This post is not perfect

Me: I did a test online and it says I am a perfectionist.
My mom: (Looks skeptical.)
Me: The problem is I'm really not even close to perfect.
Mom: I know!

Funny, right? Well, except for the fact that it truly sucks to be an imperfect perfectionist.

In the little script above, I went back and forth about whether the "L" in "Looks" should be capitalized. Period before the closing parenthesis mark? Or after? Maybe I should italicize "Looks skeptical" instead of putting it in parenthesis. And did I need to say "My mom" or would "Mom" suffice? Should I repeat the word "My" on the second reference or leave it off?

All this for a post on a blog that no one even reads.

If I stopped over-thinking every word and punctuation mark on casual emails, texts, and IMs alone, I'd have enough time to research and write a self-help book about overcoming perfectionism.

Perfectionism sucks the fun out of any creative endeavor. Sit down with my morning coffee to write a simple blog post about something I've been thinking about and end up beating myself up over punctuation and ... Holy crap:  Even as I'm writing this sentence I am wondering if I should change "(Looks skeptical)" to "Looks skeptical."

I haven't picked up my camera or edited a photo in ages because I went through a spell where I wasn't happy with any of the pictures I had taken. I'd stare at an image on the screen, focus in on every minor flaw, spend hours trying to get them just right in PhotoShop--and all the time I'm thinking what a waste of time it is to work on these pictures because they'll never be exactly how I want them to be.

It's exhausting.

And so I just stopped.

You know what else? "Looks skeptical" really should be italicized. But if I do that now, then I have to rewrite the second paragraph of this post. It is taking every ounce of effort I have not to do that. And, just like that, I'm not having fun any more.

So the first step in my recovery from perfectionism begins with the "publish" button.

Three ... two ...