By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated
What could be more discouraging than expecting the impossible? Most of us would agree that it would be unreasonable to ask an infant to put the toilet seat down when he is done, yet we hold ourselves to equally absurd standards. We expect the impossible of ourselves when we equate success with perfection.
I love art, now. Drawing, painting, or just crafting in general are a source of great personal joy and quality time with my children. When I was a child, art wasn’t on my list of favorite subjects. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the process of coloring or enjoy the visual feast of a gallery, I just found it difficult to be excellent at creating a piece of artwork. Math, science, spelling, history, those were the subjects for me. There was only one way to do it – the right way.
Thankfully, while in college I became determined to overcome this mindset. One day while I sat on the back porch enjoying the afternoon sun, I began sketching from a picture in a history book. It was a portrait of a Native American man in a full headdress. His eyes were serious, his face marked with the lines of old age, and a challenge to sketch to say the least. I wore the eraser thin and became increasingly frustrated with my inability to transfer the image to my sketch pad.
Then, in a stroke of rare genius, I decided that I was just going to let it be wrong. I watched in amazement as the portrait unfolded. The eyes, though imperfect carried the same grave sense of humanity that first inspired me. I can confidently say that the resulting sketch is still my best, and is complimented regularly by the budding young artist in my family.
Fine art hanging on your wall isn’t the only benefit to letting go of the little things. Here are a few more advantages to embracing the imperfect in our daily routine:
– Less stress
– Extra time with family
– More confidence
– Freedom to be yourself