Last Saturday while at the library with my darlings, I picked up a little book, The Art of Imperfection. Those of you who’ve cheered me on during my struggle to let go of perfectionism are raising your eyebrows at that choice. You’re fervently hoping I don’t find a way to be perfectionistic about being imperfect. I promise not to do that.
The book’s main idea is that being perfect isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, that our little idiosynchrasies are actually what make us more lovable to those who really care for us. When I think on it, that’s true. Take my husband for instance. He’s nearly perfect in the physique department, and I could indeed go on at length about his beautiful eyes and olive skin and… you get the point. But there are these little wrinkles right behind his ear and just above his neck that are so incredibly perfect for kissin’. Few would notice that little quirk but it’s so endearing to me.
I gotta tell ya when it comes to idiosynchrasies and imperfections, I’ve got plenty of ’em!
Just last week, I wrote a note to my son’s teacher, specifically designed to get her to call me. One problem: I gave her someone else’s phone number! She wasn’t amused, but you’ll love me for it, right?
I have this weird thing with napkins. I need them. I hoard them in my vehicle. I find them balled up in my fist hours after I’ve eaten. But need to sneeze in a public place? I won’t have a napkin on me anywhere!
Sometimes random words come out of my mouth and they have nothing to do with the conversation at hand. My thoughts just get on the wrong train. I once yelled out “Winn Dixie!” to my kids in the car for no apparent reason. They’re still laughing at me for that.
I hide a tatoo under my sophisticated businesswoman costumes. I have a weakness for all sweets but an abhorrence for skittles and tootsie rolls. I drink my coffee black unless I haven’t eaten breakfast… then I add enough cream and sugar to trigger a tremor in my hands for the rest of the day. I sometimes skip my kids’ bathtimes and let them behave like this in a restaurant: (Note, one of those kids belongs to my sister, she does this too!)
I sleep through my alarm at least once or twice a week. I sometimes stay distracted for days and can’t get motivated. I recently called my beloved counselor in such hysteria all I could choke out was “You pray. I can’t talk.”
I love the smell of new Bibles, old churches, rubber tires, and Yankee Candles’ leather car jar. I have three pregnancies’ worth of stretch marks and coloring my hair is no longer something I do just for fun.
I have a great life. There are a bunch of people who are crazy enough to love me for the shortcomings listed above. The art of imperfection is about learning to love life when things go your way and when they don’t. It’s about laughing at yourself and living in the moment. It’s about letting go of the idea of perfection enough to see the wonderfulness right in front of your face.
It is, however, an art. One I’m practicing with enthusiasm.