This has been on my mind a lot lately… why do we expect things to be “perfect” in our most imperfect lives? My priest often reminds us (and I’m paraphrasing here) that God loves us, even in our imperfection, as He is the only one that is truly perfect. Is it because of our true imperfections that we continually strive for perfection and are frustrated when we find flaws or blemishes in our lives? When did “perfect” become the pinnacle of our life’s focus… and why are we not striving to create full, blemished, original, and unique lives? Wouldn’t it be more satisfying to create interesting lives rather than ones that are “perfect”?
Who deems that something, or someone, is “perfect” anyway… and why would we want something to be perfect… an exact replica of something else, faithfully reproducing the original… corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept… entirely without blemish, fault or defect… It certainly doesn’t interest me in the least.
In my job as an Event Coordinator, I have a lot of people striving to make things “perfect”… as if anything less is not acceptable. I believe that perfection is certainly something toward which you can aspire, but I also believe that it shouldn’t be your ultimate goal or the final word on success or failure in an endeavor. Events such as weddings and receptions have so many variables over which there is little or no control. Expecting everything to go “perfectly” and according to plan can be a little beyond the scope of one’s ability, but that’s not to say that working toward that goal isn’t without its merits. Following a plan, and rolling with any necessary deviations, can be incredibly satisfying, especially if the end result is a positive and fun experience. The result of a wedding/reception in which a few things strayed from the written plan is one that will carry the couple into a future with their own unique story. Being able to see three brothers come together to walk their sister down the aisle, when before they had only expected two to show, is a beautiful story. Telling the tale of the three adorable nephews happily running down the aisle, instead of carefully walking together in front of the bride, is a beautiful story. Hearing of a joy-filled 3-year old flower girl twirling and dancing during an angelic wedding solo, simply because she’d always been taught to dance when she hears exquisite music, is a beautiful story.
The same holds true, in my humble opinion, throughout life in general. I’ve been tuned to The Food Network a lot lately and it seems that the most prevalent word with TV Cook-hosts is “perfect”. I know there are times for following directions to the letter… my husband would fervently remind me that “NATOPS is written in blood” and those directions are followed, without fail, for a reason, but I always believe there are times when a looser following of directives can provide a unique and enjoyable experience. Flying an airplane is NOT one of those times, but I know we’ve all experienced situations that needed “tweaking” or adjusting to attain an acceptable outcome. Isn’t that where we find the most unexpected blessings?
In many aspects of my life, I like to use directions as “guidelines” instead of instructions (I like to use “The Force” when I cook) but it seems to me that life just becomes a little more interesting if there’s a little bit of the unexpected. Seek out a unique way to handle a problem. Look for alternatives to that vision of perfection. Try and come up with a cleaner, simpler way to solve that complicated issue. You may find that the “tried and true” way to proceed has been thwarted and the only acceptable thing to do is “punt”. If you can accept this new version of reality, you may find an even better way to attain your goal, whether it be a new way to get from Point A to Point B or a new recipe for dinner.
True perfection, my friends, is entirely over-rated. Seek the unexpected… look toward the unique… embrace the unusual… and allow for your world to accept a few flaws. You may find your life all the richer for it.
I wish you imperfection… in all its glory. It’s a beautiful thing!