The Importance of Being Perfectly Imperfect

May 24, 2021

I recall, as a little girl, my parents reminding me a lot about nothing being perfect. As a perfectionist at heart, it has taken me a while to become accustomed to things being out of sorts or unarranged or not how I think they should be. I think that motherhood helps make you realize what is truly important. Chicken keeping also helps with that too; after all, chickens take baths in the dirt! It is amazing how so many of life’s lessons are all around us if we simply just open our minds, eyes and hearts to them. Sometimes true beauty lies in the perfectly imperfect.

A basket full of perfectly imperfect eggs
A basket of perfectly imperfect eggs from the chickens. Each one is a gift.

I got a message from a follower just the other day. She had informed me that Trader Joe’s is now allowing eggs with random double yolkers onto their shelves. How far have we come on that one?  For those of you that do not know, they wash and meticulously sort the eggs in the grocery store based on size and color. They also candle the eggs to ensure that there is but one single yolk inside. Mis-shapen eggs or ones that have more than one yolk are typically removed from circulation and deemed acceptable for only processed items such as baked goods, mayonnaises, egg beaters and so forth. These “rejected” eggs do not go to waste. But, if you are a chicken keeper, you have learned that these double and sometimes triple yolkers often are seen as a rare treat, bonus and omen of good luck!

Then just a few days ago, I discovered a wonderful field full of English Bluebells that were all that remained from an old historical homestead on Cape Cod. The flowers were most likely brought over on a ship from England hundreds of years ago. The field was gorgeous. The smell was intoxicating. I could have laid down and taken a nap, and the photos do not do them justice.  But then I saw it- one sole little yellow wildflower. Some might see it as an imposter. Others might have plucked it right out.  Did it ruin the purity and perfection of the scene? I didn’t see it that way. This little one was not afraid to be different from the rest and shine bright and tall in an otherwise perfect field of bluebells. Gosh, I marveled in the message of this sight.

one lone yellow wild flower stands in a perfect field of blue flowers.
Perfectly imperfect and so different and beautiful from the rest.

This all got me to thinking that how important it is not to set our standards too high or too perfect, because happiness really is only achieved when we see that being perfect is never attainable- at least in any sort of sustainable fashion for very long. We can be beautiful and unique and different. There is something so wonderful in that.

No longer do I meticulously maintain my gardens and lawn. Now I appreciate the beauty of a flowering “weed”. Who really decided that these are weeds anyway? Many of these weeds have medicinal properties. It was only the turf companies that decided to declare war on these bystanders and made an attempt to convince folks that a golf course lawn was the most desirable. My perfectly imperfect lawn is full of  dancing dandelions that feed the bees, clover that the bunnies love to munch on and the pollinators love to visit, plus did I mention that it also adds nitrogen to the soil? The chickens enjoy munching on chickweed and broadleaf plantain.

I guess I could go on and on but these are my thoughts for today. Gray hairs, wrinkles, tan lines, messy foods, rainy days, smelling like smoke after a fire, dirt under the fingernails after a day in the garden, a few missing feathers, the beauty and uniqueness of a chicken’s comb, singing off key in the shower, two left feet, tears of joy and laughter, fingerprints, scratches on the wood floor, door dings, pottery on the wheel, crooked smiles, friends. These are just a few of my favorite perfectly imperfect things.

What are some of yours?

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Melissa

Sharing adventures with backyard chickens, beekeeping, gardening, crafting, cooking and more.

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32 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Perfectly Imperfect”

  1. Thank you for a well-written bit of wisdom that was perfectly timed! I’m 61-years-old and I’m still growing up. We recently retired and moved to some acreage in the woods and built a barndominium for our home. Nature here has taught me many lessons – the chickens especially, would have cleared up dozens of dilemmas during junior high and high school! But it’s the cathedral of trees I find myself in the midst of here in the piney woods of East Texas, that seem to structure my schooling about life when I’m still enough to sense its pulse. I look forward to your insight at your next writing. Until then, best regards.

    Reply
    • Oh it sounds like you have found a little slice of heaven in Texas among the pines and your barndominium. I agree, so many lessons to be learned and appreciated from nature and animals and life around us. I love that—“when I’m still enough to sense its pulse.” Thank you for that too. That is a wonderful philosophy. Thank you for sharing it with me.

      Reply
  2. We also leave the dandelions and clover, buttercups and ‘weeds’ for the bees. Our 4 chickens love to graze the yard! Their dirt bath is under my potting table. I’m too old to keep up with the neighbor’s perfect yard.

    Reply
    • Oh, and your yard sounds so much more exciting too. I love that their dirt bath is under your potting table. They are smart girls. They know where the best dirt lives. LOL!

