Preoccupied with Perfection: Finding Freedom on the Farm

Melancholy temperament types are energized by structure, order, sameness, neatness, etc.. Also, Germans especially seem to be tightly dispositioned this way. So I get my affliction honestly. I enjoy clean, well-maintained everything, including cars and homes and landscapes. I insist on polished shoes and creases in my pants.

Well, all of that can be appropriate and has its merits, but our unmet needs and fallen human nature can put a downside on it - anywhere from an over preoccupation with perfection to compulsive disorders, in which case, a temperament strength becomes a weakness. So occasionally, we do well to be renewed in sanity.

That is the occasion for these comments: Wife, Carole, and I relocated this week to North Carolina (actually took on a second address). For at least the next several months, maybe longer, we are living in her old homeplace at the Crossroads in Archdale where her mom and dad lived for 62 years and where she stood at the end of the driveway for 12 years to catch the school bus.

The home is on ten acres of farm land. A cow pasture joins us to the west, old tobacco barns, sheds, and wooded areas are behind us, mowed fields are on either side, and once unpaved Harlow Road runs east and west out beyond the front yard.

The five-room framed house has one bathroom. This follows a downsize we already made just two years ago from 4 to 2.5 bathrooms. But no worries I tell myself: We have ten private acres and a creek to accommodate emergency needs, so I think we are going to be okay.

The home is well built and has had several renovations through the years. But very little is now new or modern. And it will all stay that way - that is, if any changes depend on my happiness wants or needs.

Also, the landscape is mostly natural growth. But I don't plan to edge driveways and sidewalks or manicure lawns or plantbeds. I have been there to exhaustion in the big city and look to be set free here on the farm.

In the distance we occasionally hear the sounds of gun shots and hunting dogs, but no longer the hum of Interstate traffic. We also enjoy good tasting well water and fresh country air.

I have spent a lot of years identifying nice stuff that I wanted, buying and going into debt for some of it. We still see stuff almost every day that looks attractive and calls our name, but we have learned that God gives the best to those who will let him do just that.

Don Loy Whisnant/Journey Notes 8J25