a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Theme: Mottos

< by Jill >

It was 4th grade and Ms. Adams had passed out the quarterly book-fair leaflet. As she droned on about Laura Ingalls Wilder or some other 4th-grade topic, I studied the pages, drawing crisp checkmarks next to my selections:

  • A poster of two nuzzling puppies
  • A holographic dolphin bookmark
  • A copy of Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days by Dr. K. Pinkerton Silverfish

Be a Perfect Person in Just Three DaysFailing to sniff the cover’s humorous overtones — it depicted a boy wearing a crown of broccoli as a pendant necklace — I decided that it was time for me to apply the wisdom in this illustrious guidebook and make the full transition from flawed to infallible.

After much begging, my mom consented to purchase the poster of nuzzling puppies and the paperback version of Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days. (“You have enough bookmarks,” she insisted.)

When the book fair arrived and I received the long-awaited manual for perfection, I tore through it at lightspeed. In only a few pages I learned that this book would not make me perfect. If anything, it would make me look stupid and smell bad — it suggested rubbing your wrists with raw garlic instead of perfume.

I finished the book and shelved it. But I did get the message — the quest for perfection is elusive and stupid. So instead of searching out new avenues for getting everything right all the time, I started to latch on to mottos and live in accordance with them. Here’s one of my favorites:

Fail to plan, plan to fail.*

*And thus I became a list-maker.

Stay tuned for more mottos for living an imperfect, but productive life!

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