Perfection is the enemy of done. Done is better than perfect.
Day two embarking on this exposing, exhilarating, overwhelming and terrifying project of posting a blog a day my worst fears were realized. One word, that was all it took. One word and all the confidence mustered trembled and threatened to bring the whole thing down.
“Proofread.” There it was. Black and white proof that I’m not perfect.
A group of us went for dinner last night and in between rounds of rye mules, cucumber gimlets, bites of grilled plum salad and other such trendy deliciousness my friend admitted that she is no longer, gulp, perfect. Her walkway is cracked, her kitchen needs remodeling and her office is still not unpacked.
I have this other friend Kathy and she is not perfect. She doesn’t try to be perfect, she doesn’t care that she’s not perfect. She keeps her house messy and full of animals, children, projects, cooking, love and fun. I’d love to say that no one judges her for it but that’s not true. People judge, if she were perfect they would probably judge her for that. The other day she posted an article featuring photos of people’s lived in, “messy” homes. The article was supposed to make us feel ok about ourselves even though we haven’t washed the dishes yet or that we didn’t clean up the kid’s latest Lego fort project. Kathy wasn’t biting, her response? “None of these people are ever being invited to my house.”
Years ago, before my own children came along my mother apologized for raising me to be perfect. She thought if she raised me to be perfect then no one could judge her and tell her she’d been wrong. Wrong for running away from home, wrong for getting pregnant and marrying the unemployed hippie, only to divorce him a few years later for being an unemployed hippie. Funny because I remember my mom letting me wear my Wonder Woman Underoos on the outside of my shirt, my favorite dress over my favorite jeans and teaching me to do the bump while singing Car Wash into our hair brush microphones. I remember her letting me kick the bags of laundry down all the stairs to bring to the Laundromat when they were too heavy and I do not remember being perfect but I do remember having a lot of fun and laughing – a lot.
So Miss Mary Poppins, I’m going to focus on the practically in the practically perfect in every way. I may just wear my Underoos on the outside of my shirt and I will certainly sing my song off beat and I will probably make 1,000 mistakes today and I don’t need a Facebook article to tell me that I’m still ok.
Oh and the person who told me to proofread, he was right, I had missed something. So I fixed it and now we are sending each other our writing and I survived my fear of being discovered that I’m not perfect.