“Don’t let Perfect be the enemy of Good” -Voltaire
“The Happiness Project“ by Gretchen Rubin touched on this quite a bit and it has been a mantra of mine since reading it.
I’m in the throes of the third trimester and, because of the increasing fatigue and discomfort, am unable to do a lot. But what can I do? So often, this is a question I ask myself one day, hour, minute, and moment at a time. When I’m overwhelmed, I think, “what can I do in the next five minutes that will make a visible impact?” Can I perfectly deep clean the kitchen and gut the fridge like I want to? No, but I can get all the dishes in the dishwasher, clear and wipe down the counters and that will make me feel a lot better, and may even take my mind off of the urge to just go take a nap.
I’ve also applied it to things besides just cleaning. Can I read a few pages? Can I write for a few minutes? Can I take the kids on a walk? Can I respond to a couple e-mails?
Sound pathetic? I know.
I’ve just been so overwhelmed. If I can’t do something the way it should be done, then I don’t even want to touch it. It’s this perfection paralysis. Instead of doing what can be done and feeling a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been so much happier by simply doing a little work and a little play, taking some deep breaths, and dumping clutter off at Good Will. (See? Good is enough for Will, it’s good enough for me too)
I want to be so many things, and I used to think I’d just grow into that ideal version of myself, but I’m realizing that it’s going to take a lot of intention and effort, a lot of baby steps, a lot of “5 minute tidy”s and quite a few afternoon cups of coffee. It’s going to take some prying of my fingers off of “perfect” and some true appreciation for good. Humility, pride, goals, and grace.
Sometimes good, is as perfect as it gets. It leaves more room in my days and heart to pause and appreciate all that I have.