I hope your life is running smoothly, and that you’re looking forward to summer plans that will be fun for you. I’m looking forward to a vacation with my children in July, and a long week end with them in August when they’ll all come home. The time with them is always precious—-and always feels too brief.
I’ve been dashing around a lot lately, writing, finishing some projects, trying to clear the decks a little to relax (not my strong suit) in the summer, and just keeping on top of all the unexpected things that crop up on a daily basis that we all deal with (disgruntled employees, kids with a problem to solve, things that break and have to be repaired, plans that change). I was running from one meeting to another the other day, when a little dish I have caught my eye. A Christmas or two ago, or maybe it was a birthday, my youngest son gave me a little dish with a saying on it “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful”. I loved it when I got it, and it resonated for me. I notice it occasionally, but the other day it really struck me again, for the profound wisdom of it. Recently, I answered a Q and A for a magazine where they asked me to describe myself (gorgeous, young, tall, fabulous figure, thin, wise, genius, charming, patient, adorable at all times, wonderful cook…..oh? what? is there a problem? you mean, that’s not me?? damn….). It was a short list, and I wrote “perfectionist”, which is, unfortunately, true.
All my life, I have striven to make everything in my life (and the life of those I love) perfect. Since the birth of my first child at nineteen, I have wanted to give my many children a perfect life, safe and secure, shielded from all problems, happy all the time, wise, sensible, making good decisions, with none of the heartbreaks or disappointments in life. And we all know that just can’t happen. They’ve lived through two (of my) divorces, one from their father, which was sad for us all. One of their siblings died when most of them were very young, a tragedy. And despite a wonderful life, they have experienced in their own lives, all the challenges that everyone faces of failed relationships, difficult jobs, losses, and the betrayal of friends. No matter how much I love them, I can’t make their life perfect, but wish I could. And even now, I do all I can to try to help them solve their problems, or avoid them, and make their life as smooth as possible. But their lives are not perfect, nor is mine. I work hard, very hard, to make my books as perfect as I can. I want my homes to look perfect—-when I return to either of my cities, I unpack the night I arrive, and by morning, I want it to look as though I never left (stupid, I know). I rarely go to bed at night before finishing all the work I had to do, and try to clear my desk. I write lists, by week and day, of all the things I ‘have’ to do, and once on the list, I think it’s set in stone. I can’t stand mess, in my life, in my house. I want my employees to behave, do their jobs well, and be happy in their jobs. I want things to look nice, and for life to be perfect—-good luck with that!! Perfection is elusive, and there is always something out of whack….a child whose life isn’t going well, a colleague (or boss) who creates a problem, something that falls through, the car breaks down, you crack a tooth, a vacation doesn’t go as planned, a flight gets cancelled….something comes up almost daily in all our lives that interferes with the smooth sailing of our lives, and we all think that when a relationship improves, or a romance begins, or ends, when our kids behave better, when a legal problem is solved, or we find the right home, or can sell the house we need to, or buy the one we dream of, or meet the right man or woman…..then life will be perfect And then, what do you know, just when we get it all on track, a new problem crops up, or a bunch of them. Perfection just isn’t going to happen. Life is messy. But just as unexpected problems land on us—-so do unexpected joys, blessings, and wonderful things do happen, even miracles sometimes.
That little dish with that profound message really is true. Life can be wonderful EVEN if it’s not perfect. It’s a great reminder for me, and maybe for you too. Life can really be wonderful, even if the airline misplaced your suitcase, your vacation plans fall through, the dog is sick, your partner is being a jerk this week, you didn’t get the raise you wanted, or the new apartment, or you haven’t met the man or woman of your dreams yet, or you had an argument with a child (oh? you too??)—–life is and can be really wonderful. Something great may happen to you today, the house may be a mess, or your desk, or even your life at times, but if you stop waiting for EVERYTHING to go right and all the problems to be solved, life really can be so wonderful!!! with so many things to be grateful for.
It’s a great reminder for me, not to chase the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (and the resolution of all problems, striving for perfection), and to look up and enjoy the rainbow overhead. And there are so many rainbows along with the problems!!! Life isn’t perfect, but it sure can be terrific.
That same son also gave me a dish that says “Cocoa is a plant, so chocolate is salad” (YESSS!!!) and another one that says: “Calories are little creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes tighter every night”. He’s such a smart boy!!!
I hope your life is wonderful today, and to hell with perfect. And for all you fathers, I hope that Father’s Day was great yesterday and that you had a lovely Father’s Day and were properly celebrated.
much love, Danielle