Today’s mantra: Imperfection is not only frugal, it’s also liberating.
Today’s action: Acknowledge, and embrace, your imperfections. My favorite way of doing this is by making a list of all the things in my life that aren’t perfect, but that make me happy anyway.
Luckily, I learned long ago that I could never be a perfectionist because I don’t do things perfect enough and I would drive myself crazy trying to achieve perfection. I can’t cut a straight line or a circle for that matter, and I’m klutzy so I’m more likely to break or spill something than to create something perfect. I’m smart, but not perfect score smart. Maybe I could have been, but I wanted more fun out of life.
I’ve definitely become more of a “good enough” person. I value accuracy and efficiency, and if adding more steps doesn’t add to the value or accuracy, then I’m not going to do them. That’s how I’ve managed to be a highly accurate and speedy lab analyst. I can do my day’s work in half a day. Which has pros and cons.
I think the value comes from progress, not perfection. Doing a little better than we did last time. Saying “no” to the cookie, not snapping back when someone snaps at us and putting that money in savings, rather than spending it on time wasters. We won’t be perfect, especially not at first, but if we do a little better each day, we’ll be amazed at the progress we’ve made when we look back at where we were a year or more ago. Just take it one step at a time.
Learning to embrace imperfection is half the fun when getting used things. I have a fridge that doesn’t match the rest of my appliances, but the price was right ($0). I’ve thought about spray painting it to match, but I don’t care enough. None of my furniture matches, but the prices were also right there (again, $0).
My grandma passed away shortly after I bought my house, so I inherited all her furniture I needed. Is it my style? Not necessarily. Do I love it? Absolutely. My coffee table was made by my grandpa and I’ve seen some of the other furniture pieces in my dad’s childhood home videos- how cool is that?
My bookshelves are IKEA leftovers from my aunt. I painted them and they’re still going strong. My desk and chair were from my dad’s home office. The chair has a fun quirk where it’ll lower if you lean on it just right. It’s slightly annoying, but not annoying enough to justify buying a new one. It’s also fraying a bit, but since it’s already fraying, I don’t worry when the pets paw at it to get my attention.
Having used, imperfect things also makes them easier to give up. My lovely cat brought in a live mouse a couple month ago and though she finally caught and killed it a month later, I discovered a few weeks ago that the mouse had taken up residence in my grandma’s couch at some point. It was so much easier to say, “nope” and take the couch to the dump, knowing that I hadn’t put any money into it. I would have been much harder to do that if I’d spent $500+ on it.
What are imperfect things in your own life? Does it make you feel deprived? Or have you learned to embrace them?