Friday, December 18, 2015

Spirits of Blog Posts Past: The Good Enough Blog Post

Photo courtesy Laure Ferlita
This originally ran in December of 2011. The thoughts expressed are once again on my mind, so instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m reposting it. I’m pretty sure we could all use reminding.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of Good Enough. The painting trip to NOLA focused my attention on the concept as I created sketchbook pages that were far from perfect, but were “good enough” for their purpose: to help me remember a captivating place and group of people.

For me, that’s the biggest blessing: Good Enough is an antidote to perfectionism. How many times do we avoid trying new things, obsess over details, or become stalled by the idea that something must be Perfect, or even its cousin Really Good, before it sees the light of day? (I know this blog post could be better—I could spend hours “perfecting” it, but it still wouldn’t be “perfect.” I’ve already delayed posting it once because it wasn’t—you guessed it—Good Enough.)

The holiday season is a good time to focus on the concept of Good Enough. How easy it is to fall into the trap of searching for the “perfect” gift, decorating the house perfectly, cooking up delicious and special Christmas treats, and so on. All this on top of your regular, everyday life and its responsibilities! Frankly, that way lies madness and sitting in a corner, slugging down eggnog and biting the heads off gingerbread men on Christmas morning.

Good Enough can be excellent. Or it can be average. It’s not settling, but as author Heather Sellers writes, “It’s celebrating the truth. Good Enough means you know when to quit.” It’s up to us to decide what gets our time, resources and attention—and how much of those resources we are willing to spend. Everything we do cannot be Perfect. I’m sorry, but it just can’t be.

So how can we embrace Good Enough? By applying the three Ls:

Lower our standards. Don’t have time to cook an entire holiday meal from scratch? I know from experience that many grocery stores have really fine options for the harried holiday hostess. Can’t work out for an hour? Take a 15-minute walk. Something is better than nothing, and it will keep us in the exercise habit.

Laugh when things go wrong, or don’t quite come out the way we envisioned. Laughter is a better option than tears, and others are more likely to relax and go with the flow when they see that we’re not overly bothered by the unexpected.

Love the opportunity, love the process, love the result. Sometimes we (I) forget that life is an adventure, full of new experiences, not all of which will seem “good” on the surface. It’s all a process, leading to the result of a full, rich life.

And repeat after me: Good Enough is…Good Enough.

Has there been a time when you’ve embraced Good Enough and found the outcome was just fine, or even better than you expected?

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5 comments:

Laure Ferlita said...

Gret post and as true today as it was four years ago!

Laure Ferlita said...

**Great** not gret. (Odd how it auto corrects in this post but not in the original. Grrr, blogger!

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Thanks, Laure. Guess Blogger was sleeping during your original post!

Debbie Nolan said...

Dear Kathy great thoughts. Oddly I am learning this same lesson. My motto this Christmas season has been "do the best you can and leave perfection to God. He is the one in the business of perfect." Hope you have a lovely Christmas and a wonderful new year.

Kathy A. Johnson said...

Debbie--Thank you so much! I hope you do as well, and that you revel in the perfectly imperfect holiday season.