PERFECTION

There isn’t any. So, give yourself a break!

One day, oh ages ago, I was at the optometrists (a very expensive exercise – being able to see clearly needs saving for) and she offered me a particular kind of contact lens that allows me to see far AND close up – (my eyes getting older and all)…

 

I said, Good gracious. I did not realise there was such a thing.  She said, Yes. Smiling, as she took the funny eye things off my face. They are not perfect of course, she said but pretty good. Certainly  better than the alternative – reaching for her own reading  glasses.

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I was flabbergasted.  Not only by the new contact lenses but by her words. And the conversation has stayed with me much longer than it should have.  The absolute freedom of being able to say “well it is not perfect  – definitely the best we have at the moment.  Better than the alternative” – with such assured-ness Such – well – honesty.

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Is this OK?  To be imperfect.  Beautifully accepted-ly imperfect. And promote it that way?

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I had a worker here this summer who would spend ages, absolute ages, working at a task trying to get it perfect and exactly right, when Good Enough is perfectly good enough. I worked with him on it:  we called it the 60 percent of your time to solve a 2 percent of nothing problem.  The chickens really do not care if their walls are perfectly aligned as long as there are no holes for the Bastard Mink to get through. You will never get every single weed.

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This is not to say that we can lower our standards – we must strive to improve and educate ourselves and learn.  To do better. To listen more and interrupt less. To see and to think. Otherwise why are we here on this wild planet. There is very real merit in striving for the very best we can do.

So the pursuit of perfection is a flawed enterprise yet knowing this we still seek it.

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The perfect photo, the perfect pose, the perfect image – we all look for them on every page. Yet the unmade bed and the cobwebs and footprint on the floor also bring their own beauty if they did not nag at us so to get them straightened and cleaned up.

They say not to sweat the small stuff.  But if you look at that phrase from another angle  – the small stuff is much more productive to sweat over. Big problems often appear insurmountable. They block the horizon. A happy marriage. A healthy life. Money. Climate change. But what if we take these big problems apart and deal with them a little bit at a time. Deconstruct  them down to the sweatable small stuff – think about them quietly and  keep breaking that problem down into a pile of essential pieces of Lego and  watch the problems shrink to a manageable size.  Then deal with the problems that are your own and in your court.

Life is not fair. Life is not perfect.  Who ever promised me that? No-body. Most of this little stuff is just 2 percent of nothing – I won’t even remember it next week.  Life has a habit of going on whether we are paying attention to it or not. And we better damn well pay attention to the stuff we can sweat over instead of wasting time demanding perfection from somebody else. I know that sounds lonely but it is Life. And life is flawed.

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For anyone lucky enough to have a device to read this on and a hot cup of coffee and a chair to sit in and lights to read by must surely admit that life is pretty damn good. It is not perfect but definitely the best we have at the moment. And getting better because striving for the best is on our nature. I think allowing ourselves to come in second best sometimes is OK.

Today is Tuesday – I pick for the weeks markets on Tuesday. Today I have orders for  100 nasturtium flowers, 10 pounds of eggplant and 12 dozen eggs. So I will be picking the moment it gets light.  Better move.

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

WEATHER: It rained a lot on the night. Thunder and lightening for hours and with a hot day ahead the grass will do a bit of growing which is very good.

Tuesday 09/19 20% / 0 in Sunshine and clouds mixed. A stray thunderstorm is possible. High 82F/27C. Winds light and variable.

Tuesday Night 09/19 20% / 0 inMostly clear skies. A stray thunderstorm is possible. Low 62F/16C. Winds light and variable.

Sun

                                                                   6:37 am 6:54 pm

Moon

Waning Crescent, 0% visible – 5:49 am 6:55 pm

 

 

c

 

54 Comments on “PERFECTION

  1. Hi Celi. Two phrases that have stayed with me for many years: Zig Ziglar said You can eat an elepgant a bite at a time and Lord Marks of Marks and Spencer fame said The cost of perfection is too great, near enough is good enough. Have a good day. Goodnight.

  2. Your photography today is wonderful. It has a quietness and richness; I think your contemplation of perfection has bled through into your vision through the lens!
    With problems or tasks, I’ve found “try” trumps “should”. Even if you don’t fix it, you’ve done something about it instead of being cast down by the scale of the problem.

  3. I agree with you there. You don’t need your life to be picture perfect if you can accept that it is what it is and learn to be happy with it. Easier said then done sometimes though. 😉

  4. YES! A million times yes. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect, to do the perfect thing, to prepare the perfect meal, to plan the perfect event and when it is all said and done—perfect is not all that it is cracked up to be. I love your words today and they really speak volumes. Definitely sharing this one. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Oh, I so loved this post, Celi. The push for perfection – it is exhausting. I hang with a fellowship of souls who believe in progress, rather than perfection. That’s what has given me peace. And that is how your post made me feel today – peaceful. Thank you.

  6. There really is no such thing as “perfection”. Beauty IS in the eye of the beholder – like the lovely light of life and intelligence in the gentle eye of WaiWai The RescuePig and the time-worn board in the barn behind your Boar…
    Give it your best, get the weeds before they go to seed; do what you must and leave the Perfection for those with nothing else to worry about; )

  7. Perfection is a concept created by humans to manipulate people and/or control chaos. It only works to manipulate people. Most notably in beauty advertising, but it’s everywhere in workplaces, homes, schools, etc.

    You have summed up the way I try to live my life. In tiny increments, because the small present moments are the only moments we are living, the only moments we can manage, and the only places where satisfaction can be found.

