ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Unexpected Joy of Imperfection

Updated on March 9, 2010

#7 in Reflections of Life's Unexpected Joys

The Unexpected Joy of Imperfection

August 2007

Striving for imperfection doesn’t really seem like something to teach your children. But as I have discovered there are definite benefits to embracing imperfection at times. I don’t think I’m a perfectionist. I certainly do not do anything perfectly. However, I always wish things were perfect and I always feel a little bothered by the imperfections, so I suppose I must have perfectionist tendencies. So this summer, when I was the gardener in charge of a very imperfect garden, I felt some stress.

Looking out my back window at the garden that was more weeds than vegetables I felt a distinct sense of failure and I had vague thoughts of possibly not planting a garden next spring since I obviously don’t take care of it. I grew up in farm country where people have gardens so neat and tidy that it looks like someone sweeps between the rows. These are the gardens I am striving towards and mine certainly didn’t measure up. There really were some good reasons (sort of) for having such a weedy garden. It rained so often this summer that it was hard to get out there. When it was nice there were always other jobs that took precedence and the mosquitoes and black flies were absolutely loving the cool, rainy summer. Therefore, weeding was really no fun at all and very easy to neglect. So with these dismal thoughts I wondered if I would bother next year. But that was before the pea plants had peas and the bean plants had beans. When these things arrived, the children had so much fun tramping through the garden looking for the vegetables that I began to enjoy having a garden again.

What a joy it was for me to look out my window and see the kids crouching down picking vegetables and enjoying them fresh. It was fun to work outside along with them picking peas and filling our buckets. It was fun to enjoy the fresh vegetables at supper with my family. And as I watched my small tribe of kids tramping through the garden pulling up a few carrots here, a few leaves of lettuce there and some peas and beans I was so thankful that my garden wasn’t picture perfect. Would I allow my young ones freedom to go tramping around, pulling up vegetables at will in a picture perfect garden? In an award winning garden? In a garden that magazine editors were begging to photograph? I think not! Where would be the joy in barring my children from the garden? This weedy garden, with bare patches where plants failed to thrive and other overcrowded spaces, with flowers waving cheerily at the front border, this garden with slugs hiding under the pea plants because I didn’t get around to staking them up as the package suggested, this is a garden that children can enjoy and this mother can experience joy from watching their excitement. Will I try to weed more diligently next year? I hope so. Will I ever have a perfect garden? No, I doubt it, but I think I will always have a garden which welcomes children. That is a garden worth having.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)