It’s another stunning sunset on Playa Jaco. The sky transforms from crystal clear blue to vibrant red, orange and pink…
My sweetie and our youngest play in the sand, digging holes and filling the plastic dump truck until it overflows…
I’m sitting a few feet away on a folding chair brought from our rental house, my foot, in a removable brace that goes halfway up my calf, resting on an upside down sand bucket. I wish I was on the ground playing or bobbing between the salty waves. I wish I could run and splash and be silly.
But I can’t, so I sit and watch.
And in a moment when self-pity and disappointment are threatening to wash over me, I am suddenly overwhelmed by a knowing that this is OK. This moment, this incredibly imperfect moment is OK. No, it’s not how I imagined it would be. Yes, I would love for it to be different. But it is what it is, and it’s OK.
Imperfectly, I am still sitting on this beach, watching this sunset. My youngest is covered in sand, building memories with his father (well, he probably won’t remember them because he’s three, but we will). My oldest is back at the house, beating his grandfather at Rummy.
Not every memory needs to be perfect to matter. Life doesn’t need to follow a pre-planned path, each day organized for optimal experience, to be right, worthy and wonderful.
Life can be messy. Everything can fall apart – you can break your big toe and strain all the muscles in your foot halfway through your month in Costa Rica – and it’s alright.
A good life is not made up of perfectly executed moments but rather a good life is one full of love, no matter the mess.
And my sudden realization goes a bit deeper… not only need our life not be perfect to be grand, but we need not be perfect to be loved.
I, in fact, don’t have to be perfect to be loved.
Unable to cook for the kids, or wipe poopy bums, or take a shower without help, my sweetheart has loved and cared for me every moment of the last 10 incredibly difficult days. He has not lost his patience once. He has reassured me every time I’ve cried.
And right here I am brave enough to say I would not have been so patient were the roles reversed. You see, I expect perfection. From life. From myself. From those around me.
Oh, the joys I am missing because of that foolish expectation!
And so I go even deeper in this new found respect for imperfection…
I don’t have to be perfect to love myself.
I can love the imperfection in me. I can love the mistakes. I can love the parts of me that are not ideal. I do not need to withhold love to any degree, awaiting some unattainable achievement of an ideal self.
How did I not know all this before??
In this moment it seems so simple.
Of course life is not perfect. Of course we are not perfect. And yet there is still love. Deep, true, authentic love.
Imperfections and all.
Sitting here, as the sun made it’s final dip below the horizon, with my busted foot on an upside down sand bucket, there’s love.