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A Nearly Perfect Sunset at the End of an Imperfect Day

kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, July 18, 2016

-image taken by kawaiidaigakusei-

I am not a perfectionist in any sense of the word. I have been asked by strangers in passing if I was a perfectionist to which I replied, “The architecture in my university was built under the notion that only ‘God can make something that is perfect’, therefore anything made by man has to be imperfect, thus the asymmetrical buildings on campus.” However, I do have a tendency to dwell on any mistakes I might have made throughout the day like whether I locked the door behind me; or whether I shut off the fan in the office Friday afternoon before the weekend; or wondering if the electric wax melt candle heater was left on all night long. This preoccupation of trying to avoid making a mistake is typically the direct cause of most of the mistakes I have made.

Last Tuesday was no exception for my quest toward imperfection. Here was the scene: I was sitting in a company vehicle in a cramped parking lot with more blind spots than I care to admit when I started backing up slowly and I felt a *thud* that spells “D-O-O-M” for any driver. I exited the vehicle to find myself in my first fender bender incident. I am fortunate to say that the other driver and myself sustained no injuries and the large bumper in the back of my car left the vehicle unscathed. Unfortunately, I could not say the same about the nearly brand new Cadillac that was involved in the accident. The incident was ruled a 50/50 fault by the on-site police officer, which was the most optimistic outcome given the circumstances.

My day was not perfect, not by a long shot, but the events that followed changed the tone of the day. Immediately following the accident, I climbed back in the car and completed my morning tasks demonstrating that I am ready to get back behind the wheel following a minor setback. Later that afternoon, I went to the bank and instead of the usual small-talk while awkwardly standing for a few minutes, the bank teller was exceptionally friendly and we had a full on discussion of which TV shows I need to watch. During my drive home, all the lights stayed on green cutting my thirty-five minute commute down to fifteen minutes.

It is so easy to ignore all the good things that happen in one day and focus on the bad. I have found that replaying bad memories in my head on repeat is a habit that I need to break. Imagine, if reliving good memories over and over came naturally to us, then the world would become a more pleasant place to be.

At the day's end, I stepped outside and witnessed a (nearly) perfect sunset with the silhouettes outlined in front of the horizon over the Pacific Ocean and I thought that a day that ends on such a pretty note could not be so bad.

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PaulEberhardt at 10:32AM, July 18, 2016

Psychologists tell us that we perceive bad things much more than the good ones and that that's quite normal (negativity bias, they call it). That's why I always remember psychologists, I usually reply. ;) As for perfection, I usually quote the Plattd├╝tsch proverb "'N beten scheev hett Gott leev" which roughly translates as "It's the lopsided/crooked (=imperfect) things that God loves best". It means, that it's often better to accept a certain lack of perfection than ruining everything by trying too hard to achieve it (which you usually will), and that it may sometimes be the very imperfections that make something as great as it is.

ashtree house at 9:20AM, July 18, 2016

Sunsets make everything better! Lovely post!

Banes at 8:24AM, July 18, 2016

I like the way you look at things. Very wise. I feel better too!

KimLuster at 4:43AM, July 18, 2016

Well, you made me feel better :D Wonderful words, and a beautiful sunset!!

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