Hoping to cross one more thing off of my ever growing list, I called the number on the slip I held in my hand a few hours early, hoping that the drycleaning gods would work in my favor.  

The person on the receiving end dashed my hopes almost instantly, stating that not only would my shirt NOT be finished early, but it would not be done by 5pm as guaranteed.  She said it might not even be done until THE NEXT DAY.  Something about difficulties and running behind schedule.

Does the small stuff in life ever get to you?

The clerk didn’t seem to understand my frustration, or care for that matter.


I said “ok” and hung up.  But I wasn’t ok. 

I wanted to talk to the manager.  Maybe that was the manager?  

I wanted to call back and demand free drycleaning for a year.  That would teach them to stick to a schedule!

Do you ever feel yourself just itching to overreact?

I remember as a kid struggling for what seemed like years trying to learn to ride a bike and being so very angry at, and offended by, the bike each time it threw me off.  

At that moment with the tiny drycleaning bit of paper in my hand, I felt like that kid again.

Then I remembered, that kid grew up and getting worked up over extremely mild daily inconveniences was truly stewing over small potatoes.  

After all, I had other shirts and had already planned to be in town again tomorrow.

Suddenly I found myself getting curious about how often I let myself down in small ways that I then get angry about and deem unacceptable.

Even though I teach and do my best to live by the Principles of Imperfect Best, my inner perfectionist can still scream for hours on end like a two-year-old who dropped his ice cream.

On my way home, I saw a bumper sticker that read “Be Kind.”  I decided that was sage advice for my afternoon that didn’t pan out as I would’ve liked.

I resolved to be kind to myself and others and even that annoying perfectionist that gets a tremendous kick out of blowing his bull horn inside my noggin’.  

Yep, sometimes we have to learn the same lessons over and over again.

Oh, AND thank goodness my drycleaning was late!

JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment.  He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.

He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “Doing your Imperfect Best ™”.

His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.