Thursday, May 26, 2011

52 Pickup: Excuses Distract from Your Perfection

Remember, all 52 pickups are open to interpretation. My interpretation might not be the same as yours - make it yours, make it a mantra, make it life lived well.
This week the pickup is:

How many times have you let excuses hold you back from pursuing something you wanted? Did you use money as an excuse not to take an enriching class (but without actually trying to make a few extra bucks or save)? Did you use time as an excuse to avoid making a meal you actually love? Did you use self-blame to apologize for something which needed no apology?

This is not to say we shouldn't hold ourselves to high standards, nor should we allow ourselves to simply forgive every misstep, but rather to discover ways we self-blame, self-shame, and negotiate ourselves away from joy. Life is messy business, there is no way around it, but if we are side-stepping happiness, focusing on negativity, simply in the name of an excuse then there is no excuse.

I'll use creative-types for an example but I trust if this is not your niche you can apply it elsewhere in your life. I see so many bloggers apologize for being human, for not posting as often as they expect themselves to, for being distracted by life - this self-blame and drawing attention to something that, honestly, most people completely understand, only distracts from your perfection as a maker, writer, creative, chef, or contributor.

Instead of self-blame focus that energy on self-nourishment. For instance: You feel as though you're behind on you're blog writing, therefore, instead of writing about how you're behind on your blog, use that time and energy for an even better post for the next time. Using energy to create is a gift to yourself and the world - it is a way to give and see beauty, a way to find balance, and a way to express perfection even in the trials, errors and flaws.

So many things we view as perfect are imperfect on purpose, because they are seeking to identify with that organic, passionate, centered perfection that is willing to embrace mistakes, willing to evolve, willing to trust in the process of innovating without mistakes. The post-it note was a failed adhesive, play-doh was supposed to be a wallpaper cleaner - the people who came up with these things, or how to use them, didn't let excuses get in the way of the perfection that was inherently there...conversely, they highlighted and recognized the value already there.

So instead of allowing yourself the time to whine about having a messy house, a tight budget, or a busy life consider instead your perfections, your fulfilled life, your creativity to make things work, your inherent perfection in imperfection.

Gretta (remember Gretta, with the goats?) came over the other day to drop off some samples of her soaps. We're working on getting them photographed and made available on the internet. As I was looking at everything I noticed a bar with a deep dent in it, then remarked how I needed a "more perfect" bar to work with.

I despised saying this, loathed noticing and regretted even more the explanation - that we need the "most perfect" samples for product shots - which, while true, is exactly the opposite of why I love Gretta's soaps. I love the texture in her soap bars. I love the way they often curve up on the sides making them easier to hold. I love that she didn't let packaging, logos or branding stop her from starting, from just getting out there and making a great product for people. Everything I love about Gretta and her products is the complete opposite of seeking that mass-market, perfect-every-time model - and there is no reason to make excuses for the perfectly imperfect handmade soaps she makes.

If you are an artist of any sort, please don't let materials, opinions or distractions stop you from creating.

If you are a cook or baker, please don't let others' preferences in taste stop you from trying new combinations or techniques.

If you are a mother, please don't let others' parenting styles stop you from doing what you know is best for your child.

If you are a woman, of color, any religion, sexual preference or in any way marginalized, please don't let others' misguided thoughts, opinions, or ignorance stop you from being perfect as you are.

If you are a writer, please don't let grammar hold you back from expressing yourself and telling your stories.

If you are worker please don't let politics, boredom, or pay stop you from being the best you can be at what you do.

If you are human, please don't let excuses stop you from being, creating, and seeing perfection in imperfection.


Anonymous said...

Nicely said, T!

Tara said...

This is a guided missile straight into my learned operating system.

I have another good friend whose blog I follow. It's called Striving for Progress. It's not a fancy blog and it's still very new. And I adore her for how purposefully she's trying to embrace "imperfection". She has been on hiatus from her blog (because she decided a family road trip and time to recuperate from it is a valid reason to step away from blogging) and your post today is filling in the gap for me.

It really doesn't matter how successful our efforts appear. If we make them out of a true desire to grow or express ourselves honestly, or bless the world around us, then they were monumental as soon as we began.

keishua said...

This week, I got caught in a vicious cycle of perfectionism. I almost didn't see it for what it what. Thank you for your encouraging post. Off to try my hand at making pita bread.

Brandi said...

I don't know how you do it, Tricia, but you always hit the nail right on the head. Exactly what I need to hear this week. No more excuses from me.