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Imperfection

I re-blogged an Elisabeth Kubler-Ross quote this morning about resiliency. I am not always comfortable with new things or taking risks, yet I took huge risks in my adult life. I went back to university as a married adult with a family and, to some extent, we reversed roles for several years in our family. Kathy was the primary bread-winner. We sacrificed things others around us took for granted, but in the long run we ended up where we wanted to be, here.

I learned on this journey called life that bumps on the road are more worthwhile than perfectly planned and executed outcomes, if those happen. I found, the past few years, as hard as I wished for things to be a certain way did not make them that way. I hope it makes me a better person learning that things do not work out perfectly and that is part of the joy of life.

Elizabeth Carlson wrote this beautiful poem about falling in love with my imperfections. I am more complete with them.

I am falling in love
with my imperfections
The way I never get the sink really clean,
forget to check my oil,
lose my car in parking lots,
miss appointments I have written down,
am just a little late.

I am learning to love
the small bumps on my face
the big bump of my nose,
my hairless scalp,
chipped nail polish,
toes that overlap.
Learning to love
the open-ended mystery
of not knowing why

I am learning to fail
to make lists,
use my time wisely,
read the books I should.

Instead I practice inconsistency,
irrationality, forgetfulness.

Probably I should
hang my clothes neatly in the closet
all the shirts together, then the pants,
send Christmas cards, or better yet
a letter telling of
my perfect family.

But I’d rather waste time
listening to the rain,
or lying underneath my cat
learning to purr.

I used to fill every moment
with something I could
cross off later.

Perfect was
the laundry done and folded
all my papers graded
the whole truth and nothing      but

Now the empty mind is what I seek
the formless shape
the strange      off center
sometimes fictional
me.

About ivonprefontaine

I have been an educator for almost 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in private industry for 15 years, then returned to university to earn my education degree. For the past 11 years, I have been a co-creator of learning in a unique, progressive, alternative educational school of choice. Currently, I am engaged in a doctoral program at Gonzaga University in Spokane. A main theme in my learning there has been the roles of systems thinking, complexity theory, and organizational theory, and how they apply to education generally and the learning environment I share with students, parents, and colleagues.

54 responses »

  1. Pingback: Imperfection « Spiritual Analytics

  2. What most important is to feel happy…
    nobody’s perfect..
    imperfection is us..
    imperfection makes us do things better..
    imperfection makes us value things and people..
    imperfection is just perfect!

    Have a perfect happy day.. :)

    Reply
  3. Wonderful post. Thank you for all of it–the inspiring quotation, wise musings about your journey and the excellent poem. Cheers

    Reply
  4. This is so—gorgeous. It is so me. Thank you so very much!

    Reply
  5. Beautiful poem, learning to love all facets of self. . . thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  6. self acceptance is key to the rest of it. Lovely poem and backstory. :)

    Reply
  7. Another gem, thank you Ivon

    Reply
  8. A Walk In My Heart

    I believe it’s one of the key to happiness – to accept ourselves and others with all the imperfections that come with it but still finding the beauty in the imperfection and then they are not so imperfect after all! :)

    Reply
  9. This is wonderful Ivon. Thank you.

    Reply
  10. I love the notion of falling in love with our imperfections – those marvelous, quirky aspects of who we are that we typically view with an apologetic shrug. There is much to savor in those characteristics, for they further define our wonderful humanity.

    Reply
  11. I want to tell you that your post really spoke to me. I am currently contemplating going back to school, and am somewhat nervous with now having a family to support, but hearing a small bit of your own story is inspiring, so thank you!!

    Reply
    • You are welcome. I did because I had someone in my life who made a difference. Kathy supported, pushed, and helped at every turn. She knew this is what I wanted at the time. I am at another intersection in life and am embracing the uncertainty of it all much better,

      Reply
  12. This is a reminder to me as I seem to be in that mode and wondering at the reason for it. I now know it is one of the pockets of time and maturity.

    Reply
  13. Bumps on the road are a part of this life, whether we plan well or don’t…

    Reply
  14. Pingback: Everyday Chaos « Life as Improv

  15. What a wonderful poem to share! Thank you, Ivon. I linked to this post today:
    http://lifeasimprov.wordpress.com/2013/02/05/everyday-chaos/

    Reply
  16. I greatly enjoyed both these poems, Ivon. Thank you, for sharing them.
    Russ

    Reply
  17. Yes! These days, it is all about imperfection. Age does teach humility.

    Reply
  18. petit4chocolatier

    Beautiful.

    Reply
  19. A wonderful post. Thanks for sharing. Bumps in the road, build character in the life of the overcomer.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Reply
  20. We are like two sides of a coin, the spiritual side and the physical side. The imperfection is the trimmings of being mortal however, being cognizant of ones imperfection is an impetus to bringing ourselves to account each day and recognising the insignificance of mankind in the presence of the creator. It is all part of growth and development of ones holistic self. Inspirational post dear Ivon.

    Reply
  21. I loved this post. It is so true and profoundly human.

    Reply
  22. I love this post. Elizabeth’s poem is “Me” all the way through. Nice to know we’re not alone. Thanks for this thought-provoking post. We all have so much to learn, to teach, to be thankful for… Thanks, Ivon. Bette

    Reply
  23. As a psych major and a cancer survivor I can’t get enough of the Kubler-Ross poem. However, I loved yours just as much as I was lying 2 hours with my cat listening to her purring this am!

    Reply
  24. A beautiful poem that reminds us that learning to love ourselves is fundamental to balance and moving forward whole in life.
    Very best wishes to you,
    Emma.

    Reply
  25. I’m always glad when you stop by. I get to read more of you.

    Namasté

    Reply
  26. I’ve been pondering the conflation of the saying, ‘feet of clay’ and something rather puzzling that someone told me a few months back, ‘God’s heart is in your feet.’ Somehow, this post seems to fit the bill!

    Reply

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