1) I am an eldest child, and I am a procrastinating perfectionist. This is normal.
Recently I checked out a bunch of books about birth order from the library. (After paying a big fine because I procrastinated about renewing the last batch, naturally.) My favorite title is the enticing, Growing Up Firstborn: The Pressure and Privilege of Being Number One. That's RIGHT Dr. Kevin Leman, we firstborns have it the WORST!
The picture of firstborn perfectionism sounds like my life. Dwelling on past failures, gauging worth by the number of successes, blowing past accomplishment to focus on what needs to be done next. If you're always worried about doing a good enough job, then you hesitate to get started. This is exactly why I could never start school papers way in advance. I needed to mull over my topic and feel ready to write profound things.
This has been particularly true for wedding planning. A long engagement of 16 months is doing me no favors. What if I pick out something now and hate it in 6 months? How can I make this celebration a reflection of me and my marriage if I don't even know what I like? You can't rush art.
But at a certain point, you just have to pick something. I've gotten a little better at this over the years, especially with shopping. Which brings me to:
2) Never pay retail when you don't have to.
I got an unexpected call this week offering me a job interview in another city. On Friday. Since I last built my professional wardrobe, I have lost 22 pounds. Hooray! Now all those pantsuits don't fit, and neither does my long winter coat. Cue what my family likes to call "Turbo Shopping."
Burlington Coat Factory had a decent-yet-unorganized selection of wool coats, but I wasn't sure if I could do better elsewhere. I checked out the one day sale at Macy's - to find some of the exact same items from the other store, at twice the price.
So today I went back to the first store, and picked up this fun, swingy Laundry coat. I paid $60 less than the Macy's sale price, and less than a third of the suggested retail value. Discount outlets can take more time and effort, but once again I learned that it is worth it.