Saturday, January 22, 2011

"It's Good Enough"

This is the "motto" of my older daughter and her best friend...."it's good enough".  I think they came up with it while on their fourth or fifth attempt at making a purse/messenger bag thing out of duct tape.  Yes, duct tape.  A few years ago I think someone made a prom dress out of duct tape, and boom! it's a new trend.  Look around at T.arget or Catan's, you'll see 7 or 8 colorful varieties of duct tape.  Just wait, you or your husband will be using it next, to seal the leak on the sink pipe or something.  I am currently using some duct tape to keep the computer plugged in, because the cats/dog keep bumping into the outlet to look out the window, and the plug moves .0001 cm and the computer screen goes black. I love our pets but this is a bit annoying to say the least!

I digress....sorry.....

Anyway, I have to admit I was somewhat impressed that K and her friend had come up with this little phrase, in relation to a probably-somewhat-challenging project.  I would not want to try and do anything with duct tape, other than the obvious fix-it stuff, so I give the girls a lot of credit for attempting and finishing the bags!  Plus, I know K, and I know that if I had tried to do such a project with her, she would quickly have gotten frustrated, I would have gotten frustrated with her, and that would have been the end of that.  Picture big snarls of colorful duct tape, stuck to the tablecloth.  So the fact that the two girls figured out a way to get through this project without letting it frustrate them, impressed me.  My husband was not as impressed with the "it's good enough" phrase; I think his reaction was that it was just a rationalization for settling for a mediocre effort...but I think his reaction also stems from his natural parental worry that his kids don't push themselves hard enough. 

So, I was doubly impressed with the "it's good enough" phrase, coming from K and her friend, because they are only 11 years old yet they've struck on something I think people in general don't say to themselves enough.  Now, by this I mean, I think humans are often very hard on themselves - women perhaps much more so than men.  We pick on ourselves mentally, thinking our clothes aren't good enough, our hair isn't good enough, our financial status isn't good enough.  I'm not saying we should all become total and complete slackers at the job called 'life'!!  Not at all.  I'm just saying, I think people should slow down, assess the positive aspects of their lives, and for at least one moment in time say "hey, that's good enough"!  The house IS clean enough, for now.  The efforts at being a good parent ARE good enough, for now.   Your efforts at being a good person, at thinking beyond yourself sometimes, are good enough for this moment.  I guess, just breathe for a moment and appreciate all the "good enough" stuff in one's life that are happening right now, that don't necessarily need to be fiddled with. 

For me, this means I need to be more present for my kids - I need to realize that my parenting efforts thus far have been good enough, that I should relax and just enjoy my kids already - because for me to show my daughters that parenting is enjoyable IS good enough parenting, for now.  Sure there are things I need to work on and improve in this area - but constantly beating myself up mentally is not productive.  I stress about alot of things - even this blog, for instance - do I post enough, do people like reading what I write, should write about PWS more, etc. etc - BUT, for right now, this is good.  I wanted to "say what I needed to say", and I'm doing that.  I think the "good enough" phrase could be used more often in the area of marriage, as well - I should know, as I am totally guilty of thinking "is this it?  Bills we can't pay, kids that fight, a house that needs work...this is marriage??"  But you know what?  It's good enough for now....and let me say something else...20 years from now I will probably look back on things that I currently think are just good, and think instead that those parts of my life were actually pretty d*mn good and I just didn't recognize how good it was!!

It's kind of funny....isn't "it's good enough" exactly what duct tape is all about?  Something needs fixing, and you need to do something about it but all you have is duct tape, so you wrap some tightly around whatever it is, and you can sleep that night because "it's good enough" for that moment.  You do still need to address the problem with a much more permanent and lasting solution, but at least the duct tape lets you get through the night.  You can't rely on the tape forever since the adhesive does dry up, but it does allow you to move one step forward towards a resolution to the problem.

So I guess my advice is, people should stop beating themselves up about things which they are trying to make 100% absolutely perfect.  It's good enough for now....if it's something that you genuinely need to work on, it will rise to the top of your life and sit there...and THEN you can adress it.

Later y'all,

1 comment:

Rachel said...

I like it! I think there are areas of my life where I need to relax and say good enough to! Very thoughtful post!