Friday, October 31, 2014

Perfection (and Happy Halloween!)

This is my spirit shirt for the day.
I find the pun quite amusing.

I've been enjoying the BBC series of "Call the Midwife."
(I love it! It's reflective and beautiful.)

Last night, at the closing of an episode, I found myself pausing the movie long enough to type in a quote that was being said.  Listen, stop, write.  Listen, stop, write.  Repeat.  Play it again to make sure I got it right.

This was the quote.

"Perfection is not a polished thing.  
It is often simply something that is sincerely meant.  
Perfection is a job complete, 
praise given, 
prayer heard.  
It can be kindness shown, 
thanks offered up.  
Perfection is what we discover in each other, 
what we see reflected back.  
And if perfection eludes us, 
that doesn't matter, 
for what we have within the moment is enough."
("Call the Midwife," Season 3, Episode 5)

This morning we attended a play based on the children's book Miss Nelson is Missing.
When we came home, we did reading, writing, math.
Then, I got them lunch and made my green smoothie inside.
I joined them outside with the current book we're reading, which is Moccasin Trail.

As I sat down, I thought about how much I love the afternoon sunshine lately.
How those 20 or 30 minutes of the day are sometimes, literally, the golden minutes.

I love sinking into that chair, with my drink, and reading to the kids.  
Or sitting there (or lying there!) by myself.

And I thought about that quote again.

So often, particularly with my mothering, I dwell on what I feel I'm not doing right.
I think of the times in the day when I lost my patience (when I swore I wasn't going to again), the ways I'm not measuring up, the things I'm not doing, the ways I can't seem to get things together.
I think of things I'm perpetually behind on.
I look around me, seeing so many things that need my attention, and then feel overwhelmed because I just can't do it all.  
I think of the ways that I feel I am failing.
Does this sound familiar?

As I sat down in the sun, I thought of the quote again.

It inspires me.

Life isn't about having it all polished.

It's about the process of polishing.
It's about living sincerely, genuinely.
Acknowledging each simple, completed task.
Giving praise.
Prayer: asking, seeking, thanking, praising, reflecting, resting there.
Offering simple kindnesses.
Focusing on discovery.
Dialing in on relationships.
Finding the meaningful in each moment.

Yes, I fail each day.
But there are moments of this kind of "perfection" every day, too.

And I need to be reminded (maybe all of us?) that it is a process of polishing, not exact and precise and every single moment of each day.
That failing is part of it.
That struggle is part of it.
That trying again is part of it.

So, my goal?
When I'm starting to feel down for the failures of the day, I want to shift my focus and think about these "moments of perfection."


One step.
And then another.
And then another.
There's holiness in the striving.

(And now, I'm off to prepare for family to arrive.  We've got games for the kids, dinner to be had, and then trick-or-treating.  Photos to be shared on Monday.  Hope you have a lovely Halloween night!)

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