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Keeping a white toilet seat to remind us we don’t have to be perfect

A few weeks ago I bought a white toilet seat for the downstairs bathroom. Our toilet seat had been blue for the past two years. And now it was time to change it.  I wanted a toilet seat that matched the rest of the toilet. I bought a white toilet seat.

You don't have to be perfect

I put the new toilet seat on the sink in the bathroom, and left it there for a few days. I was busy taking our new puppy outside and cleaning the seven litter boxes, so I didn’t get a change to put the new toilet seat on.

“Mom, the new toilet seat is white. It doesn’t match the toilet.”

“No, it matches. The toilet is white. ”

My daughter tried to tell me several times the toilet seat I bought was the wrong color. But, I didn’t listen. Of course the white toilet seat I bought matched the white toilet.

I installed the white toilet seat, and threw away the packaging.

“Mom, the new toilet seat is white. It doesn’t match the toilet.”

“No, it matches.”

It was several days later when I actually looked closely at the new white toilet seat. My daughter was right. It didn’t match. The toilet seat is white, the toilet is a cream color.

Oh, no I made a mistake! I am not perfect!

I wanted to rip the white toilet seat off and toss it in the trash, run out the door, and drive as fast as is legally possible, taking full stops at the five stops signs on the way to the hardware store and buy a new cream colored toilet seat.

How could I ever let people see that I am not perfect? What if someone came to visit me and they had to go to the bathroom? They would see my white toilet seat. They might think less of me. “Seriously? The toilet seat doesn’t match! How can she actually expect me sit on a white toilet seat when the rest of the toilet is cream. She is useless. She is a failure at buying toilet seats.”

Are you afraid of making a mistake?

Do you hesitate to start a project because you are worried you might make a mistake? Are you worried your project won’t be perfect?

Well now, I can’t write that story because I can’t do it perfectly. And, I won’t dare learn how to dance because I might make a mistake. What if I fall? The canvas will see no paint because I might not do it perfectly. What if my painting of a cow looks like a donkey?

It’s far better to write something than it is to write nothing while trying to achieve perfection.
Nathan Barry — Authority

My white toilet seat will remain on my cream-colored toilet for the rest of this year. It will serve as a reminder to me and to you; we don’t have to be perfect.

You don’t have to be perfect

Write your story. Write imperfectly; get it all out. Then go back and edit. No editing until the story is all down.

Study dance. Go ahead, fall. Then get back up. Dance imperfectly.

Paint your cow. And if your cow looks like a donkey, make another painting. Paint until your painting looks like the cow in your mind.

Do you ever hesitate to start a project because you are worried it might not be perfect? Please let me know, I would love to chat. And please ignore the white toilet seat. Or buy a mismatched one to replace your toilet seat. A sort of toilet seat soilidarity.

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Other stories on ipaintiwrite about being Perfect

2013 was the year of the Blue Toilet Seat, a reminder to be bold. To live a colorful life and not do only what is expected of us.
( It appears in this story I knew the toilet was a cream color. Apparently I forgot.)

My first blog post. January 1st, 2012 Living in a perfect world

Does everything have to be perfect to write?

Perfect is a 4 letter word



About Pamela Hodges

I write slice of life stories to help you know you are loved, valuable and worthy just as you are. I am a writer, an artist, and a cleaner of seven litter boxes. I live in Pennsylvania with one husband, four cats, one dog and two birds.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • La McCoy

    How is Annie doing. Edel asks every day?

  • Enjoyed this story. And I’m so glad that you admit you are not perfect. Then we can be friends.

  • JeNan Merrill

    Believe it or not, I thought of this post when I went to church yesterday. I had chosen a green top and cream sweater to wear, not because they matched each other, but because they coordinated with a scarf I was going to wear. Green and blue and singing of spring. As I sat in church I realized I had forgotten to put on the scarf. Definitely I am not perfect.

    • Hello JeNan,
      I love your Sunday story of “The Forgotten Scarf.” I assume no one pointed out your lack of perfection. And, I assume those you sit beside wouldn’t have noticed because you were wearing a smile and singing of spring.
      And, how fun you thought of my white toilet seat story when you were at church.

  • Sue Sutherlin

    Doesn’t the white toilet seat match the cream-colored toilet just as well as the blue one did? Do you have more than one bathroom, so that if someone is offended by the non-matching toilet seat, they have another choice? I am so glad to know that if you had decided to run right out to correct this miserable faux pas, you would have stayed within the legal speed limit and actually stopped at the stop signs . . . I’m relieved to know you would at least maintain that aspect of your perfection. 😀

    • Hello Sue,
      Your humor is making me giggle. Yes, I would have gone the speed limit. The white toilet seat was tragic, but not worth a speeding ticket.
      And, a good point. I could have guests use the upstairs bathroom that has a white toilet seat and a white toilet, if they were offended by the non-matching toilet seat. As It matches.
      May you have a wonderfully imperfect day Sue.

  • DA Schuhow

    Made me giggle 😉

  • Krithika Rangarajan

    Aah – this one is my FAVORITE story!

    I have been receiving a lot of messages about the ‘epidemic of busyness’, ‘ignoring what you want to do out of fear’, ‘falling into the perfection mind-trap’. Your article is another reminder from the Universe to throw caution to wind and just start working on a dream of mine! <3

    ENJOYEd this honest, hilarious and heartfelt post, Pamela #HUGS

    OODLES of love

    • Hello Dear Kitto and a head scratch to Oreo,

      Oh, I am so curious to know what your project is. I wish you all my best on your new adventure being bold.


  • Berdeane Bodley

    Pamela, just think how much closer you are getting to the cream colored toilet, for the last 2 years the toilet seat was blue, now it is white, much closer to the cream color, give it another 2 years and you can try again……….good on ya Pamela !!!

    • Hello Mother,

      Yes, in two years I will buy a cream colored toilet seat. I wonder what I will learn from that shopping trip?
      Love your daughter

  • Katina Vaselopulos

    Good morning, Pamela! You are perfect inside just as you are!

    Perfection does not mean doing perfect all the time. Perfection is taking hints and growing from mistakes. The Greek philosopher, Aristotle, said that excellence is achieved with practice. That’s why we are in this life: To practice excellence, a step at a time.


    • Hello Katina,
      Thank you for your kind words. Your words of encouragement mean so much.

      And I shall practice excellence, one step at a time. Thank you for sharing Aristotle with me.