I had a nice talk with an old friend the other day. He is going to France for three months this summer. We talked about the joys of traveling and about how so many people wait until the “perfect time” to travel. They wait until they can speak the language, or until the kids are older or until retirement. The sad thing is, many of those who are waiting for the perfect time will never travel. It’s kind of like what people say about having children, there really is no perfect time.
My aunt once showed me her perfect collection of wedding china. She had every plate, cup, bowl and serving dish. She laughed when she told me that in over fifty years she had never once used it. “Why not?” I asked.
“I guess I’m waiting for someone important to show up.” She smiled, but there was a hint of regret.
I wanted to tell her that the most important people who could ever show up for dinner are the very same ones whose photos are hanging on the living room walls. The Queen is not coming. I didn’t have the heart to say anything, but I have never forgotten that conversation. My aunt is gone now, and I have no idea what happened to her good dishes. My guess is that they are sitting in someone else’s home waiting for a special occasion.
Waiting for the perfect time is a losing proposition. I started swimming this fall. I really didn’t want to see myself in a swimming suit. I thought about waiting until I lost thirty pounds before showing myself at the pool. Fortunately I realized the ridiculousness of getting fit before I can go get fit. I know I am not alone in this, many women fear going to the gym because they are not in shape. You can read my post about that here.
I realize now that the perfect life is not perfect. I don’t want to take one perfect trip of a lifetime. I want to take one hundred imperfect trips, the kind where you get off on the wrong train and spend a lovely afternoon exploring a beautiful neighborhood. I want to use all of my dishes, even if I break some. I want to swim because it makes me feel strong and healthy, and not wait until I look good in a swimsuit because I know that day may never come.
Imperfect is far better than never. I am not waiting for the perfect time and the perfect life. How about you?
“Embrace the challenge of what’s possible instead of allowing yourself to become frustrated by what you can’t have, what doesn’t fit, or what you can’t afford.”