One of Phoebe’s friends had her birthday party at Blanc Palette, a art studio where they let everyone become an artist. The little group of girls painted a picture of Elsa from Disney’s Frozen. Step by step the art instructor led them through the palette color by color. In the end each five year old had a masterpiece to sign. Phoebe’s signature started a little too close to the edge for her name, but she not did pause. Instead she just headed back the other direction writing “b-e” to finish her name.
In her world there was no problem. She did not need to follow a linear, left to right, path. So the “b” and “e” reversed and moved right to left – no big deal. Every letter appeared on the page in the right order. It was her name. Her signature.
My perfectionism could use a little drop of this mindset. If I had been writing my name, “S-e-a-“, only to run out of space. I would have been perplexed. Stressed. Trying to find a way to scrunch the last letters. Granted, as an adult, I should know how to fit my name. But I stress at any mistake – even little signature mistakes, which do not matter. I will ponder errors from my Sunday message. I will rehash conversations. Even sillier, I lament when I am wrong about trivia facts (I thought it was an old wive’s tale to not shower during a thunderstorm, until I got electrocuted – seriously, until I was corrected).
Worse, after one of these moments, I look back at the art and all I can see is the signature. All I can see is my mistake.
But Phoebe let it go. For that matter she did not even notice the error. For her it is all a part of the masterpiece. She is right.