One of the most natural, knee-jerk responses when we’re blamed for something is to defend ourselves. (No?…Is it just me? Now, I’m doubting the very first line of this post…) Let’s just pretend this is the case. I always liked the line in that Waylon Jennings song, “I’ve been busted for things that I did and I didn’t do.” I’ve definitely been caught red handed. And, I’ve been busted for things of which I was totally innocent. Now, I’m not talking court of law stuff, here. I mean Friday night stories told around the water cooler Monday morning. Misbehavin’. I marvel at the goodie-goodies of life and wonder how in the world they manage to enjoy their life playing by all the rules. And, I”ve kind of made a mockery of them for it. Ok, I’ve totally done full on, sarcastic impersonations of them. Likely, it was following a stern lecture from a person in a position of authority, be it the company president, a wing commander back in the day, a cop…I just sometimes struggle to do the right thing. As I’ve gotten older, this rebel syndrome will go into regression for long periods of time, but suddenly, and without warning, it stretches, yawns and says, “Meh, screw it. Park there anyway. They won’t tow you.” Why can I NOT just drive 5 more minutes and find a legal parking space? Probably because of the times it’s worked out, I didn’t get a parking ticket, or even better, found my car not missing, so I mentally flipped off the “Unauthorized vehicles will be towed,” sign as I was backing out of that scandalous parking spot. But, could it be more simple than that? Could it be that I’m not just on a mission to get by with everything I possibly can? I’m definitely not of the belief, “The rules don’t apply to me.” And, I do care, a lot, about “getting in trouble.” So, why do I find the goodie-goodie syndrome so unappealing? I think the world needs to lighten UP. I do. I know that the chances of that answer ever getting me out of a bad situation are exactly zero. But, I’m just not a rule stickler. I don’t care if YOU park in the tow-away zone, either. Good on ya. You’re probably a light hearted rockstar that feels the same way. Or, maybe you’re a self-centered jerk who DOES believe the rules don’t apply to you. Either way, it’s not my business what your faults are. The fact is, we all have them. And, we spend far too much time putting them under the magnifying glass, diminishing the larger part of our persona that is inherently good. I do it, too. Rebellion is not my sole fault, as it turns out. I am horrible at staying in touch with my friends, although I think of them pretty much everyday of my life. I beat myself up for not shooting them a text or picking up the phone to say, “I only have 5 minutes right now, but I just need to say I love you, you’re on my mind a lot and I am really looking forward to the next time we’re in the same city/country.” Boom. In the time it took to type that, I could let someone dear to me know my silence is anything but the lack of them being on my radar. What else…let’s see: I leave my dishes in the sink at night. Often. And, every morning, I wish I’d taken the time to run the dishwasher so I could wake up to a clean kitchen. I wait to replenish the fridge, oh, about three days after the last healthy morsels are cleaned out. I can be snarky. (I just googled the definition of “snarky” to make sure that’s what I was. I am.) I procrastinate. I’ve written an entire article on it. These trivial things amount to innocent faults. Robbing a bank, not a trivial fault. Throat punching a stranger for donning a mullet? That’s criminal, your fault, but not “a” fault. Hit and run, nope. I’m talking about the little things that you do, repeatedly, that really cause you to dislike that part of yourself. Self acceptance and denial are, in my opinion, polar opposites. One of these sees the humanness of imperfection and owns such. The latter pretends imperfection is something that only plagues others. Guess what? That’s a fault. So, do we all get together and throw a “Yay, flaws!” party and celebrate our shortcomings? Eh, probably not. But, cut yourself some slack. You aren’t going to wake up a goodie-goodie tomorrow and be on time for everything, meal prep for the week, have your outfits matched and planned for the next five days, schedule your dental cleaning for 6 months out, return every call, pay your bills the first day they’re due, take your dog in for his shots a week early…I threw up in my mouth a little bit just thinking of all those goodie things. But, you can own your flaws and still fully love and accept yourself. Unacceptable, jerk-wad behavior? Don’t fully love and accept that. Work on it, for the rest of us, for the love of God. But, get down with your funky defects. Stop focusing on what you do wrong, it only holds you back and further promotes that flaw. Instead, look at your characteristics, your personality, your qualities and tell me you don’t see one pretty damn fine human being. Because, you are. The only thing that comes between all of us, on the large scale, is we possess different flaws. Right down to differences in politics (which you will NEVER read about when you visit my blog) Differences in beliefs are something that will exist til the end of time. When it becomes a flaw is when we demean the other side for their stupidity, because it is glaringly obvious to us that we are right. (Cue Jeopardy buzzer for wrong answer) Major flaw! Some have an easier time than others embracing their character blemishes. Maybe to a fault. Which, means that’s your “fault”. But, hey, I’m not here to judge, because that would be a fault. At the end of the day, if you have not harmed another, if you did your best to be a decent human, if you obeyed most of the rules, that’s definitely a sexy component of who you are and the rest should be grace and practice. I was told early on as a jumper, if you wanna hit an obstacle (hangar, parked airplane, runway) focus on that obstacle. Look in the direction you want to go and know that your imperfections are a part of a whole, and really get that you are who you are, in part, because of these quirks. The goodie-goodies are anomalies. I swear. They remind me of the Stepford Wives. Or Husbands. But, they cannot break a rule. To me, that’s a flaw. Only because I am utterly mystified by their kind. Are you sensing I simultaneously feel both inferior and superior to these beings? When it comes down to it, if I could wave a wand and be a rule stickler or keep my flaws, you’d still catch me slowly rolling through a few stop signs. I am not striving for perfection, and I sincerely hope you aren’t, either. Because, then, we can’t be friends. Seriously, breathe easier today and try just shrugging at owning your most despised flaws. Maybe look in the mirror and say, “Dayum. You sexy thang.” Sexy, because it isn’t just physicality- far from it…it’s every little thing that makes us, us. It’s every beautiful and messy part that is uniquely our shining selves. So, the next time you see some chick in stilletos and aviators, illegally parked…wave at me. Peace, Sexy Warriors.