Perfectly Imperfect

Observing your environment and the people around you can be helpful for learning new ways to find quietude of mind. There might be some unique ideas that you stumble across if you tune into other’s relaxing channels.  I wonder if a person’s specific routine, e.g., after returning home from work, is not out of habit, boredom, or lack of creativity, but a process of comfort.  There can be peace in predictability. But what happens if your most certain expected outcomes suddenly aren’t? There have been a lot of curveballs lately for the majority of us. Should I swerve or should I try to catch the ball? What are other people doing to mitigate stress and stay focused while keeping an eye on that ball? I’m hoping that as this blog continues, we will have many more guests at Hotchocolateful Cafe for inspiration. I recently chatted with my wonderful mom. There is someone else I wish I could talk with one more time, but she is no longer with us. Looking back, I realize she’d have a lot to offer on this topic.

Some special things that I remember about my grandma are that she created many forms of art like weaving, painting, embroidery, quilting, stained glass, and lacemaking to name a few. She even had her own art studio that my grandpa made for her above the garage. She spent her later years in her house focusing on her lacework. Have you ever seen handmade lace? The intricacy of this art form is incredible.  She knew the craft inside and out and could give you the specific name of every lace you might come across. But don’t ever compliment machine-made lace or compare it to the real thing. It’s a direct insult to all lacemakers everywhere and a mistake I surely won’t be making twice! It’s understandable though when you need the patience, focus, and discipline of a neurosurgeon to make 1 inch of lace. She surprised me with a handmade lace garter for my wedding day and it’s now kept safely in my daughter’s mementos box.

I can picture her leaning over her lace pillow and bobbins meticulously working away in solitude. I wish I could ask her now if forming the whispery thread into intricate patterns was a calming practice, or if it was the art form itself she loved that made the process worthwhile. I’d like to think maybe it was a little of both. She always seemed like such a confident, focused, mindful person to me and if practicing her art had anything to do with it, then I’m taking notes.

Recently, my mom remembered a tidbit about her mom’s art that she shared with me. I’ve spent all these years admiring her creations and I never knew! She said that whether it be in her paintings, knitting, jewelry, or lace, my grandma would purposefully put a small mistake in it. I asked her why on earth, after all that hard work and effort, would she do a thing like that? She said it was because only God is perfect. And suddenly everything makes sense. I’ve found that the process of working on something that is meant to be enjoyable can be greatly diminished if you’re striving for perfection. Accept that there will be mistakes because life can be a messy art. Strive, instead, to relish the beauty of what makes you happy . . . no threads attached. My grandma is no longer physically here, but I’m still learning from her. My journey is perfectly imperfect, but with that acceptance and in God’s light, it’s the very thing that brings peacefulness.


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