Tag Archives: imperfection

Perfect is the enemy of good

There are all kinds of reasons for not finishing something and getting it out into the world. For more years than I care to count, I’ve had a vintage metal lawn chair that belonged to my grandmother, Dean Donovan, on my dad’s side of the family. It found its way to my house in Miami, a little worse for the wear, but still a very serviceable chair. It’s comfortable, rocks just a little when you push with your feet against the ground, and brings a lot of good memories.

I forgot to take a picture before I started sanding, but you can get a good idea of what it looked like.

For a long time it has sat on my back porch, covered with a towel, slightly rusty, sometimes used by the cat. I rarely sat in it and it always made me a little sad to see it there. Many years ago my husband stripped off the original navy blue paint and another layer of forest green paint and sprayed on a coat of primer. And for some reason, it never got finished. I kept telling myself I would paint it someday but I was worried about getting it right.

I love the lopsided smile that says “Yes! Paint me!”

This week I got a sudden desire to paint the chair. Monday afternoon I went to Home Depot (site of my previous run in with the roofing project!) and bought a beautiful light aqua color of Rustoleum spray paint. My husband has a nifty little electric sander and collection of sand paper. The primer and rust came off pretty quickly and in two days the chair was sanded down to bare metal.  On Wednesday I sprayed on the first coat of paint and although there were a few drips and a bug or two flew into it, it looked pretty good. Today I put on the second coat and let the chair dry in the sun.

The paint job is not perfect. If it were, I’d probably be afraid to sit in it! But it’s done, it’s good enough and I will enjoy it for many years to come.  As I’m starting my new business I find myself getting caught up in the same kinds of procrastination. What if my website isn’t perfect? What will people think? What if my intake form is missing something? What about scheduling and blog posts and having the right niche?  So I’m putting it out there as I build it, knowing it’s not perfect, but realizing that sometimes it’s more important to have a comfortable chair than a perfect chair. Is there something that you’ve been putting off because you want it to be “just right”? I’d love to talk with you about it, and if the weather is nice I’ll be doing it from my back porch, sitting in a comfortable chair that’s been around for a long time.

p.s. Speaking of imperfection, my friend and fellow coach, Tina Peacock, let me know that she wasn’t able to respond to my last blog post because the contact information wasn’t set up correctly. I tried to fix it but I don’t know if I did it right! So if you want to contact me just send me an email at mialotus@yahoo.com 

I would love to hear from you!

My Gift of Imperfection

rotation-of-resize-of-20161026_quiltThis morning I finished repairing a quilt that I made for my husband nearly thirteen years ago. He wasn’t my husband yet although he proposed to me shortly after I gave him the (unfinished) quilt for Christmas, 2003.  The quilt has been on our bed since 2004 and over the years it developed tears and the fabric wore thin along the edges. I did my first repair on the quilt a few years ago and in the interim more tears appeared. Sometime last year I decided that I had time to do a proper repair. I bought new fabric to replace the torn pieces, I washed, measured, replaced the batting inside, started sewing and then I stalled. I wanted it to be perfect, and if not perfect, at least better than it had been. The quilt stayed on the bed, incomplete, and told myself that I would finish it when I was ready to make it better.  Every so often I would take it off the bed, fold it and put it on my great-grandmother’s antique foot pedal sewing machine and then, a week or a month later, I would take it back to the bedroom and put it on the bed, still torn. I sewed a strip of new fabric on the top edge, the one that was most damaged but didn’t close it up. The edges were different widths and the corners didn’t match so I didn’t finish it.

 

This morning as I was making the bed I once again looked at the quilt. The tears were getting worse and the batting that I had replaced was starting to get worn since it wasn’t protected by fabric. I folded the quilt and put it on the top of the sewing machine, which is also my writing table. Two thirds of the way through my  Morning Pages I wrote, once again, “I want to repair the quilt”. And then I stopped writing and repaired the quilt. It didn’t take nearly as long as I had been telling myself it would take. Yes, it was tedious to pin it and keep the edges straight. No, the corners are not squared and in fact one of them had to be pleated to get the fabric to come together. But its done. And when I look at the quilt on the bed I feel happy.

resize-of-20161026_quilt-corner

Now I can move on to the other things in my life that are also not perfect and may not even be better when I complete them. The novel I started during last November’s NaNoWriMo . The sequel to The Secret Labyrinth that I started in July. By accepting my gift of non-perfection I can allow myself to move forward in my messy, creative and lovely life.

Is there something you’re not doing that’s keeping you from moving forward on your path? Would it be alright if it wasn’t perfect?

I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment!