Giving Imperfection A Big Bear Hug

I’m not perfect. Here’s the hard evidence.

This is how my nails look about 80% of the time. 10% of the time they are freshly painted. The other 15%? Worse. See. Bad at math, too.

This is how my nails look about 80% of the time. 10% of the time they are freshly painted. The other 15%? Worse.
See. Bad at math, too.

My name is misspelled. A lot. Not the Finkbeiner part. The Susie part.  I know. That's not my fault. My fault is that I rarely correct people. Also, I don't correct them when they call me Sue or Susan or Betsy.

My name is misspelled. A lot. Not the Finkbeiner part. The Susie part.
I know. That’s not my fault. My fault is that I rarely correct people. Also, I don’t correct them when they call me Sue or Susan or Betsy.

This was a homeschool project I came up with last year. It should have been cute. Instead, it looked like a rabbit did his business on popsicle sticks.

This was a homeschool project I came up with last year. It should have been cute. Instead, it looked like a rabbit did his business on popsicle sticks.

My son walked around with two right shoes. For a whole day. In public.

My son walked around with two right shoes. For a whole day. In public.

I can't make a pretty pie crust to save my life.

I can’t make a pretty pie crust to save my life.

I’m not perfect. Not by a long shot. My sink always has that one mug that got missed when loading the dishwasher. I have to wash loads of laundry twice, sometimes three times because I forget about them. I forget a lot of things. I’m a terrible speller (thanks, phonics). And I sometimes say dumb things when I’m nervous.

I’m not perfect. I suspect you aren’t, either.

Isn’t it frustrating?

I mean, do you have any idea how many purple pens I murder while editing a manuscript? My record is 8. 8 pens worth of ink used to slash and correct and rewrite all the imperfections out of a novel (My Mother’s Chamomile, available for preorder NOW! Click Here…I have no shame).

FRUSTRATING!

I want to tell you a little story. It’s short, don’t worry.

Last Friday, my kids helped me put the ornaments on the (fake) Christmas tree. It’s the first time they’ve assisted. In years past, I decorated it as they slept to surprise them. And, quite honestly, because I wanted it to be pretty. Maybe just a tiny itty bit perfect.

But this year, my daughter asked if she could help. And my boys got in on it, too.

As we unwrapped each ornament, I was able to tell them story of it (if it had a story). I let them put up the ones they’d made in Sunday school or preschool. I looked at the tree. All the silver bulbs were in a cluster on one side. The bottom half of the tree (where they could reach) was the only part with any decoration. We plugged in the tree only to find that the middle section no longer lights up. Garland zig zagged across the front of the tree.

“It’s so beautiful,” my daughter whispered.

It is. It really is.

Imperfect, yes. But full of so much meaning. Because we did it together. We shared in it.

We have a common moment. A story together. And that is where the beauty lies.

Nails and pie crusts and dirty dishes are all part of life. All part of a story. And, as imperfect as they may be, they are part of making life beautiful.

Even lots of edits and murdered purple pens.

So, how about you give imperfection a big old bear hug. Give yourself a little grace. And afford the same to those around you.

Life is full of mismatched socks and crooked pictures.

And that is beautiful.

Tell me: What are a few of your (minor/funny/embarrassing) imperfections? Have you embraced them? Are you working your tootsies off trying to fix them? 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Giving Imperfection A Big Bear Hug

  1. “Give yourself a little grace.” Thanks Susie, I really needed that today.

    I think the biggest ‘minor’ imperfection I currently have is being unemployed; it’s not always easy job-hunting, and so with it I’ve taken up working through this novel I wrote in November and am running with it…Though I’ve yet to destroy pens with my edits, I’m sure that day is coming! 😉

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  2. I have five siblings and our Christmas tree looked like that almost the whole time I was growing up. When we all got into our teen years it got more organized and the ornament distribution got more even, but every year it still looks beautiful, perfect or not. This year I got to help my oldest sister set her tree up with her husband and her 1 1/2 year old daughter. My niece loved to help put ornaments on the tree, they were all on the lower two branches, but I found it as beautiful as ever.
    It is the same way with my writing (No book to shamelessly plug yet, I have to go through a few more green pens before submitting to a publisher). Each character has to grown in their own way. They don’t start out perfect, nor would I want them to. I get to grow with them, I get to help them learn to speak, learn to interact with their world, learn to love. I wouldn’t give that up for all the perfection and publication in the world.
    People are imperfect. Writing is imperfect. Characters are imperfect. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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  3. Susie,

    Another great blog post. I’m a recovering perfectionist…I’m nowhere near perfect but I’ve had to fight the very idea that I should be able to attain perfection if I just try hard enough. I’m almost 50 so I think I’m finally getting the hang of embracing my imperfection and enjoying life a little more.

    Lately my most frustrating imperfection is getting home from shopping and realizing that I still need an item or two – and it’s usually on my list so I have no excuse for forgetting it! Such a shame that our brains don’t work as well as we get older.

    Hope you have a beautiful, though imperfect, holiday season! God bless you!

    ~Robyn

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