Friday, September 26, 2014

Perfection

Today I woke up with the thought, "Today I am going to be a good person."

I think you might already see where this is going. 

I muscled past kids not getting out of bed and bickering with each other, with the perfect if not very sincere note of "now now children do not fight, look at the beautiful day la la." I navigated a mine field of spilt milk and people being late and running out of milk and bread. I noticed how Alex had done the dishes. I stepped outside and the garbage, which we had been gathering the night before had not been put out, so it had not been collected. So I flipped out.

It wasn't anybodies fault really. I just didn't know what to do. Alex suggested that I take it to a neighborhood that hadn't had the garbage picked up and then I really lost it. So he ended up taking the kids to school and putting out the garbage in a different neighborhood.

I was going to be a good person today. It just hasn't really gone according to my plan so far.

I have been nasty sick this week, so I have less than my usual reserves of grace, confidence and human kindness. The mornings have been rough. The crappy thing is though, that I have been trying. What people never see is that when you are trying the hardest to just be a decent person it sometimes looks the very worst on the outside. It is easy to be nice when everything is fine.

I don't do well with a change of plan. I can't actually do that. It is not in my programming. Like taking garbage to another neighborhood is just full of all these unknowns. Where? People might see me, or think I am some kid of crazy loser who can't figure out the way the rules are supposed to work. It is actually hard to explain what is so scary about this, it just IS.

People make such a freaking big deal of "thinking outside the box." What is so wrong with thinking inside the box? It is quite cozy and I am very good at that.

I almost always have a perfect image in my mind of a situation. For example:

A mother making muffins for her children, perfectly dressed, with sunlight streaming in on a clean and well-designed dining room.

I will send my mother a get-well package for her post-surgery, full of hand written letters and licorice nibs and thoughtful pressies all wrapped in cute tissues and papers.

A house that is 100% clean, not one hair out of place, complete with cute pillows and colorful wood- not-plastic toys that are perfectly arranged on a shelf in a an aesthetically pleasing way.

These images might just be a way to torture myself, because they are never the reality. I compare myself to them all the time. Once I imagine the way things should be in any situation, I feel like it really has to be that way. NO deviation!

The only devaition is putting stricter more unattainable demands on it. In fact if I come close to attaining a goal, I will sometimes throw on a "go the extra mile," just to make sure the perfect vision stays well out of reach and can stay feeling inadequate. Shooting myself in the foot.

So here it is. The question I am aiming at: What is perfection?

Ok, right, it is something that exists without fault. And I think it is safe to say that in one way or another, we all want it. Some people are straight up in their pursuit. Some try to drown it or their failure at it with different addictions.  Even if you are judgmental of other's pursuit of perfection, you are still at heart striving for it by setting yourself apart and saying "I am more perfect because I am not trying to be perfect".

All those images that I have in my head, those perfect images, are not moving. They are frozen. Like golden statues. I think I personally equate perfection with control, like having control of people and situations. They are one moment in time that I can decorate and add on to and speak all the voices like Barbies in a DREAM HOUSE.

Here is the flip side:

You know that I love a museum. And museum's are full of these so-called frozen moments. But, when I am standing in front of a painting or a statue, it is the imperfections that make it interesting. It is the curious "why did they do that?" or "why use that color? or put that brush stroke in?" It is the flaws that speak and tell stories. Perfection says nothing, because it is boring. It is the messy and the broken that I go to see.

Crap is going to happen that I can't control. I am going to have to clean it up. And keep on trucking.

 That is what I have to bring to the table today.  No hot muffins- I can't eat wheat anyway. Just my little slice of heavenly angst.