Confessions of a Type A Personality

Sunshine in the trees

 

Dear friends,

When you’re at home relaxing, what do you really see? I’ve been thinking about this question all week, after I had something of an epiphany about myself.

I had let our dog Maddie outside, during a quiet work day at my home office.

 

Black dog on green grass

 

Impulsively, I followed her out and sat down on the grass under the shade of a maple tree. Ahhhh…

 

Enjoying a summer day

 

The day was glorious as only a late-summer day in Colorado can be, and after I’d closed my eyes for a minute I opened them to take in the blue skies, lazy clouds, bees buzzing the flowers, and ripe tomatoes ready to be picked.

 

Black-eyed susans

 

cherry tomatoes

 

Feet against the sky

 

I would love to write here that I remained truly present, in a Zen way… that I simply appreciated the moment, soaked up the sunshine and fresh air, and experienced the surrounding beauty with a heart full of gratitude.

I experienced those fleeting feelings for a few moments, but then something shifted and my eyes settled on different things.

I began to notice the flaws.

My eyes slid down from those gorgeous blue skies to a hole in the chimney siding that a flicker drilled this spring. No! Add another home repair to our never-ending list.

 

Flicker hole in siding

 

I saw that the summer sun had caused the paint around the window trim to peel, too.

 

Peeling paint

 

The side garden has tendrils of bindweed climbing everywhere.

 

Bindweed

 

I saw dead tree branches that need to be trimmed, and I noticed that the hinges on the back gate have come loose again. The kids must have knocked over the brick edging I so carefully placed this spring.

Problems.

Whether I’m inside or outside our home, just about anywhere I look I can see something that needs to be fixed, or a chore that needs to be done. I realize I’ve developed a bad habit of focusing on these flaws and adding the tasks to my mental ‘To Do’ list, a habit which clouds my ability to see our home with grateful eyes.

Yet I am so very, very thankful for our home. In her book A Million Little Ways, Emily Freeman writes of being “addicted to measurable productivity.” How I recognize myself in her wise words.

Being a serial do-er isn’t necessarily bad, of course, but when my Type A tendencies mean that I can’t even sit under a tree for fifteen minutes without critically eyeing all the things that need to be done, something is out of balance. So my prayers and meditations this week have been these:

Let me be truly present.

Let me simply breathe in all that is precious and imperfectly perfect.

Let me always see our home through the eyes of a grateful heart.

Enjoy these lovely late summer days, my friends,

The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is a full-time writer and the author of 15 books about food and home design. She has been blogging about simplicity and sustainable living since 2006.

12 thoughts on “Confessions of a Type A Personality”

  1. Just remember, Eliza, these are minor things in the grand scheme of things. Certainly not worth your time of worry. Get back under that tree and RELAX!

    Reply
    • You’re so right, Sue. This seems to be my lesson for the month, to keep things in perspective and celebrate the positive. Thanks for your wise words. xo

      Reply
  2. The responsibilities of a homeowner. I was the same way when I owned my home. Living where winters are harsh, I was always checking the things that needed to be attended to before and after the next winter. I knew it was better to catch those things before they got big.

    So make a note, then go back to enjoying your time under the tree. This weather won’t last much longer.

    Reply
    • Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Lois. Home maintenance is a necessary and never-ending task, and I like your idea to make a note and return to relaxing! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  3. I am so glad I got some time to stop and read your blog today. I rarely have any. It really helped me get some prospective. Thank you!

    Reply
    • I’m so glad you stopped by, Lea, and thanks for letting me know that my (ongoing) lesson resonated with you, too. My wish for you is that you’ll have a little down time soon! xoxo

      Reply
  4. Ok, so which is worse? Having trouble letting those things go, and just enjoying the perfectly imperfect? Or being able to do that quite well, thank you, only to have your spouse say, “So when the hell are you going to quit sitting around and fix the [blank]?” ?

    Reply
  5. Oh my – “addicted to measurable productivityโ€ – I read that and felt scolded as that is totally me! I’m going to go read for an hour just to relax!

    Reply
  6. So sorry that you inherited those Type A addictions from a lifelong practitioner, but we’re still learning, right? XO

    Reply

Leave a Comment