For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Monday, November 7, 2016

This Is NOT About Knitting

I recently finished knitting this beautiful afghan for my family room.

The front side of the afghan has nice clean lines between the colors:

The backside shows where the yarn changed color,  and doesn't look quite so clean:

There is one problem.  
When I was 3/4 done, I changed the yarn at the wrong time 
and this happened on the front of the afghan:

I noticed this after I had knitted another 48 rows of 120 stitches (5760 stitches).  
At that time I had a decision to make. 
Rip out the 5760 stitches and make it right, or live with it. 

In my younger days, I wouldn't have even taken the time to think about it.  
I would have made it perfect, no matter how long it took me to do it.

At 57, I've faced my imperfections many times.  
I no longer dwell on them.  
There are no internal beatings.  
I've made plenty of mistakes over the years 
and learned that most of the time they aren't a big deal.
But I've also learned from them.

I haven't been the perfect mother.

 I remember very well the time I clipped 4 week old Kerry's fingernails and drew blood! 

Every fall, when I eat my first freshly picked apple, I have flashbacks to the day I totally lost it and screamed at 4 year old Adam for not trying to eat an apple with the skin on.  
I must have been having a bad day.

I'll never forget the day I got a $250 speeding ticket on my way home from Walmart because I was trying to make it home in time to get my kindergartener off the school bus.  I had lost track of time when I was shopping. My heart raced as I pictured little Annie having to ride the bus back to the terminal because her mother was missing.  The officer had no sympathy for my explanation for my tears.  But luckily the bus was a little late and I made it back in time!

I've been far from perfect in other aspects of my life too!

My garden looks great in the spring, but with the heat of late July and August my enthusiasm wanes and it gets overrun with weeds.

I sometimes resent my dogs for the amount of care they need and feel guilty about it.

I feel like I SHOULD feel guilty that my husband has to go to work every day and I am a stay-at-home mom with an empty nest, but I DON'T. 

I hang up on sales calls rather than taking the time to politely turn them down.

One time I told my neighbor I would take her dog out to go to the bathroom when she was away overnight and I FORGOT! (This was during the menopausal years!). I felt so bad when I remembered the next morning and confessed. From that point on, I always set reminders on my phone.

When Annie was in high school and called for a ride home after track practice, she almost always kept me waiting for 5 or 10 minutes. In spite, one day when she called for a ride I finished a tv show I was watching before I picked her up - and made her wait for ME.

I have cheated at cards. It really bothers me when my husband has a long winning streak playing Rummy. One day, Annie and I spent over an hour devising a system of hand signals and gestures so we could feed each other the cards we needed to beat him.  I'd like to say I have regrets, but I don't.

A few years ago I knitted an afghan for my daughter.  During the project, I MIGHT have decreased a few too many times in an attempt to make it a bit narrower.  I thought it wouldn't be noticeable. When I finished it was almost triangular. When I gave it to her, I told her it was a combination shawl + afghan and we call it a "shafghan".

Last year, when I was cutting a mat of fur off my cat's neck I accidentally chopped her whiskers off on one side too.

I've said things jokingly to people I don't know very well and stayed up all night, unable to sleep, because I realized they might have thought I was serious.

I once got sucked into a fake "phishing" email from our bank that resulted in my husband's identity being stolen along with access to our online banking. We had to cancel all accounts and credit cards and still have a credit freeze to prevent further trouble.  Boy, did I feel stupid!

I'll never forget the time I mistook nail polish remover for eye makeup remover.  I thought I was going to lose the sight in that eye!

My memory is lacking.  I rarely remember someone's name, even a minute after I was introduced.
I swear my neighbor remembers more about my children than I do sometimes!
I forget to pick up the dry cleaning.  I forget where my husband is on business trips.
I forget a ton of things!

I hold myself back from participating in things because I am afraid of failing.

I lack certain social skills that make it difficult for me in large social situations.

I am not always aware of slang terms, especially referring to drugs of any kind.  My kids will never let me forget the time we were watching Friends and a character said "I smoked a doobie", and I didn't know what it meant. To make matters worse, when I took a guess and said "He farted?", they almost peed their pants from laughing so hard. :)

I could list so many more.

You can strive for excellence, but you will never be perfect.

When I look at the afghan on the sofa,  I don't always see my mistake.

I don't see it, but I know it's there. 

The best thing is:
I don't care.