. my grandmother also crocheted, you are so right about this, she would have never settled for good enough.

    we face so many challenges today and even with your health issues you strive for well-done. if we are doing the best we can then we aren’t really settling for mediocrity are we? i find myself putting expectations on myself. if i do something or have people over it has to be my best effort and not just thrown together.

    i don’t see or hear that you are not doing the absolute best you can. think of how much you do and under very difficult circumstances. i admire you my friend.

  5. Get hubby to do more work aground the house, cooking, dishes, cleaning, laundry, shopping, etc.

    When you don’t feel well: REST. Pace yourself and do light exercise to keep your life force moving.

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