Disclaimer: I am a recovering perfectionist. That said, I have come to appreciate that good is quite often, and perhaps almost always, good enough.
Maybe it’s thanks to my age or my being a parent to several kids. But what I’m noticing more and more is that countless delicious opportunities are squandered every day due to this crazymaking and impossible quest for perfection.
I ask you, is it better to offer more art NOW that is heartfelt, lovely, creative, inspired yet imperfect, or to lose the opportunity for performance till it’s all perfectly packaged and organized (i.e., never)? Is it better to wait to host the group of friends until we’re absolutely certain about the ambitious and impressive menu, the immaculate house, the dazzling conversation and the stratospheric ambience (again, never) or to have the group gather over a more modest meal in a comfortable home to savor the deeply soul-satisfying feast of connection?
Do we spend hours and days and, yes, lifetimes futilely searching for the perfect…you name it… children’s costume, job offer, soulmate, birthday gift, performance venue, house, resume, life? As a diehard romantic, I can attest that perfect on Planet Earth is: Never. Going. To happen.
The delightful costume and appealing job offer and lovely partner and fun present and cool performance space and other good things very well may. And when they do, we need to snatch them up, leap, go for them. This instant! Or the magical moments and gifts that life offers up may very well be lost to us forever.
Please know that I do not come from a background that valued mess. Oh no, quite the contrary. And lest I give the wrong impression, as recently as a couple of hours ago I’ve had a few harsh moments about the ongoing disarray intrinsic to this home. It is, however, a mess generated by this abundantly creative family of mine. Whose creativity I value far more than an ability to clean house perfectly.
So, I’ve come to appreciate, on my more evolved days, that the mess and deliciousness come with the territory of a life rich with shimmering moments. The glue gun mended hems and warm thank you notes on slightly splotched note paper and flawed friends and hair matted down with saliva and luscious casseroles that spill over the top and slightly askew family Christmas photos and rumpled, loveable spouses both reflect and add rich texture in our lives. The so-called flaws and wrinkles and deficiencies and weird angles and tiny shreds of paper on the floor that the earnest child missed in cleanup time can be pretty magical. And pretty magical can be darned close to perfect.