Sometimes we all try too hard to be perfect.
Sometimes I try too hard to be perfect.
I see the mess in the living room, toys all over, laundry pile on the sofa, and I notice the increasing sense of irritation in me.
I hear the kids’ bickering and squabbling, and the sense of irritation in me grows.
I made plans for the day, and yet the day did not go as I had planned, and I felt the irritation again.
Sometimes, this irritation gets so much to me, that it affects my mood and the way I treat the ones who are the most important to me.
And all these irritations are caused by simply one thing: PERFECTIONISM.
The kids taught me one big lesson on perfectionism recently. I should say, they taught me to handle imperfections in the most perfect way, that is, by making the most out of it.
We headed to the beach for a picnic. Due to some poor decisions made by me (which I will not elaborate here), we ended up at a beach which is less than ideal. Instead of being sandy, the sand was darker and wetter than that at the other side. The surrounding rocks were covered with algae. The area was more crowded, with a group of guys nearby blasting loud and noisy music on their radio.
Having walked all the way to this side of the beach, dragging our 3 kids and carrying bags of picnic stuff, we were too tired to go back to the other side of the beach which was quieter and cleaner.
So we stuck to this decision. An imperfection situation.
I felt that familiar sense of irritation rising in me again. The one I get when things are not perfect, nor up to my standard.
I thought, our picnic is ruined. There goes a perfectly beautiful day out.
The boys, on the other hand, headed straight into the water with their daddy.
The girl started digging the ‘less than perfect’ sand. She called out to me excitedly, “Mommy, come and play with me!”
Soon, the boys came over and started digging a hole in the wet sand.
While digging, they found a couple of tiny crabs and an earthworm. They were more than thrilled.
Oblivious to the imperfect surroundings and the less than peaceful beach, they were totally engrossed in sandplay and obviously enjoying themselves.
The trio started working together, digging, fetching water, filling up the hole, dig again, fetch some more water, and dig some more.
This went on for a long time, while I simply sat there watching and observing.
How did this happen?
Isn’t this supposed to be an imperfect place and a less than perfect day?
But the kids had turned it into one of the most perfect days we’ve had in a long while.
And I learnt a big lesson that day.
Life is not perfect, on most days.
But in the midst of imperfections, we can make the most out of it, by focusing on and being grateful for what we have, instead of fussing over what we don’t have.
And if we wait for life to be perfect before we fully live it, we will miss many opportunities to appreciate the imperfectly perfect sides of life.
I’m beginning to love my imperfectly perfect life.
How about you?