Harmonious Homestead
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Imperfections {Friday Five}

Thanks to a generous friend who gave me a huge stash of canning supplies, I have a new favorite jar. (What? You don't have favorite jars? Crazy!)

This jar is blue, which is fun, and obviously old. It nearly matches four others I have of the same size and brand. This one is special for a small but significant manufacturing flaw.

imperfect ball jar

See what it says under the Ball name? P rfect Mason. The 'e' is missing, clearly a misprint.  Eagle eyes will notice the air inclusions that make the jar useless for canning. My new favorite jar is, therefore, an imperfect mason.

I love this jar because it reminds me that life is imperfect. I am imperfect.

Unlike a poorly pressed jar that can only ever hold flowers, we humans can work on our imperfections. We can never achieve perfection but we can be constantly inching towards our better selves. I am intentionally working to improve in these ways:

1) Be Fully Present - Between the pulls of social networks, animals, phone calls, the kid, neighborhood noise, and a natural tendency to wander, I default to a state of distraction. There are half-started projects all over the house. I am consciously trying to overcome distraction and stay fully focused on a single idea until completion - be it a conversation, a preserving project, or something I'm doing with Lil. It feels good to say no to the interruptions and truly be present.

2) Eat Lunch - My stupidest imperfection is that nearly every midday I think I can have a light and healthy meal. It doesn't work for me and by 4 pm I am a grouchy hungry person. When I eat a full meal with a good dose of protein, I'm not a grump in the afternoon. Solution seems simple, right?

3) Stay with the Hard Stuff - When something is difficult for me or conflict arises, I tend to drop it and run. This isn't healthy for me. I need to speak my true feelings and not just hide until difficulties pass.

4) Be OK with Mistakes - I tell Lillian constantly that "it's ok to make mistakes". But I don't actually cut myself a break when I make them. Whether I spill, can't get the perfect photograph, or lose something, I need to take a breath and forgive myself for these little screw-ups. Modeling that little mistakes are ok is as important as saying the words.

5) Be Satisfied - My tendency is to always be striving for something greater. It's a good quality to have in that I am willing to work hard, but I never relax and enjoy what I have. I have a lot to be satisfied about - a loving husband, healthy kid, warm home, etc. Every day I try to be thankful for the current moment without looking ahead. But a tiny part of me always wants more - I think I will be working on this imperfection my whole life.

What imperfections are you working on now?


PS. Though the idea of a Defense Department is rife with ethical imperfections, I remain thankful for those who serve(d) in the military. I shared Vonnegut's thoughts on Veteran's Day last year and I still think his words are fantastic.