Striving for contentment instead of perfection

I read a lot of blogs. This is probably of no surprise to you, and the fact that I’m inspired by those blogs and the bloggers behind them is probably of no surprise either. Last week I read a post by Lapin Blu on the Danish concept of Hygge – which has no direct translation but basically means ‘wellbeing’ and achieving a state of cosiness and warmth through a holistic approach. Having read the five tips to achieving this state of Hygge, I was instantly inspired. The one that really stood out for me was: “choose contentment over perfection”.

light through the trees

This is something I’m really bad at. I am guilty of envying the lives of others, of browsing Pinterest and choosing not to do something because it won’t be anywhere near as good as the picture I found. The Lapin Blu post says, “take care of what you have, be content in its imperfection.” That is good advice.

As I look around my house, I am instantly drawn to the things that need doing. I need to take down that cabinet, I need to paint that wall, I need to put up some shelves…. and so on. Then I catch myself and mentally give myself a good slap. I don’t NEED any of those things. Sure, I would like a Pinterest-worthy house but I will find fault in anything and everything so I’m pretty sure the notion of perfectionism is lost on me.

swimming in the rain

It’s one thing not to strive for perfection but it’s another to be content in imperfection. I look over at the kitchen tiles which I painted with tender loving care; the ones I did at the end are great, but I’d gotten good by then. The ones I did at the start are blotchy and are right in the centre of the wall under the light. They’re the ones I look at whenever I think about my kitchen. I run my hand over the bumps in the blotchy paint. Can I find contentment in their imperfection? Actually, yes, I think I can. The house is the easy bit. It’s easy to find joy in the imperfect work you do in your house. It’s a project.

What about me and my imperfections? Not so easy. I want the perfect face, the perfect wardrobe, the perfect the perfect the perfect. I don’t think of myself as a project, I want to be the perfect finished article. I know I’m not alone, so how can we find contentment in our own imperfections? How can someone else’s worn clothes and simplicity be so attractive to me when my own is so ugly?

Once again, it’s one thing to find things I like about myself but how can I find contentment in my faults? That question is going to be my focus for these last few weeks of winter. I will find contentment at the very least, if not love, in things that I have previously loathed. I will not strive for perfection. I will enjoy my imperfections so that by the time spring arrives I am ready to embrace my self, my life and all its imperfections.

perfect face

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