Friday, August 28, 2009

Is Good Enough Really Good Enough?

Why does "good enough" seem like an insult? What exactly is the 'enough' implying because it never really seems to be interpreted as actually enough. Why do I feel ashamed most of the time that I'm not a perfectionist? I think, especially as a mother and a wife, it's hard to feel like you're ever doing enough, that you're ever doing things perfect.

That can spill over into other aspects of life as well. We're pulled in so many directions that maybe we're not giving a hundred percent to any one thing. Or even if we are giving our all, the outcome doesn't seem to portray that. I think this is what my pity pot a few nights ago stemmed from.

For instance, I like to draw. A lot. I'm better than many, but I wouldn't call myself a natural artist. I've been told now by two people who also like to draw that they don't do it anymore, because they're "perfectionists." I guess I could take that to mean that my work is not perfect, like theirs might be. But really, I think the statement might have eluded more to the fact, that just from a quick overview of my house, one can quickly conclude that I'm not a perfectionist. My house is far from spotless, and I'm cluttered. Try as I might, which I do everyday, to clean at least one room, or declutter one area, the house just never looks immaculate. I joke about it with friends, but sometimes I feel disappointed in myself.

Hi, I'm Nicole and I'm not a perfectionist. I also really don't like to cook. I do it, mostly because I have to. Not surprisingly, many of my meals are far from perfect. I take shortcuts. I read directions more as suggestions. It's a patience issue. I don't want to wait for the almond paste to chill for three hours, so I'll chill it for ten minutes, I don't want to mince, so I'll chop, and I make "dirty" mashed potatoes because I can't stand peeling.

I'm taking two classes right now. In my stats class, we complete the homework online and I just finished my first assignment yesterday. I got a ninety-six percent. Pretty good, huh? But guess what? I could do it over. We can do the homework as many times as we want up until the due date, meaning everybody should be able to get a one hundred percent. But I'm not going to redo it. I still got an A. And the bottom line is, I don't have the time. It took me forty-five minutes to complete, and I would have to start all over and repeat every question. So I'll keep my ninety-six.

That's okay. It doesn't make me a slacker. It was good enough. I need to decide which things in my life I really need to work on perfecting. The things which are most critical for my well-being and that of my children's. And so, as long as the food I'm serving is edible and tasty, does it matter, that it doesn't have the appearance of something from a fancy restaurant? As long as I like what I'm drawing and I'm not selling my artwork, isn't that what should count? Are a few extra things laying around the house going to matter to my children when they're grown or are they going to remember, rather, that I spent time with them?

That's what I need to perfect. My relations with my family and my relationship with God. And to be honest, I will never achieve perfection. I will only grow. God didn't make me perfect. He made me fallible and that' s the way I learn how to better myself. He doesn't allow us to make mistakes so we can feel inferior to others, or like we're failures in His sight, but so that we can see where there's room for improvement. But it's an unending process and each day maybe we get a little closer to who we're really meant to be.

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