My friend Alex came to visit me for a week. Whenever I have guests, I do everything I can to make their visit enjoyable. Since Alex was going to be my first guest in my Guatemala house, I really wanted everything to be “perfect.”
Of course, whenever we want things to be perfect, the opposite seems to happen, and this time was no exception.
A few days before Alex got to Guatemala, the water pump in the town started having problems. To fix it, the town decided to shut down the water supply. For two days, we would have water briefly in the morning (long enough to fill up buckets, tubs, pilas (large outdoor sinks), etc.), and then it would be out for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, the two-day plan didn’t work. Something couldn’t be repaired so it had to be replaced. Add on two more days, starting with the day that Alex arrived.
It is a long trip to get here from California. While it is only about 5,000 miles, a flight here usually includes a long layover in Guatemala City because there are just a few flights a day to the jungle. By the time Alex got here he had been traveling for about 19 hours. A shower would have been nice, but there was no water. I felt badly that I couldn’t offer this simple thing to my friend. We made the best of it by swimming in the lake to cool down and remove some of the grime from the day. Finally, on the third day we got water. (I kept water in the tub just in case.)
And then the power went out that night. We lit candles, ate the last of my birthday cake, and laughed. We went outside and marveled at the gazillion stars in the sky. We talked about how, in earlier times, the setting of the sun indicated it was time to go to sleep. We put the flashlights underneath our faces to look as scary as possible.
Luckily the power came back on in the middle of the night, and we started Day 4 of Alex’s visit with both water and electricity.
At some point on Day 2 I let go of my desire for everything to be “perfect.” The water and electricity were completely out of my control. The best I could do was try to plan for the lack of either and let the rest be. And I realized that imperfection is actually good because it makes for a funny memory that we can talk about for years to come.
Where can you let go in your life, allow for imperfection, and have more fun?