Day 365: Perfection is a Myth. Seek Beauty Instead. The Anniversary Issue.

A Starfish. Beautiful? Definitely. Perfect? Who knows.

A draft with this title has been sitting around since Day 72. Ironically I got caught up in it’s imperfectness and set it aside. At Day 365, one year from the beginning of my 100 days, I think the time is right to finish it.

Recently I read an article on The Daily Beast that has been getting a lot of attention, Why Women Should Stop Trying to Be Perfect. The article struck a chord with me, and with others because, as modern mothers, we are miserable in our quest to excel in all things. We are made crazy by trying correct messy kids, missed opportunities, clutter in our homes, wasted money, haphazard dinners, an out of date wardrobe – you name it.  In seeking a perfection that doesn’t exist, we are missing out on life. It’s a puzzle I have been trying to figure out for the last year. It’s what my 100 plus days has really been all about.

Technology cycles are driving home the fact that everything in the world is beta. There is no final version. Yet, knowing that, we are still are driven to seek perfection in ourselves. If something could always get better, does perfection exist? Looking up the word “perfect” on Wikipedia, “Perfection is, broadly, a state of completeness and flawlessness.” The very lengthy entry goes on to say– among a million other things – that perfection is death.

I am not so sure that even death is perfection. I was raised to believe in reincarnation. The one thing my divorced parents ever agreed upon was the idea that Earth is an educational institution and there are very few graduates, including but not limited to Buddha, Mohammad, and Jesus. Graduation is to merge with the energy of everything – perfection. If this is so, to think we can achieve perfection in a day or in any one lifetime is silly. Life is messy, chaotic, and painful. If it wasn’t we wouldn’t learn a thing.

The article closes with this final thought. “The challenge lies in recognizing that having choices carries the responsibility to make them wisely, striving not for perfection or the ephemeral all, but for lives and loves that matter.”

It is a challenge to be sure. What I have had to relearn over and over again in the last 365 days is that life is full of so much beauty. I am still trying to train myself to see this. Instead of picking up every toy/sock/paper on the floor, I should go out and get some sunflowers to put in a vase on the table. Instead of berating myself for wearing out-of-date jeans and a t-shirt on a weekday, I should dig up that pretty scarf to toss on top. Most importantly, instead of getting angry with my child, and rushing her along to the next thing, what if I take time to teach her to be kind, patient and thoughtful?

Our lives will always be busy. We will never get through our self-imposed to do lists. Our kids will always be one step ahead of us and growing up too fast.  Can we learn to accept and embrace these things, and see the busy life as a full one? Can we learn to see the abundance of opportunity as a gifts for our choosing. Can we learn to seek beauty instead of perfection?

I am going to do my best to try. I will remind my self that I am the beta version of me – learning and growing and seeking to create beauty, in this life and beyond.

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