A few weeks ago, my family and I spent spring break in Florida. It was a “perfect” vacation away from work and all the stresses of life. After Easter Sunday Mass, we took a family picture. The “perfect” family photo (see picture below).

I’m not a big fan of posting personal photos on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, but I decided to text our holiday family picture to a couple dozen close family and friends throughout the world.

Some folks responded back, “Beautiful Family”, “You are Blessed” and “Awesome Photo”! But a handful of friends texted back, “Perfect Family”.

It got me thinking.

I am blessed. I do understand why some folks may think I have the “perfect” family and the “perfect” life. Our last fourteen Christmas cards over the last 15 years look like it…”perfect”!

“Perfect” marriage. “Perfect” three children. “Perfect” home. “Perfect” career. “Perfect” health. Perfect…perfect…perfect.

Oh, if only our daily lives lived out like our Christmas cards!

Here’s how “perfect” our lives have been over the last few years.

I’ve been wrongfully sued by a former business partner, had a lifetime restraining order put on someone causing harm to me and my family, was betrayed by a longtime friend, am losing over $10,000 a month owning a Jersey Mike’s Sub shop, skin cancer surgery (me), appendectomy (Jill), kitchen refrigerator water line broke and flooded our entire kitchen causing tens of thousands of dollars of damage, one kid dealing with severe OCD, another…like me…dealing with ADHD and learning challenges. And, sadly of all, Jill losing her father and brother within twelve months.

Oh, and that “perfect” Spring Break family vacation we went on three weeks ago…well it was a disaster. A business deal I was working on the months and the week before crept into my family vacation. The businessman I was trying to close the deal with kindly gave me a “sign this document by Friday by 5:00pm or the deal is off”…knowing that I was on vacation with my family.

One thing I know for sure, life is never perfect. And anyone that tells you that is either lying or delusional.

Last year Jill and I received almost 500 Christmas and holiday cards. Every card looked perfect and every family looked…you guessed it…perfect. Perfect for as long as it took to click the photo. And perfect for as long as it took to lick the envelope. Click and lick and then life takes over!

But that is the beauty of it all. Through all the challenges and hardships my family and I have lived through these past few years, I love and admire my wife even more today than ever before. Our three children still all have ten fingers and ten toes. We know who our true family and friends are. And, because we own a sub shop, our kids get free school lunches. It’s all about perspective!

I’ve learned that life is going to throw us curve balls. And if our lives (and careers) are only throwing us fast balls straight down the middle of the plate…then we need to change up the pitches. Curve balls build character, grow humility and can (if you let them) bring love and joy into our lives.

Life is not perfect. Our careers are not perfect. Marriages are not perfect. Children are not perfect. And the people in all those holiday cards…they are not perfect either. But what I’ve grown to embrace is that you and I are, “perfectly” imperfect. And nothing is more beautiful! Welcome the curve balls in life…and swing for the fence!