A lazy perfectionist. At first glance, one might assume that the phrase illogically uses two very contradictory words. At first glance, one might even be right. But, the truth is, this unlikely pair is a beautiful blend of words crucial in describing who I am — a lazy perfectionist.
I coined this unique term a few months ago after struggling with my self-diagnosis for more than a few years. After sitting on the idea for a while, I have yet to decide if this quality of mine is a tragic character flaw or my most valued asset. But I suppose the inability to come to a conclusion could be explained by the term itself.
Let me explain this phrase in more relatable terms. A lazy perfectionist can be described in many ways — hesitant and driven; slothful, yet ideal.
For example, a lazy perfectionist may have a hard time cleaning their room. I know, I know — that just sounds like a problem for those who are flat out lazy. But a lazy perfectionist doesn’t simply neglect their room to avoid responsibility. They neglect their room in order to ensure that when they do clean their room, they will have enough time to not only pick up their clothes, but to scrub their toilet, dust the ceiling fan, change the lightbulbs, steam clean the carpet, polish the hardwood, fill a vase with fresh flowers, reorganize the closet, color code the bookshelf and maybe give the walls a fresh coat of paint.
Are you starting to get it now?
This theme can also explain why when you ask a lazy perfectionist for notes after class, they either hand you a crumpled piece of paper full of doodles or the novel they’ve been crafting since the semester began.
With us, it’s either all or nothing.
Throughout the years, I have picked up on just a few of the things that are difficult because of my lazy perfectionism. Eating healthy is a recurring goal of mine, but the minute I cave and order sweet tea at lunch, all efforts are thrown out the window. I want to pick up hobbies like art and photography, but after scrolling through my instagram feed, I realize the 200 likes on my acai bowl aren’t going to make me famous and I decide to look for something new. I want to bake, but I have no interest in making anything that falls short of a dessert from Cake Boss. I’d like to play guitar, but my rendition of Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” is not going to win any Grammys. I’d like to be the best at something, but I am far too busy being wildly mediocre at everything.
This all boils down to fact that I am indeed a lazy perfectionist. If something cannot be done to the fullest, I do not want to do it at all. Simple as that.
I used to wrestle with this term a lot. I wasn’t exactly lazy — I had ambition, desire and drive. But, I wasn’t exactly a perfectionist either — I don’t color code my planner and nitpick the small things. It really wasn’t until I found this humble mixture of words that I learned to embrace the quality for what it is: an uncommon and untimely way of developing self-proclaimed brilliance.
For those of you who can relate, don’t be discouraged. You and I can begin a (slow-growing) movement for lazy perfectionism. Together we can clean that room, bake that cake, ace that class and win that Grammy. Just wait and see.
Photo Credit: Andi Risk