Practice Makes Perfect. Here is a picture of me being Not Perfect. I am a human being and therefore flawed. I don't know about you, but no matter how hard I try, I will never be perfect.
And yet, how many times have you heard that in your life? Over and Over and (OVER) again. Parents said it, teachers said it, neighbors said it, total strangers said it throughout my childhood. And well, if you hear something enough times, you start to believe it. But you know what, it dawned on me the other day, that, it ain't necessarily so.
There are a LOT of things that I have done for a long time with no visible signs of improvement. Or things I tried to do for a long time with no progress and eventually gave up. Like say, playing tennis or parallel parking. Everyone was glad I stopped trying to parallel park I think. Probably the entire city voted on it. Did you know that when I got my very first drivers license, way way back with I was 17 years old with was...what fifty years ago? (holy crap I'm old!) I failed the parallel portion of the test? Yup. I didn't just fail it, I failed it spectacularly. The only reason I passed the test and actually was given my license is because I aced everything else. I haven't improved a bit since then either.
And here is another example, tennis. Yeah, I totally suck at tennis. No matter how hard I try, I simply do not connect with the ball. As it turns out I have very poor depth perception. I always think I have the ball and the racket lined up and I never do. If I connect with the ball it is an accident. This applies to any sport that involves a me and a ball or ball-like objectg. Which is most of them. And now that I think about it, probably why I cannot parallel park worth a damn either.
So you see, all the practice in the world isn't going to make me perfect at either of those things.
Another thing I'm very bad at and I have no idea why is cleaning windows. I don't mean that part where I don't' want to do it a t all. No, I mean the part where I actually move my arse, collect the necessary equipment and get out there and do the dang job. I make the effort, I mean I really get in there and Do The Job and afterwards it still looks bad. Streaky. And the funny thing (to me) about it all is that when I do bother to wash the windows, inside and out, I always think I did a great job. And then later in the day (or early the next day) when light streams through those windows in just a certain way, THAT is when I see the streaks. And it really ticks me off too. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. But whatever it is, I've been doing it wrong for a Very Long Time.
Let's see what are other times that the old "Practice Make Perfect" fails? Hmmm. Ah! Sewing. Yeah. I cannot sew worth a damn. Takes me a minimum of 15 minutes just to thread the damned needle and then once I've done...whatever I felt compelled to do...it looks awful and rarely lasts very long. But my Nana was and my sister is a whiz at sewing, so you'd think it would be typed right there on my DNA. But nope. Clearly not. And a lifetime of sincere attempts have not improved my sewing skills one dang bit.
Another things I'm no good at is lying. I learned very early on in my life that I'm terrible at it.
I've been told that my face is an open book. It shows whatever I am thinking or feeling regardless of what words are coming out of my mouth. Which also means I should never try to play poker or be a successful criminal. As I understand it, lying plays a big part so I'm out.
It's not like everyone should go around lying on a regular basis. That would be a bad thing. But every once in awhile, as life goes on, we are called upon to tell a falsehood now and again for some reason. Like, "Did you like those vegan, fat free, dairy free, sugar free, chocolate-substitute, eggless, cookies I gave you?". Oh man, that is a tough one. I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings and it was so nice of them to make that "treat" for me but it was awful and I threw it out. If I said that I liked it first of all, they will know just by looking at my face that I'm lying and second, if for some reason they actually believe me, despite the obvious lie, that might encourage them to make me more which would not be good at all. What to do? What to do? It's a terrible dilemma . *I ended up saying that they were very interesting and while I greatly appreciated the opportunity to try something new, they weren't really quite my thing*. I thought that was the road to take but trust me here, feelings were hurt. I'm so sorry :(
Another thing that not only have I always been bad at but I am actually getting worse at despite a lifetime of practice, is penmanship. Mine is appalling! In primary school, all of my grades were very good, A's and B's. Except penmanship. And yes I am so old that that used to be a graded subject. I got terrible penmanship grades. And I was, therefore, was made to practice, endlessly and it did not help one single solitary bit. I am not sure why I have never mastered that particular skill but there it is. At this point, if I ever have to sign something I write very slowly and carefully and put all sorts of effort into making it look like something a real person who have written as opposed to say, a seal or a platypus. When I write something just for myself, like the grocery list for example, usually I am the only person who can read it. And sometimes even I have to stop for a second and ask myself, "What on earth does that say?"
My mother also had terrible penmanship. She would write us lovely long notes in the cards she would send and Tim and I and the boys have to sit down and puzzle out what she wrote. It was like a terrific family mystery game! Letter from Gram! Hurrah! Let's Play! And now that 's me. Sorry kiddos!
Oddly making pancakes is something else I've never mastered. And it's so bizarre because I can cook or bake almost anything else. But pancakes? Just not very good at it. And I have no idea why! They are edible (usually) but not great. Tim, on the other hand, makes terrific pancakes! So in this house, if you are in the mood for pancakes, Tim is the guy you want at the helm.
So that's just a few examples of why I think the old "Practice Makes Perfect" saw needs to be amended. I'm all for practice. It's how I have gotten good at anything that I actually am good at! But perfect is a pretty lofty goal. I am not perfect at ANYTHING. Is anyone perfect? You can be really good at something. In fact you can be the very best of anyone in the world at something. But are you Perfect at it? I'm not sure perfection is even achievable.
How about this instead, Practice makes Better. That one is at least true. Even the things I am the worst at (see list above) at this point in my life, with the notable exception of penmanship, while I'm still terrible at all the things I listed, I am at least better than used to be. And that is so sad it's nearly tragic.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.