Surprisingly Perfect in a Not-So-Perfect Way

Posted on | March 6, 2012 | 5 Comments

This morning I looked around my house, looked at the unmade bed and the borderline sick baby.  I sighed over the sink that needs bleaching and the floor that needs vacuuming.  I rolled my eyes at the hair bunnies, courtesy of my ever-shedding dog, and the Pop Tart crumbs scattered atop the sofa cushions. It was so far from perfection, so far from what I thought it should be that my first instinct was to throw up my hands and scream. 

But instead… I did something amazing.

I shrugged.

I sat down next to the crumbs and watched TV with my son. 

I shrugged and left the house for work with the bed unmade and the sink unbleached.

I shrugged and realized that this is my brand of perfect.

No matter what size my pants label screams up at me, I am always going to want to be one size smaller.  No matter how clean my bedroom is, I’m always going to notice the smudges on the baseboard or the dust on the ceiling fan.  No matter what, I will never, ever, obtain perfection.

Not in my house.  Not in my job. Not in my life. 

And so this morning I shrugged.  I remembered my lost friend and knew that she would give anything for another day with her daughter, another day to survey a dirty sink or unkempt floors.  I remembered that she would tell me to forget about everything big and embrace the small… the hour of television with J in the morning, the midnight giggle fest when he woke up coughing, the fact that there are Pop Tarts in the cabinet to be eaten.

Jen was all about the little things: the unexpected hugs, the spontaneous laughs, the whispered truths.  Anything that was surprising.  Anything that was special.  Anything that was beautiful.

My house may not be perfect.  It may not be the pristine palace I imagined it would be at this time in my life.  But it is full of love.  It is full of laughter.  It is full of beauty.

And so I shrugged, wrapped my arms around my son, and whispered “I love you” into his sweet little ears.  Because that is what matters.  That is what is special.  That is the little thing that makes life worthwhile.

Thank you, Jen, for always showing me the beauty in smallness, the glory in unexpectedness, the love in language.  I wish I could be there to bid you goodnight, but instead I am here, sitting at my desk and knowing that even though I am not one of many lining the pews and sanctuary, I am still one of the many who hold you dear to my heart.

There may not be such a thing as a perfect house or a perfect size… but I will strive to find the surprising perfectness in just living the life that stretches out in front of me.  I promise.


5 Responses to “Surprisingly Perfect in a Not-So-Perfect Way”

  1. momma23monkeys
    March 6th, 2012 @ 10:49 am

    my heart breaks for you and all those who loved her. Forget the big things and embrace the small…I love it!

  2. Gillian Victoria
    March 6th, 2012 @ 1:00 pm

    I love. I agree, Jen was about appreciating the little things, and she reminded me too, even days before she passed. Good for you. I need to shrug more. 🙂

  3. MaconMom
    March 6th, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    From what I’ve seen, you have a lot of Jen in you!
    Thinking of you all!

  4. beachmum
    March 6th, 2012 @ 7:43 pm

    I love you. (and not in a creepy internet stalking kind of way). You always write the things that I think but can’t properly put into words.

  5. jan
    March 6th, 2012 @ 10:54 pm

    Striving for perfection and listening to our perceived expectations of the outside world always leaves us feeling like we lack something. Sounds like your friend had her priorities in place and shared it with everyone around. You are blessed to have had her and she to have you and you are already sharing her (and your) wisdom to us all. Keep smiling through the pain. It will get better.

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