Children are not small adults …

Baby adult

but adults are small children…

child_adult

When I was a little gopher, I believed all adults were perfect.

Adults knew everything and they understood the right solution for every problem that crept up in life.

I would gaze upwards into the lightly-lined face of my elementary school teacher Miss Taylor – on whom I had an enormous kiddie crush – or my aunt or uncle, and I knew that no earth-crushing challenge was too difficult in the faultless mind of this big person.

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I have never written for children, for who knows where childhood ends and adulthood begins?”

P.L. Travers (Author- Mary Poppins)

……………………………

A lot of life is about discovery.

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Discovery about who you are and who others are.

It took me longer to figure out the truth about adults than it did about Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny, or that you had to cook rice in water before you could make it into fried rice (I still appreciate my parents and siblings for not laughing me out of the house when I put the bowl of CRUNCHY fried rice on the dining room table.)

Adults are kind of like those creepy characters in Sci-Fi movies who peel back a big body zipper on their “human” selves revealing the green alien that lies beneath.

If we as adults just unzipped ourselves, we would all see the innocent, but clueless little kid with the freckles and the peanut butter and jelly stain on our T-shirt.

But there is no faultless “adult”, no wizard, inside the zippered skin, no font of all solutions. Dads and Kids I’m not an expert at life.

And I’m definitely not perfect.

Let me give you just a few examples of my non-perfection viewed from a Curmudgeon‘s perspective:

Sometimes I’m just a crabby old dude.

  • Years ago when I worked in Yellowknife, I was furiously pissed off at Joanne, a young lady lab tech who inadvertently opened a piece of mail that had my name on the outside.

I yelled at her. I enjoyed yelling at her. Crabby. Not perfect.

  • Later on in a lab job in Comox, I quit, sold my house, and ran away because I didn’t like the way the union protected people who weren’t there to do a job. I was angry that I had to do some of the things like dipsticking urine samples looking for sugar and protein that they should have done.

I yelled inside my head. Then I escaped. Crabby. Not perfect.

  • I wasn’t the world’s best Dad … I wasn’t the worst either, but I ran short of patience. I held doors closed so kids couldn’t get out of their rooms. We screamed back and forth at each other like crazy banshees.

I yelled. I cajoled. Crabby. Not perfect.

…………………………..

Did I mention that I’m not perfect?

I don’t look like George Clooney (feel free to disagree anytime, OK?). I don’t sing like Keith Urban. I don’t have the gorgeous muscular physique of Ryan Reynolds. I can’t tell jokes like Jerry Seinfeld. Or eloquently speechify like Barack Obama or Nelson Mandela.

Ryan-Reynolds Muscles

There are countless people out there that I’ve admired over the years.

Some of them were distant and I knew about them from news stories or magazine articles, reading books or watching TV and movies: actors, singers, musicians, politicians.

But many of those I admired breathed the same air that I did, standing and sitting next to me in my workplace and in the world around me everyday, all the time. These are special and magical people. Oftentimes they don’t realize the superpowers they possess.

I’ve paddled through life swimming in a sea of men and women who have talents and abilities that I would kill for. And because they were so good, and I was so small and inconsequential, I would secretly hate them. Why should they have all of the talent and beauty and perfection? Why not me?

YES … I hated them.

That was then. Now is now, and I’ve tossed away the hate.

I gave up looking for perfection in myself SO long ago now that I can’t remember what it even smells like in the distance.

I’ve struggled for a long time with my imperfection. I haven’t wanted the people I know and love to know that I make mistakes, that sometimes I’m stupid, that sometimes I am so far from perfection that NASA hasn’t created a rocketship with enough power to reach me out here in the cosmos.

But are others really perfect? Of course not. 

All of us have talents and abilities that take us a notch above.

The joy isn’t in being perfect, because there is no perfect.

There’s good and there’s better.

The joy to be had is in pursuing the “better” and knowing that there is always MORE BETTER.

I’m past being perfect now. People know I’m not perfect and I want them to know I’m not perfect.

That’s just too much pressure.

But what I really want you to know is that I’m working and playing hard to be better.

And if it works today, I’ll run a bit faster, or play that guitar lick just a teensie bit better.

But I know too, that if my race time is a few seconds slower, or I can’t quite touch my toes in a yoga stance, or I can’t put together the right Spanish tenses in a sentence, the important thing is I’m trying and I’m enjoying the process of reaching.

And for me PERFECTION is making the reach.

salvador-dali perfection

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