Tuesday, January 22, 2013

That kind of perfect

Don't expect too much from yourself.
Set realistic goals.
Know when you've hit your limits.

Words of wisdom that I frequently blow through at a hundred miles an hour, appearing just long enough for me to see them in my rear view mirror and wave goodbye.

Because what I really want is to be perfect.
Not to have people think I'm perfect. That's something else entirely. I think I frequently show that I'm not scared for people to see me just as I am.
But I wish what I was was perfect. Ish. I'd settle for perfect-ish because I do, in fact, know that the role for one perfect person was taken long ago and there are no other openings.
But you can't tell me that I can't be perfect-ish because I see people doing it all the time with my own eyes.

I want to be that kind of perfect that my friend is when she gives her whole patient self to her six children and never loses her temper. (Like never. I'm not kidding)

I want to be the kind of perfect that I see when I walk into a house that is riddled with pandemonium and littered with toys and chaos and my friend breezes around with a smile and is like, "peace out, my friends."

I want to be the kind of perfect that I see when I look at my friend whose only two children are autistic and she uses up every ounce of her being to make the world a friendlier place for her daughters. While she runs a dance studio in her basement. While she volunteers for every committee and remembers half birthdays. (Seriously, I didn't know there were half birthdays...)

I want to be the kind of perfect like that person who hugs anyone and anything (strangers included) and doesn't give them a chance to feel embarrassed about it because life is just too short to waste on handshakes.

I want to be the kind of perfect that I see in people who who have full-time jobs and families and are busy but you call them and they say, "Oh, a piano? I love moving pianos! Let's do this thing!" Or the single moms I love who never think of themselves because there isn't time to wonder if they want to do something or not. They just give.

I want to be the sort of perfect that I see  when someone stands up for what they believe in no matter the consequence of social outrage or ostracism. (Like admitting you still like watching old re-runs of Full House)

I want to be the kind of perfect like my husband who can put in a sixteen hour day and never once, never, ever, (freakishly never) say he is tired or worn out.  (I, on the other hand, fold a towel and stretch and groan and say how exhausted I am)

I want to be the kind of perfect where I could go outside and do this:

I am surrounded by the kind of perfect I want to be every day. And I might wear myself down and out trying to imitate some little scraps of perfection, but I'd rather be worn through, short of my goal by a thousand miles, and a little better than be comfortable, practical and realistic and just the same old me.

So if you ever wonder why I am trying so hard to make the beds, while simultaneously wishing I didn't care about the state of my beds...
Or watch me try to play memory with my five year old when I really don't care where the other roller skate is...
Or see me trying a recipe with capers in it when I don't even know what they are (are they like peppers made out of fish?)...
Just smile and let me go.
I'm really busy completely failing at being perfect.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you so much and welcome to the blog! Glad to have you!

  2. Funny thing about this is if I were to write a similar post I would include, I want to be perfect like the beautiful mother of 2 sweet girls who writes beautiful things and uses her talents for good and invites strangers over to her lovely house for dinner because they just moved in and don't have any friends yet within a few hundred miles.

    I could go on, but I think you succeed at being perfect much more than you give yourself credit for. I sure adore you.

    1. Lorie,
      The adoration is mutual! And you make the most perfectly cute baby boys with the most adorable heads of hair I've ever seen! Miss you!

  3. I've been thinking about this post all afternoon. I get hung up so easily on expectations, without thinking what they mean. I think you catch the nub of this very well--you make me ask myself if am I making the beds because I want my husband to relax at the end of the day between crisp sheets, or because that's part of my definition of a clean house. Am I cooking dinner so we can eat or so we can gather around a table and share? I guess it's about choosing why you do what you do, and dedicating yourself to that ideal--even when things don't work out quite how we plan (that is where it gets hard for me).
    I thought the exact same thing the first time I tried using capers too. They look awfully fishy!

    1. Seriously, what are capers? Strangest food I ever bought. And not a hit with the kiddos.
      I know it makes life a little miserable sometimes but I refuse to lower my expectations of myself. If I am disappointed in me, I usually raise them. "Try harder. Do better. And don't say it's impossible because that woman has seven children." (That's usually my pep talk to remind me that nothing is impossible. ) :)

    2. Sounds familiar :) I think caper are some kind of plant bud, but to me they look like fish eyes. Strangest thing is, my kids like them. I think the literary association with lemony Snicket Made the difference for them. In book one klaus and violet also make pasta puttanesca.
      But they won't eat raisins. Makes no sense to me

  4. The trick is to embrace the perfect that's the best fit for you.

    1. I will embrace it if I can ever catch it! :) I spend all my time chasing it, saying, "come back! I want to be perfect. Ish."

  5. What a great blog! I will be back. I loved this post and think I will be reading it over a few times. I always see so much "perfection" in other women too and am inspired by their strengths. I need to verbalize it to them more often though! So funny about the capers!

    1. Sarah, so good to have you! Welcome! Thank you for taking the time to comment and feel free to add your two cents anytime or link us to other fun blogs. The more people in the discussion, the more fun it gets!