  8. Thank you for the post. Always grateful to read thoughts about beauty and gratitude. And kindness.

  9. Great post. Striving for perfection causes untold anxiety, but just doing your best and knowing you have tried is all we can do.

  10. We have perfectly aligned philosophies. I couldn’t have said it more perfectly and I am perfectly content to be imperfect. I have learned through quilting, sewing and painting that done is better than perfect and undone. But I still try to do my very best just like you say. I miss contact lenses and good vision, but at least I can use CTRL+ and make this print big enough to see it. 🙂 Technology has help those of us with limited vision so much. Have a lovely day yourself and I hope you get it all done.

  11. Three kids and a country home have helped teach me–perfection is not only unattainable, but undesirable. Flaws are human and comfortable, and even lovable.

  12. When our son was having trouble getting through college, because he couldn’t get all A’s in every class….. The Dean of Students at the University of Wisconsin told him/us, “Perfect is the enemy of good.” I have remembered and lived by this ever since! Our son got his degree, and we all survived. Perfect is indeed the enemy of good.

  13. Loved the post today. When what I do is not “PERFECT” (it seldom is, right) I simply say “it is good enough for government work.” Have a perfectly (pun intended) blessed day.

  14. I like that…perfect is the enemy of good! And who wants to be around a “perfectionist” ? It’s uncomfortable and one feels like they are always being judged by that “perfectionist” Ugh! Yes, good is good enough!
    That last photo of the barn and tree is so beautiful! Is that tree dead or has it already lost all of it’s leaves? I hope the latter…
    100 nasturtsium flowers?? Do they actually want you to sit and count out a precise number of flowers? Ugh…that person must be a perfectionist! 🙂

    • sadly that tree is dead and i have another two dead or dying as well – they are Ash. And the Ash is dying in this area – you see them everywhere.. sad – that are a pretty tree

  15. All of this so resonates with me! Striving for perfection in an imperfect world is a recipe for disaster. In life (and marriage) the small things ARE the biggest. My mantra is ‘how important will this be in two or four weeks?’. If you do your best, that is perfect. Dontcha know? Dull women have immaculate houses!

  16. I was brought up in a family which wore itself out trying to be perfect . . . . when I joyfully gave up not trying to do my best but trying to be perfect, I realized rather late in life, that just maybe I had grown up 🙂 ! ‘Perfect’ in whose eyes anyway? And I remember a former PM of ours, who, tho’ he was not original , quietly used to say ‘Life wasn’t made to be perfect’ . . . . true . . . .

  17. Forgot, trees around here seem to be dying by the dozens. The ash have the borer bug but the elms and blue spruce and even some of the maples are just dying off! Hate seeing that.

  18. I long ago stopped striving to create anything “perfect”. If you take a good look at anything handmade, there is no such thing, there are always little flaws, tiny mistakes, things that prove the object was made by the human hand, eye and heart.
    I think the quest for perfection is a false creation of the advertisers. If you have the right perfume, deoderant, hair color, clothes, shoes, house, furniture, etc., etc., then your life will be perfect, you’ll attract the perfect partner, have the perfect job, perfect house, and so on. That’s a load of manure. It’s all just a bid to sell stuff, most of which is unnecessary or undesireable. It’s lead us to lose touch with real perfection – a summer sunset or sunrise, the smile of an infant, the hug from someone who loves you, the soft slipping into sleep after a good day’s work.
    Have a stunning day tomorrow.

  19. My friend Charlie told me once that he would deliberately stop working on a painting before he thought it was finished. Otherwise, he said, he would never finish it.

    That statement helped me to slow down and stay on a simpler path. (I had gotten a bit sidetracked as a youth when the Jesuits told us about how we were supposed to be perfect, ” even as our heavenly Father us perfect.”) About the same time as my conversations with Charlie, I heard a story of a monk who, when asked by a visitor to the monastery, “What do you do all day here?” said in reply, “We fall down. Then we get up. Then we fall down again. And get up.” And on and on.

    So I came to understand that some words cannot be translated. And that some need not be applied literally . And that the good life is a series of attempts, even as love itself is for us ( though not for “our heavenly father, to hear some tell it, whereas the evidence –what we see through our lenses “darkly” –might indicate otherwise).

    • P. S. Great picture at the end! Beautiful! Does it really look that way, or do you see things with your camera eye that most of us would pass over? Also, looking back at the animal photographs today, I can tell that only the little guy in the barn is listening to me. Wai even seems a bit put out, thinking (in pig English) “What is he on about now, and who invited that gas bag to the farm anyway?”

  20. I have struggled with perfection my whole life, and never ever understood why. It has dogged me and probably my children…though I try very hard to keep it at bay, knowing full well that Madame P. is an awful and inhumane taskmaster. I am so glad you wrote this. I would be fine if you reposted this exact same post once a week. Now wouldn’t that be odd?

  21. That is sad about the ash trees…It’s still a beautiful photo of it though. What is that crop in the foreground? It looks like soybeans…

  22. I LOVE THIS BLOG. I would say I love this blog POST, but I SO DO love it that I followed you, knowing there would be more to follow. I hope you haven’t set the bar too high, but I sincerely doubt you have, given your facility with language and your obviously fecund mentality.

    Now let me watch you blush!

    Jay

  23. Lovely post – I’ve revisited to reread it again today, and I absolutely endorse all you say about imperfection! My husband (a retired maths teacher) had one parent tell him at a school parents’ evening: “Why, you’re practically perfect!” That’s definitely good enough for me 🙂

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