I came across a challenge on WordPress, to compile a list. One suggestion for the list was ‘beautiful imperfections’.
This idea appealed to me enormously. I have never really admired perfection. I see beauty in flaws and quirks.
Perfection is boring.
I approach all my projects with a gung-ho attitude. I get paint on the walls and worry about cleaning up afterwards. I pound my thoughts out at machine-gun pace on the keyboard and leave editing for another time. It works for me to grasp onto a feeling or idea and just do it.
My OH is the opposite. Meticulous. A measure twice, cut once type of guy.
He sees, not a painted room, but the imprecise cutting in at the ceiling or skirting boards.
He sees, not a painting, but a crooked frame.
He sees, not a new flower border, but the serpentine outline of my frenzied digging.
I appreciate the strength in seeking to get things right, but I prefer my attitude. I would rather delight in a finished project and fix any faults later than get so caught up in achieving perfection that the project eventually loses all appeal and dies a dusty, forgotten death. I think he is missing out.
Aiming for perfection inhibits creativity, in my humble opinion. To achieve results, I believe one must be unafraid of making a mess, of making mistakes.
Oftentimes, the mistakes turn out to be wonderful. Mistakes lead you to look at something differently, to learn, improve, or perhaps to simply accept the error or fault.
My bread rolls may not look precisely measured and cut, (because they are not), but they taste amazing. My roasted garlicky sea bass might not look as well presented as it could, but once it hits your taste buds, do you really care?
Sadly, my singing will never allow me to win any talent shows, but the sheer joy I get from blasting out a tune in the car is what matters. The laughter it elicits from my OH is also of more value to me than hitting the perfect notes every time.
The lines I see, more and more often, around my eyes and mouth can bug me of course, but less so when I remember I got them from laughing, smiling, crying, frowning. From living a full, authentically emotional life.
My hands look much older than my years, mainly because I have never adopted a good handcream or work gloves habit, but what marvelous things they they achieved. Digging garden beds and patios, (sans gloves), furiously scrubbing floors or baths, (sans gloves), kneading dough, making food, crafting, painting, typing. They might not look good, but they work, they allow me to do things I love.
Incidentally, glancing back over this post I realise I have in fact created a list! Mission accomplished and I wasn’t even trying. That’s a benefit of not sticking to a rigid plan or method. I simply started typing and allowed my thoughts to wander and develop.
I will leave you today with these wise words from James Joyce, “Mistakes are the portals to discovery”.
I will ask you to give yourself permission to make mistakes…
To have a go…
To be imperfect…