Embracing imperfection

As a person on the autism spectrum, I have a tendency to be a perfectionist. I tend to have a picture in my head of how the day is going to go, and tend to become very upset if things do not go according to how I pictured them. I struggle with being flexible, and tend to feel that if things do not go perfectly, then everything is a disaster and the day is ruined.

(Lately I had numerous instances of things getting messed up and not going according to plan, which I wrote about here.)

A couple days ago, however, I had some success with embracing imperfection. 

It was a warm and sunny morning, and I decided to take a walk around the pond near my house. The trees were still blooming with beautiful white and pink flowers. After my camera had inexplicably decided not to work, I had done some troubleshooting, and I thought that I had fixed the problem. So I brought it along to take photos. Imagine my shock and dismay when, again, the shutter button refused to work, in exactly the same way it had earlier! I angrily trudged home and sulked around. But then, a little while later, I decided to return to the pond and take pictures with my phone. 

Although I much prefer to use a “real” camera, it was better than nothing.

I enjoyed being outside in the beautiful weather and looking at the trees, flowers, ducks, geese, and trucks rumbling to and from the construction site at the top of the hill. 

Farther away from my house, there is a park with a World War I memorial, which is decorated with different flowers depending on the season. I knew from seeing the park in passing that there were currently bright yellow daffodils and beautiful tulips planted there, but I hadn’t had time to actually stop and get close-up to take photos. A sufficient amount of time had gone by that I figured the daffodils would be wilted and sad-looking. But after my walk around the pond, I had extra time, so I decided to make the walk to the park anyways. To my surprise, the flowers, even though they weren’t in absolutely pristine condition, still looked beautiful.

And even though I was stuck using my phone as opposed to my “real” camera, I still got some pretty good photos. 

The moral of the story: An imperfect day can still be a good one. “Plan B” is not as good as “Plan A,” but it is better than nothing, and it is certainly better than giving up on the day entirely.