Imperfectly perfect

While everyone is still feeling warm and glowy about their moms, I feel a little guilty to go rogue…. and point out a Mother’s Day comment I read on Facebook:  A friend described her mom as “imperfectly perfect.”

I like it because it fits perfectly into what  I was planning to write about today—the pursuit of perfection. I know hope Amy Ferris won’t mind that I’m sharing her words without permission—-since this gives me a chance to plug her wonderful book Marrying George Clooney who happened to turn 50 last week (and who some mistakenly think is perfection personified.)

But mostly I like her comment because it’s so true.

Could there be anything more imperfect than the idea of perfection?

It’s one of the more insidious elements of our culture, and recently it seems to be an epidemic of perfection-seeking—especially women trying to look and be perfect in every area of life.

I wanted to be the perfect mother.  Be the perfect wife.  Have the perfect children and the perfect life.   Don’t we all?

And I really tried hard,  especially at the mothering part.  You could say I was obsessed.  You WOULD say I was obsessed if you were one of my kids knew me.  Somewhere in my soul I knew this quest was impossible but I couldn’t accept that.  And when something didn’t turn out perfectly, I blamed myself—for what I thought I had done wrong.

It took cancer to wise me up–cancer doesn’t fit into any definition of perfect.  And I was far from a perfect patient. Accepting the imperfections in my body led me to surrender to the other imperfections in my life—and in myself.  And since then I’m on a mission to embrace imperfection—even through mosaics and mirrors I create to reflect my new way of thinking– that true beauty lies in the imperfections.

No one is perfect and everyone is perfect.

Changing my attitude after a lifetime was challenging….especially when I thought back on all my regrets and mistakes,  so I came up with a little mantra that I adopted :  I did the best I could….at the time.

When I received the latest book chosen by From Left to Write book club, I saw that the authors came up with a better mantra than mine:  it’s called  Good Enough is the new Perfect.

It’s intended for mothers trying to “have it all”—but I can’t think of a better motto for everyone to apply to everything in life.  In fact, it’s perfect.

By the way, though I wasn’t the perfect mother, somehow I did end up with two perfect kids.  And if someday they write about me what Amy wrote on her facebook page: I’d be perfectly happy.

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  1. says

    I love it, your “mission to embrace imperfection.” Yes, I think George Clooney is pretty hot too, both to look at but from everything I’ve read about him, he’s such an awesome person.

  2. says

    Ah, George–he does seem as close as a man can get to perfect—but surely he has his own set of imperfections. I might even like him more when I find out what they are. Thanks for commenting.

  3. says

    I will have to read this book. It sounds like something I need to hear. It took having two children for me to stop blaming myself for my son’s imperfections. I often wondered why God would allow such a rare disease for both of my kids. But when I did everything differently with my baby and she still ended up with similar problems, I was finally able to realize how much of their disorder is rooted in their genes. It was because of this that I was able to stop trying to be the “perfect mother” and just relax and enjoy the miracles I have. Thank you for this great post!

  4. says

    I think it’s a great message for anyone, especially women since so many of us blame ourselves for so many things. Good that you learned to relax as a mom; since all our children, imperfect as they are—and we are— are all miracles. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

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