Saturday, October 09, 2010

Perfection is Boring

My Perfect Protest

I don't post a ton of pictures of myself on my blog.  There are criteria, you know.  I have to look perfect, or near to it.  If I don't, well then, you're not going to see that picture!  But, I'm bucking up, and today I'm posting this picture, which I had Bria take while I was still in my pajamas and hadn't done my hair or brushed my teeth.  I purposely sat next to the unfolded laundry pile that has been on my couch for two days.  Today, I am protesting Perfection and I'm joining in Brene' Brown's Perfect Protest. .

When we were at the Chicago Symphony last weekend, I read the interview with the maestro that was in the program.  I was incredibly struck by one thing he said and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  So much so that I immediately posted it on my Facebook page and have been trying to call it to mind whenever I feel the anxiety about not having the perfect house or being the perfect wife and mother.

He was asked a question about how he felt when his orchestra didn't play perfectly, and his answer went like this:
"Perfection doesn't exist.  And if you try to reach perfection for the sake of perfection, you are boring."
~Riccardo Muti
The last thing I want to be is boring.  So if it's boring to have the laundry folded all of the time, then I'm totally okay with leaving it for a bit.  I will not let laundry affect my self-worth (has anyone noticed that I seem to have major issues with laundry???).  Or anything else that I do imperfectly.  I am so much more than laundry and a clean house.

As I continue to ponder perfection, I have realized that there is perfection and then there is PERFECTION.  One is a spiritual gift that we aspire to in the hereafter, and one is trying to do things perfectly in this life that have absolutely no bearing on our salvation.  If I can get past the perfection problem here, it will free me up to better myself in the ways that really and truly matter:  To develop charity, to have a relationship with my Father in Heaven and my Savior, to improve my God-given talents, to bring joy to my life and to the lives of others.

Somehow, I don't think laundry can help me achieve any of that.

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PS  If you want to win Brene' Brown's book, The Gifts of Imperfection, you still have a few days to enter the giveaway here.

21 comments :

  1. I don't want to be boring so I'm going to let a few things slide today.

    If I made a sign it would say, "Perfection is tiring."

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  2. I blog-hopped over from Brene's blog. I love your sign and the picture of it -- beautiful!

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  3. Perfectly said.

    =D

    There's a big difference between doing our best and being perfect.

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  4. I love your distinction between two kinds of perfection. I think you've nailed it.

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  5. Great quote. It is hard to keep the two types of perfection straight. Perfection stands in the way of progress. Laundry is just plain annoying.

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  6. Make room on the laundry couch- and I'm bringing 3 loads with me! I have found that the harder I try to be 'perfect', the less 'perfect' I become. I've also found I get closer to perfect by trying to simply be 'better' than I ever do when trying to be 'perfect'.

    I like this letting go for you! We will like you whether you post perfect pictures, jammie pictures, my-hair-is-a-rats-nest pictures etc.

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  7. Someone is a tad perfectly focused....
    Really, doing your laundry isn't perfection. Helping someone in need is perfection.
    However, ignoring your kids all day because you got a new smart phone {yes, I did} isn't perfection. Feeling moderately bad about it. :)

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  8. I'll do your laundry if you make my dinner! :)

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  9. I'm not perfect but I still think I'm pretty boring. =P Glad you're speaking up about this because it's something all of us labor under, this desire to be perfect.

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  10. Really love this shot and this sign!

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  11. I loved this post Lara. Being a perfectionist myself (who falls short of perfect constantly), I can attest that it is hard and I love the moments when I let that outer shell go. Or the laundry. Love you.

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  12. I am far from perfect. I love this idea. Perfect is boring.

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  13. I suddenly feel much better about my great room and kitchen right now. They're definitely not boring . . .

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  14. Love this post! We know a family that taught us, back in San Jose; "to be a great family, you have to be weird"; as in you focus more on family time and fun than chores and bills. We have always tried to be more aware that we should be "weird" since then. And it totally works!

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  15. Perfection IS boring! I much prefer REAL. I think that's why I dig your blog!

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  16. Yep, perfection is completely boring. Great reminder, girl, and love your pic & sign!

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  17. It's true.
    I hope I can not be so boring someday too.

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  18. really fantastic...lots to think about, thanks for that!

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  19. That quote is awesome. Great post! (over from MMB)

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  20. I just wanted to let you know that your post has had me thinking about it ever since. I did a perfection post over on my blog today with a little different 'perspective.'

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