You know the term ‘selective hearing’? Like you only hear what you want to hear? The term made famous by husbands everywhere…kidding. Sort of. Well, I feel like I have something I shall call ‘selective perfectionism’. I think you know by now that my standards in some areas of life are incredibly low. Not so spotless home, unsorted closets and drawers, children’s graffiti on furniture and walls. For me I have accepted and honestly embraced the reality that in these areas, perfection is not only unattainable but is truly a thief of my joy. Do I love that the kids draw on everything? Not really. But “Love Meyer Dad” scribbled in 5 year old scrawl on my husbands night stand that I discovered this morning just fills my heart instead of making me rage. One day she won’t profess her love for her daddy on our furniture. But that isn’t today, and for now I’ll choose to smile every time I see it.
In other areas of life, I feel less adept at embracing the imperfection. With things like merchandising displays, graphic design and gift wrapping to be, well, specific. A font that isn’t resonating with me has to go! Trying to give a gift without the cutesy wrap job?! Never! I mean the thought of giving a gift in a grocery bag or cookies to a neighbour in a (gasp!) ziplock!? It hurts my soul. And I can’t allow myself to do it.
But therein lies the real dilemma. If I am out living joyfully in a lived-in graffitied home, how can I not see I am missing the joy in giving imperfectly? Would it not be better to give delicious cookies in a Ziplock and bring happiness to someone than to not give them at all? Would a friend care if it weren’t wrapped perfectly. Doubtful. I suspect they would be 3 cookies in before they even realized they were in sub-par packaging. I am missing out on opportunities for growth and joy and accomplishment by holding a self-imposed idea of what certain things must look like.
This lesson really hit me this past Saturday at our Magical Christmas Market. We were overwhelmed at the incredible outpouring of support for our little outdoor market. So damn grateful. And truthfully, not nearly prepared enough. Cars were parking on the road, the lot was full, the line was longggg. We thought we were ready but in retrospect should have done several things differently. We are so grateful for the grace that you gave us as you patiently waited in long lines.
In a bit of a panic and in an effort to reduce the line up into the store, we decided to set up a booth in the parking lot with our most popular goods to help alleviate the wait times. If you recall, merchandising is one of those areas for me that has to be just so. And it took everything in my power to not overthink, not try to make it look cute. It had to be done and it had to be done right then. No time for cuteness, any antique display items or even a table cloth. Just a bare plastic table, totes of product and a debit machine. It felt so uncomfortable and reckless even.
But you know what?! No one (that I encountered anyways) gave a flying fig about it. They were just glad to have a shorter wait time, get something yummy and get home to the warmth. We needed a solution immediately and we made one. Albeit, the ugliest display I have ever made, but successful none the less. It did take an embarrassing amount of internal dialogue to force myself to do it and to get over the lack of a pretty display.
I do feel oddly proud of that little plastic table, thrown together display. Not because it looked beautiful but because I problem solved and let go of my own perfection narrative and it all worked out just fine. Better than fine even.
Sometimes done is good enough. And that is something I shall be repeating to myself over and over and over again.
Oh PS! I recently had the opportunity to chat with comedian and Alliston gal Stacey McGunnigle on her podcast about life, family, business and embracing the village that supports you day in and day out. Have a listen here
or watch the interview video
! It was much too much fun!