Imperfection Is My Selection

by Patrick McNerthney

We took a trip earlier this summer, after our friends cancelled their wedding. I swear it wasn’t my fault the wedding got called off! We were originally going to fly to Minneapolis, but had to make a last-minute change due to the drama, so we decided to take a road trip instead. You know, to turn this missed opportunity into a fun summer trip! 

The destination we chose involved warm weather, a water park, and technically a theme park with rides and carney games and cotton candy and all that jazz. But really we (myself, wife, and rambunctious son) were mostly excited at the thought of hanging at a waterpark in the heat. Waterparks are just so fun with the slides and the terror and the craziness…oh, and the lazy rivers, we love lazy rivers. No terror there–no way.

(Whee–my kind of terror!)

Oddly enough, the day we arrived the temperature was shockingly 35-40 degrees below seasonal averages. It was 55-degrees, when it should have been 99!  No joke. But we weren’t going to bail, especially for the sake of our son. We were committed, so we toughed it out. It turned out very few others were crazy enough to be out in un-waterpark-friendly temps so we practically had the place to ourselves – no lines! (What’s that compared to a little hypothermia?) 

Great! So what’s my point? 

There’s always a hiccup, mistake, blemish, or imperfection in life – no matter what. It is never perfect. Yet we always seek perfection and we use it to define success, which is a mistake because ultimately it just makes us feel bad! So here are the two ways you can look at it: 

  • The wrong way: “Our trip to the waterpark would have been perfect if it was unbelievably  hot, but it was freezing cold so we feel annoyed and unlucky, and a bit cheated.” 
  • The right way: “The imperfection in the situation created way more turns on the slides than we normally would have gotten. No lines! How fun! Talk about getting your money’s worth…!”

Here’s the takeaway: Imperfection is the rule.

(I mean how many times does this really happen?)

Rather than seeking perfect, we’re much better off asking ourselves, “What opportunities lie within the imperfections?” Because imperfections are constant, while perfection is a figment of the imagination. 

So when you look at your work, how much time are you spending thinking about the imperfections? I hope you just answered, “A lot!” because that’s where the magic is!  

Fine Art Miracles (FAM) understands caring for the elderly and other underserved populations is important, challenging work filled with things you wish were perfect but aren’t. And see, this is a good thing, because creative expression – the mess of simply making (which is what FAM is all about) – opens hidden doors that turn obstacles and impasses into opportunities. How? By creating feelings of accomplishment and self-worth. Even if the artwork that is made lacks the steady hand of Edward Hopper or the vision of Van Gogh, it is someone’s idea, memory, or simply their handiwork and that creates a connection for your residents and loved ones; a connection that resists isolation, anxiety and depression. 

Check out FAM’s art therapy, dance & movement therapy, and music therapy for yourself and you’ll see what we mean. Have any questions? Please give them a call or drop them a note, FAM is always ready to help!

Well, I better get back to researching next year’s trip to a waterpark. They’re quite addicting–even if the weather’s cold, the water’s not!