Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Death of Perfectionism

What do you do when you have 12 pictures to hang in a semi-symmetrical formation that will dominate the wall of your bedroom, and you discover that your laser level and old-school bubble level disagree? If you’re me, you swear a bit, fight the urge to cry, and remind yourself of why you’ve let those 12 pictures sit in a box in the corner for more than a year.

But the girls were at daycare, I was at home, and I'd sworn I’d hang those pictures THAT DAY. So again, what do you do when your laser level and bubble level are at odds? Swallow any remnants of perfectionism and just get the dang job DONE. It’s not like the wall will fall down if the photos aren’t hung PERFECTLY...

So I decided to agree with the laser level. I could at least put in on a tripod and have it project nearly-level lines on the wall for me to use. That required 2 less hands than using the bubble level. (2 extra hands I didn’t have.)This turned out to be only the first complication.

The second complication involved difficulty with measurements and calculating how far apart to put nails. You may have heard about my love of Ikea storage containers. Well, I also have a love of Ikea frames. The problem is that they are made with odd dimensions. One frame was 5 and 6/16 inches by 9 and 3/16 inches, and another was 10 and 1/16 inches by 16 and 11/16 inches. Try calculating nail distances when you have to divide the frame widths by half, add them together, and add a spacing distance in-between. Then try actually getting the nail in that place given you have a not-quite-level level and no extra hands to assist you. In the next hour before you need to pick the girls up from daycare.

The process was not pretty. I had to silence the nagging voices in my head that said things like:
“Don’t put extra holes in the wall!”
“It needs to be symmetrical, but not TOO symmetrical!”
“The pencil marks on the wall still show after you erased them! See, that spot’s a little shiny!”
“It needs to be artistic, but not TOO artistic!”
“The highest frame on the left side is an inch higher than the highest one on the right!”
“Are you sure you picked the best pictures? Maybe you should go have some others printed…”
The finished result? It’s passable if you aren’t a perfectionist. It’s a nagging annoyance if you are.

So sanity requires swallowing perfectionism. This is a lesson I learned when I had my second child. Toddler + newborn = barely controlled chaos. Graduate school destroyed most of my Type A tendencies. Having more than one child killed the rest.

Yay! Wedding photos are up! Dang, we look so young...

I think I might want to replace the smallest frames, they look a little chintzy with the rest...

So I’m happy with the results. The photos are on the wall instead of in the corner. My scientist BestestHusband who evaluates small errors for a living? I think the jury’s still out…

And yes, I know that the big frame above the bed’s empty. I still need to print more photos. But it’s above the bed! I need really good photos! The pressure’s still too much for me…

The room still needs some work. What do you think it needs? Sconces over the bed? Interesting lamps on the nightstands? I'll take any advice I can get!


  1. A nice fake (or real if you're crazy) silk palm or ficus & definitely some white space around those smaller pix. Yes to the interesting & larger lamps on the nightstand....sconces would be nice, but you'd need to rehang all those pictures LOL. And if I lived alone, I'd do the flat stacked pillow thing; can't get the hubby to go along. In fact we disagree so much about how to make the bed that is mostly stays unmade!

  2. My thoughts... lamps would take away from your photo groupings. I think throw pillows or shams would help add some interest (but this is coming from the girl that owns both and uses neither). Maybe something high on the wall, centered over the bed...a cross or a saying of some sort?

    Great progress! (both in meeting your deadline and putting another nail in the coffin of perfectionism)