Monday, April 20, 2015

Word of the Week - 59

Word of the Week:  IMPERFECT

My maternal grandmother had an expression, "It isn't Boston but it IS Massachusetts."  I have used it hundreds of times to describe why what may seem second best is not so far from being just right.

Consider this: if perfection existed, we'd never have learned how to make-do.  Aren't you just a little bit pleased with all the problems you've solved, all the crises you've mended, by finding the second, third or fifteenth good-as-perfect way to make things come out?

Life is filled with circumstances guaranteed to make the sane turn crazy and cause the crazy to combust spontaneously.  The more relaxed, the less invested, we can be about the means and the end, the happier we are likely to remain.

The fact that we prefer a thing to be a certain way does not mean ours is the only answer.  Absolutes do not appear often in matters of, say,  arranging spices on the kitchen shelves.  Collectively, we confuse "preferred" with "right," i.e. perfect.  Nay, I say.

In much younger and massively less enlightened days, I thought to myself of my then-husband, "If you loved me, you'd take out the trash NOW."  Good luck with that, we see how IT turned out.

It is not just about making peace with what is, though that is part of the equation.  This existence is not the GOOD WILL HUNTING math problem with one, only one, solution.  (I use a movie reference for my own math experience stopped long before reaching such a plateau.)  There are so many ways of being right, or at least of being adequate, workable, acceptable and okay.

Imperfect is an opportunity to find another answer.  As we celebrate so many things we love in April, poetry, letter writing, libraries, why not add imperfection to the list.  It isn't going to go away.  It truly is the thing that wouldn't leave.  Let's try to pretend that we love it until we really can.
P.S. Mr. Schulz.  They will try, they will not succeed.


Kass said...

So true. Some of my favorite things in my house are repairs of things that didn't turn out perfectly.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kass - So much of what seems to let us down is expectation, unbending expectation. Whereas the truth, I find, is that "hey, this could work" is so much more pleasing, thrilling really. We have not lost out on anything and have discovered - or invented - something that may not have existed before. Including us. xo