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Less than perfect.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks, with lots of work, plenty of socializing, and a root canal (which I can only attribute to a bad Neptune transit). And I’ve been spending a lot of time over at my new office, painting everything in sight. Despite my best intentions and hours of time I could ill afford, none of it is perfect. I ran out of paint before I could put a second coat on the walls, so it looks a little blotchy in places. I accidentally bought an oil-based polyurethane for the floor instead of water-based, and rather than schlep all the way across town for a replacement I used floor wax over the white paint, which immediately turned it the same color as very old, very well-used dentures. There is a water stain on the ceiling that is too high for me to reach, so I’ll be living with it. So none of it is perfect; I have enough Virgo planets to wish it were, and to beat myself up a bit for my haste and laziness, but apparently not enough to keep me on task.

Truth is, it’s a habit of mine to settle for less than perfection (except in my choice of spouse, of course – hi dear!). I’ve had the kind of life that put perfection patently out of reach early on; I’ve never had a chance of getting anywhere close to the perfect figure, the perfect career, the perfect family life, or even, apparently, perfect teeth. There’s a sadness to that, and occasionally the sense of wishing one could trade in a beat-up old life for a shiny new one. Maybe in my next life I’ll take my time and do it all right the first time. Maybe I’ll lay off all those cans of Pepsi in high school and never get that first filling.

This time around, though, I’ve found that there is a certain relaxation that comes with giving up on perfection and making do with what comes your way. For instance, if I squint and tilt my head the right way, the blotchy paint on the walls looks a little like a faux finish. If I use my imagination, the yellowed floor looks nicely antiqued. And I’ve learned all kinds of interesting things about endodontics.

It’s a grand mess of a life. I wonder how perfectionists get anything done. I’d rather get five things done reasonably well in a day than one thing perfectly. I’m pretty sure that makes me a bad person; at least, my Pluto in Virgo thinks so.