Perfection is fleeting, but I do believe that it exists. Or at least moments of near-perfection, as even Mary Poppins wasn’t perfect. I try to relish it whenever it appears, and I enjoy replaying the moments in my mind. I hope that in this year that is about to end, you have enjoyed a few of these moments, and that maybe, like me, you can take this holiday time to enjoy reflecting on near-perfect stories from your life in 2022.
I’m fortunate in how many times I have experienced it this year. I recently wrote about my son Ryan’s wedding to Yesi. The entire weekend of family, fun, and love on full display was absolutely a near-perfect moment in my life. On our visit to see Dawson in college in Golden, Colorado, we arrived in a beautiful snowstorm and woke up to a magical wintery town. Not all near-perfect moments involve travel or special occasions. More everyday life examples would include a perfect family dinner, where the food was spectacular, and the love, conversation, and laughter at the table were even better. I’ve shared perfect walks on the beach with Jill, where a super-low tide creates a wide wet-sand beach that magnificently reflects the larger-than-it-should-be setting sun. I could go on.
I don’t seek out these near-perfect experiences, nor do I expect them, but I love it when they happen. And these moments should be highlighted and appreciated for all that they are, because we all experience the full range of successes, failures, and everything in between. We all have beautiful moments with loved ones, and not-so-beautiful ones. We experience the birth of our children, proud and wondrous moments with them, and, at least for me, moments I wish I could forget. I have started books I couldn’t finish, finished books that I enjoyed parts of, and then I’ve devoured books where, when I finish them, I say, “I don’t think that book could have been more perfect.” (As a want-to-be-writer, I can say with great certainty that writers never believe their work is perfect. In fact, it’s far from it. It always needs more work.) I do my best to enjoy whatever activity I am immersed in, but when I realize that I am in the midst of a near-perfect moment, I find myself particularly grateful. Some very recent moments include:
- On Christmas morning, Jill and I had a quiet morning before Dawson and his girlfriend Kylie woke up. We called and chatted with our parents, had a nice breakfast, and enjoyed a long walk with our crazy dogs who helped the moment by actually being quite calm. Then, after the kids woke up at 11:00 (my apologies for sharing that with those of you whose young children forced you to wake before the sunrise), we had a beautiful and relaxed morning of gift opening and togetherness.
- Heeding the recommendation of my wise friends Brooks and Sheri, I have read Breakfast with Buddha two times in the last week. It is a peaceful and thought-provoking work of fiction, and it came into my life at a time when I needed it. It’s kind of a Travels with Charley meets The Power of Now type of work, and if you’re open to that, I highly recommend it. I don’t think author Roland Merullo would agree with my premise of perfection being something we experience through the outside world, but he might not argue too much.
- This will seem mundane to many, but I experienced that fleeting sense of near-perfection while rewatching the Ted Lasso series. The 5th episode of season two, Rainbow, may be a perfect television episode. I thought that about Seinfeld’s The Merv Griffin Show episode, too. The Rainbow episode is about the pursuit of love and happiness from a variety of perspectives, full of typical Ted Lasso humor, puns, and insight, all bound together by a soundtrack that includes psychedelic She’s a Rainbow song by the Rolling Stones. It cleverly and touchingly combines The Rolling Stones, rom-com quotes, 247 F-bombs, and a self-confidence clinic, all while reminding us all that to live life to our fullest potential, we need to remember what brings us joy in our lives.
- Did I already mention that the kids in our house woke up after 11:00 on Christmas Day? I did? Sorry once again to those of you who woke up six hours earlier than that.
I hope this post finds you able to recall recent events where you experienced practically perfect moments. I hope this holiday season provides you time to reflect on these fleeting moments, especially the little ones that are so easy to forget. I find that it’s yet another way to practice gratitude, which is a not-so-secret and scientifically proven happiness-enhancing gift you can give yourself again and again.
Let’s all have a happy and healthy 2023, and enjoy the special moments as they come.
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