There was a conversation about my sons earlier this week. The person I spoke with made a profound comment.
“Your sons are just perfect.”
My heart sank.
Crazy, right? Mothers around the world would love to have their offspring branded as “perfect” and yet all I can think is “NOOOOO!” I thanked her and dismissed the comment at the same time. After all, there is no way IN. HELL. that my kids are perfect. Their mother certainly isn’t.
I’ve had issues with that word, that concept, for a while now. I don’t believe in “perfect”. Perfect is limiting, unattainable, and damaging. Lifetimes have been wasted in the quest for perfection. It’s a conversation I’ve had with The Big Guy throughout our relationship. He’s a big believer in “perfect”. As you can imagine, it makes for interesting chit chat.
He is driven by details, and is brutally hard on himself. He pours over the fine points. I am deadline driven. I can accomplish a huge amount in a very short period of time. Together we are a great combination, even if we don’t come from he same point of view. Perfection is something he values, and I’m still wondering why he ever wanted to be with me since I know that I don’t rank very high on the Perfect Scale. Nor would I care to.
You learn so much more from a mistake. I don’t want perfect children. They would be very uninteresting. They are better prepared for life with the flaws that they have and learning how to overcome or embrace them.
Perfection is a relative term. My idea of a perfect evening could be pjs, a bowl of popcorn, a great movie and a blanket to cuddle under. Yours might be an evening at a restaurant with friends. Which is actually perfect? Is my vision wrong because it doesn’t match yours? My definition the following night could very well change. Was my first night not “perfect” because I picked a new “perfect” the next time?
Once perfection is achieved, which in and of itself is almost impossible for the majority of us, the next mammoth task is to maintain perfection. Any less is failure, which perfectionists know full well, is the antithesis of perfection.
Now please don’t misunderstand, I believe in putting your best effort forth. I think its important to have a personal best. I have looked a photographs I have captured, which at the time were my best, and now I can do better. It’s about growth and the continued development of me. Tomorrow I will do better than I did today, just as I am better today than I was yesterday.
Perfection is uninteresting, predictable. Perfection is the starting place of downfall and disappointment.
Give me flawed, real, genuine. It speaks to me and is a far better motivator.