I know. Two blogs in one weekend. Watch out.
I had coffee with a friend recently and she truth bombed me. It was just a basic question, but it exposed a piece of me that I don’t love. I denied it at first. Then after mulling it over for another day I had to be honest and let her know that in fact what she said is probably true.
And I’m still turning it over in my mind. (Dang you. Jk).
I used to hate when people “criticized” or “scrutinized” or any of those words that means they saw the real behind my presented parts. I felt attacked when someone pointed out one of my flaws. How dare they think I have any? How dare they suggest that I’m not doing life correctly?
I credit another friend, several years ago, for showing me that it’s good and safe to allow a few trusted friends see the real you and even point out places the real you might be wrong. I learned it’s safe to allow someone to point out flaws in love, with the desired goal to make me better. I learned there are people who can love me well and call me out on my nonsense all at the same time. Because they love me well, they aren’t willing to sit by while I self-destruct.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s probably 5 or 6 people max that are allowed this privilege to varying degrees. And this friend is now one of them because even though it’s been in my brain since she said it, it needs to be because I need to do something with it. I just don’t know what yet.
It has to do with my perfectionism and my all or nothing personality. And all of this has me thinking of a phrase that used to be said at my previous job. It’s a phrase that rubbed me the wrong way from the start. I refused to use it. I hated it that much.
Good enough for now.
What does that even mean? They used it when they needed to put out something that they knew could be better but it needed to be started. They knew they could improve it as they went. It was “good enough for now.”
Nothing ever felt good enough for now to me. I kept tight hold on it until it was as perfect as I knew how to make it. And if someone caught an error later, I secretly died a little inside.
Good enough isn’t a phrase I’ve ever wanted to use. There were lots of things throughout my life that if I couldn’t be the best or really good at, I didn’t want to do them. Why try and fail?
The all or nothing of it all.
But maybe a lot of life is lived in the good enough for now areas I don’t know how to deal with. Maybe by trying something I’m not that great at, I expand myself.
What if I don’t just give up if I can’t be the best? And on the flip slide if I can’t be the best, then maybe I shouldn’t try to just be the worst? it’s the gray middle ground. Yuck. I never know what to do with gray.
But what if I have to live in the good enough. For example, 1000 calories a day is good enough for now. It’s not going to be good enough forever (cuz logistically it’s the caloric requirement of a 2 year old. I looked it up.). Eventually, likely really soon, the bar will get raised. Maybe I don’t give up this time if it’s hard. Maybe I keep doing hard things. Maybe I do it scared but I still do it.
Perfectionism is not a blessing usually. I mean it comes in handy sometimes, but in general I need to figure out how to just be ok. Just be good enough. Take away the pressure of being perfect which is unachievable anyway and just do the best I can.
And maybe while we’re at it, I try releasing the outcome. Double yikes.
Thursday I think I said the serenity prayer to multiple people but mostly to me. I can’t control the things, especially right now. Trying to control them just gets me in trouble. So I need to figure out what I can influence, what I can change and what isn’t for me to touch at all. Maybe here I do what I know I’m good at, and I leave the rest, surrendering the outcome.
I don’t know what happens. And I hate that. I’m not sure how long this present trial lasts and I hate that too. I wish my book had an ending I could have already read to know if I’m going to like it, but life doesn’t work like that.
So here I am in the place where I do things I’m not that good at maybe. And here’s where I grow.