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  3. Melissa,

    This morning I was awakened, as usual, by one of my cats, announcing her state of starvation. So I fed the cats, checked in on my baby pen that is playing temporary home for the 3 chickens and two ducks that were a gift from my visiting daughters weekend. They decided I need these 3-day old babies as a Mothers Day gift. When I first laid eyes on them, my mind went from, “Oh, no!” to, “Yes, I do need some more babies, as the warmth spread over me. After assuring myself they were fine, I poured myself my first cup of coffee, and warmth spread through me. Then, opening my computer to my e-mail, I spotted your posting. I’ve been a follower of your for several years. The warmth that spread thru me was the best! Thoughts of beginning my “Life With Chickens” included sharing your life with Tilly. I laughed, I cried, I loved being a part. She is imbedded on my heart. Thank you for being here with me, and thank you for the warmth that will get me thru my day….

    Lynn

    Reply
    • Oh Lynn, my heart is touched by your comment and you sharing this with me. I am so grateful to have you part of my journey and I am excited for you and your new little babies. I hope your day turned out to be a good one and I hope that you have much joy brought to you by the simplest of things. Your comment made my day.

      Reply
  4. The sun is rising over my imperfect garden and home and I sigh at the beauty of it. Thank you for reminding us all . . .

    Reply
  5. Thank you for this reminder! I to am a perfectionist, but as I have aged I have found that it is the imperfections that can make something beautiful.

    Reply
  6. your right! I am also a perfectionist and in the past year have found too that beauty lies in the imperfect!
    also, that chickens are a great example of that. I have a chicken named Peanut who lays the weirdest eggs! they are very long and ridged and bumpy but every time she lays one she is so proud of it! she comes out of the coop and sings her egg song, sometimes her sister Opal even joins her!

    Reply
    • Oh this is just the sweetest. Peanut’s eggs sound very special indeed. I love that she puts a signature on each one and Opal joins in the celebration.

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  7. Your post, and the comments, are spot on. It can be exhausting trying to keep up with the “perfection” we see around us. I love things aren’t “perfectly perfect.” I scored a deal on an old Hoosier cabinet because, oh my, it didn’t look new. That’s just fine with me…it reminds me of the sweet memories of use from ladies over the decades. I’m not completely where I need to be…I still feel the pressure from others who tend to point out imperfections. Sigh…but reading this keeps me inspired. Thanks to all of you!

    Reply
  8. I really love your posts!
    I also have a question that’s not exactly related to chickens. Because you have experience publishing; I was wondering if you could help me. Me and my friend are looking into publishing our book that we made and I was wondering if you self-published your chicken books or did you use a publisher and they published it for you. Could you give me some tips? If not thanks for reading this anyway! (:

    Reply
  9. I am a big fan of you and your blogs. I love to read them. I have chickens and I love them very much. When they free range each day I have to go out a couple times a day to keep them from the garden. They are so cute!

    Reply
  10. I was interested in your perfection article. I wrote this for mu blog in February of this year.

    “One of my issues I had when going through illness is “why me?”. The thing that is really hard is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming me. We are taught to strive for perfection in many aspects of our lives and we often believe that a perfect healthy body makes us more acceptable to others.

    There have been times when I have been anxious of my illness and afraid of others judging me. I didn’t see cancer as a learning experience, I saw illness as a way of others seeing what I didn’t want them to see: that I was flawed, imperfect, and somehow not enough.
    But the biggest lesson of all was that in this quest for perfection, I wasn’t really living. The reality is that striving for perfection held me back. I spent so much time in an endless quest to be “perfect,” I ended up missing out on what life is really about: being in each moment and experiencing life where we are, as we are.”

    My blog reflects on my illness and how to cope on a day to day basis.

    Kind regards

    Reply
  11. My perfectly imperfect lawn is full of dandilions, chickory, clover and other assorted “weeds” … just the way I like it! And so do my chickens, the bunnies and the bees!

    Reply
  12. Thank you for this article. I live in the high desert. We have the monsoonal rains that produce a variety of vegetation that has remained dormant through the driest, hottest of times. I see so many pulling out the weed killer. It’s not allowed on my property. Even mowing, I leave any weeds that have produced a flower to do it’s thing. I’ve even gathered several and created a color pot. Every single flower was at one time a weed. Anything that provides me some color, even the tiniest bit is appreciated and welcome. thanks so much for your site. I check in often. Thanks to all for sharing.

    Reply

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Sharing an inspired life from the New England seaside. Chickens, Bees, Gardens, Art and Yummy Goodness.