I have never been great at wrapping presents. One might end up decent, but most of them turn out just awful. As I sat there at my great-grandmother’s table wrapping gift after gift, something struck me this particular holiday season. There is freedom in imperfection.
If you were a fly on the wall observing me that night you would have thought I went mad. I was sitting there cracking up to myself. Just laughing at how absurd some of the presents looked. I crumple corners here, slap some tape on there. I really do start out the right way, and it seems promising, but by the time I get to the other side of the item there is usually not enough or too much paper. This always results in me just basically finishing it however I can, as long as you can’t see what’s underneath I’m okay with it. This is surprising since my mother wrapped exquisitely.
It was fascinating watching her. Every single one she ever wrapped was picture perfect. My mom loved it, it made her so happy to see her beautiful creations. She would get upset when I would wrap a present and it turned out messy. Always trying to teach me but I wanted to do things my way, even when it came to this activity.
As I sat there giggling to myself I couldn’t help but think of her, and how she was watching me from some spiritual plane shaking her head at me and my sloppy attempts. In that moment I felt freedom. My mom would start over if the paper wasn’t perfect, and that’s okay, because it brought her joy to see that perfection wrapped up with a nice bow on top. Not me. I’m happy doing my best. This is how I’ve been living my life lately and it took gift wrapping to help me understand this. It was an Aha moment for sure.
There are two sides to every coin, right? Perfection in it’s purest form can push people to excel and achieve great things. What happens though when we fall short? When we can’t possibly meet this immeasurable demand? I found this quote and it sums up exactly what I wrote. “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection was can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi. For me, I can strive for perfection knowing it’s not obtainable and when I naturally fall short I know that I’ve done my best. This is where I am able to find freedom in imperfection.