We are working on perfection at our house. Brene Brown is walking us through all kinds of skills and tools, including accepting we are not perfect, we cannot be perfect, and perfect is boring, anyway. We’re talking through combining all of our missteps and successes, our celebrations and our falls, to make complete, well-round, wholehearted, albeit frustrated, people.
For instance, little Reese is terribly afraid of the sound of the skillets on a hot stove, or the hour of 6 o’clock, or maybe afraid of missing a bite. So, she finds herself perched between the two feet and in between the counter and legs of whomever is cooking. You move so slightly, she moves so slightly. You look down or tell her she’s in the way or making things difficult, and she stays put. She has come probably the farthest in accepting and living with her imperfection.
Sophie, she has an imperfection about routine. Her walks are to be scheduled, orderly, and the same amount of time on the same route. When anything deviates, she promptly howls, cries at the door, stares at her leash, or “asks” to be picked up. If she is picked up, she swings her body near the direction of the leashes, so you won’t forget. On a day where the routine is painfully detoured, she quietly lays by the door, lets out a sigh, and looks off into the distance where Disappointment and Sorrow must live. She has come the least farthest.
Scooter, on the other hand, slowly accepts what imperfections come before him. Reese chews on his face for entertainment, Sophie eats all the food, or Momma buys the wrong Chewies…again. His go-to is sleeping in his big comfy bed, nearly all day long. Acceptance or avoidance, we’re not sure. Alex, well, that’s his story and he can tell it later.
I, on the other hand, have had quite an opportunity for seeing and accepting imperfection. Last spring, I was told to adapt the mantra “B’s and C’s get degrees!” and to stop pushing too hard or too far for each assignment to be my best work so far. Then, over the summer, I adopted a Procrastinate Isn’t Late attitude, and found that the work still got done. But, yesterday, I forgot to put on deodorant and sat next to many people in many close spaces in the duration of my 14 hour day. Today, I found old gym socks in my tote bag, which also carries my professional notes, clipboard, and keys. Then, a scoundrel at the mall captured me, unguarded, and wanted to talk to me about my pores, lines, wrinkles, and acne.
Someone may as well peg me as the old maid who lives in a shoe…
No more tests of imperfection, please.