Monday, January 6, 2014

Perfectly Wonderful Imperfection

I keep waiting for the day when my life is perfect.  In that vision of my life, not only would my entire house be clean all at once, with the junk drawer cleaned out and not a speck of dust and all of the laundry caught up, but the garden would be in full bloom, the dog would be fresh from the groomer's, the car would be tuned up and full of gas, the fridge would be bursting with home cooked meals just needing their final touches; but also Katherine would bring home straight A's and announce to me, "Mama, I couldn't have done it without your help!  Thank you for being the most supportive, thoughtful mom in the whole world."  On that same day, I'd receive notice from my new publisher that the NYT wanted to review my new book, that I brought in a major donor for my new job (which saves the world, but also which provides me with intellectual stimulation, incredible colleagues, and a boss who is both mentor and friend).  To celebrate such a good day, Katherine and I would invite over my hot boyfriend and his kids (miraculously, not only is this imaginary boyfriend gorgeous, a tiger in the sack, compassionate, thoughtful, and passionate about his life, but he also shares my parenting philosophies and I find his children absolutely delightful) along with a couple of close friends and we'd open champagne and snack on crudit√© and gougeres, and probably dance around the house, spontaneously bursting into song (with three part harmonies).  In this vision, I have no fat around my mid-section and my skin and hair is decidedly better than it is in real life.

So.  Sounds good, hmm?  And I'm fully aware that it will never, ever, ever happen.

What a relief.

I am learning how to find the perfection of my imperfect life, and how to set aside my "if only..." dreams to notice what is perfectly wonderful in the here and now, not in some non-existent fairy tale that no human being can ever achieve.

I'm learning how to appreciate a clean-enough house.  I used to vacuum daily, which sounds OCD until you see the amount of hair my large dog can shed, but now I settle for once a week (twice if there's company).  My floors are never spotless, and this has irked me for years....but not any more.  My house is lived in, and when my friends show up with their big dog and our dogs race to the back door to go play in the yard together, skidding across my kitchen floor with their big doggy smiles, it's okay.  The floor isn't perfect, but the life is perfectly wonderful.

The fridge may not be stocked with pre-prepared home made meals, but there's always enough in there to create something.  Just move aside that shriveled lime (oops how long has that been there!) and there are carrots and celery and onions and potatoes, and there's some chicken, and I can throw together a soup....

My daughter continues to roll her eyes at me - this morning was particularly eye rolling for some reason - but when we went sledding this weekend she forgot how uncool I was and just giggled with me.

I'm 5'7" and a size 4 (happy dance!!!), but I've got a belly fat that refuses to go away.  I can live with it.  I am healthy and strong, and if someone is turned off because I don't have a six pack then oh well.

I don't have the energy to write 1/100 of what I wish to, but daily someone reaches out to me about my blog, and I am touched and grateful.

And the man?  He doesn't exist, and I haven't met someone who comes close.  I'm still not dating, focusing on my career instead.

I don't have the job - ack, panic, panic, PANIC! - but I have hope.  I'm in my skirt and blouse now, prepared for yet another interview, just using up a half hour before I leave (because if I think about it any more my head will explode, so I'm spending time here instead), and I'm so grateful that another great organization wants to talk to me.

I'm learning to accept that imperfection can still be glorious, that things can be broken or lost, confusing and mixed up, but still quite incredibly good.

Embracing the imperfect is new to me.  But I like it.  I'm still striving, but I'm trying not to strive so hard that I forget how good it is RIGHT NOW.


What imperfections in your life are you accepting and learning to embrace?

1 comment:

  1. I'm in my in thirties now, and I wish I had my current mindset in my twenties body. I have it so much more together, and a big part of that is accepting the imperfections. It must come with maturity. I don't mind that my hair isn't perfect every time I leave the house, or that I don't eat that 'going to play a superhero in the next movie' diet of green beans and grilled chicken, which would guarantee my flat stomach and defined bod (but hey I love the food that I make and eat). I don't mind that I still have my childhood stammer and that It's probably never going to go away (but it tends to weed out the a-holes from the good guys), or the lipomas that will keep growing no matter how many I get cut out (but hey I love scars).
    All these things make me the unique individual I am.
    The brush strokes that paint the portrait of my life are so much more interesting in their imperfect placement and balance than ever are the perfect ones.