I've recently discovered the Japanese concept of Wabi-sabi; to simplify it to the extreme (which, frankly, is the only way I know it) it means to find beauty in imperfection and to accept life's impermanence.
"[Wabi-sabi] nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.
Isn't that lovely? I feel like I can exhale.
Even before discovering this concept, I've been embracing wabi-sabi. Maybe it's a reaction to mass-produced goods, maybe it's searching for authenticity. It quite possibly is a reaction to the relentless pursuit of perfection we have drilled into our brains, but I've become increasingly disenchanted by perfection. I simply don't trust it anymore.
I refuse to drive my husband's new car until he gets a little scratch on it. I didn't feel like my own car was mine until the rugs got a little mud on them. It's just too stressful, driving out in the real world in a spotless car.
It's the same with new clothes -- I like to wear them as soon as I buy them so that they've been broken in before a big event. I don't like the way clothes look when you can tell they're new, they make me feel like I'm in a costume. Clothes need a few washes to truly be mine.
Another thing I like about wabi-sabi is that it's not about neglect -- in fact you're supposed to respect things and yourself by taking care of them. I seek order and like to keep a clean house. But I think that the scratches on the floor and the little cracks on the windows are what truly make it a home.