No one is perfect, which is why pencils have erasers. Good enough is good enough. So why do we mess things up by trying to be perfect? There might be some fear involved – fear of making mistakes, fear of disappointing ourselves or others, fear of falling short, fear of success, etc. It may come from our judgement about our worth. It may be about an image (only in our own minds) we created for ourselves to live up to. Whatever the reason, it is a recipe for continual disappointment.
What can we do about it? The answer may be simple, but not easy. For me, I can trace this back to my childhood. I got messages from certain family members, both verbal and through body language, that I had to always be the best. This was a tough message to be carrying around in my head. It caused much distress through high school and university. What made it worse, is that I knew I was not always the best which kept me from participating in certain activities.
Fast forward to the present, I decided there was another side to this story. A new mindset and a new story line was in order. Here’s how my new story goes.
I have reframed “being” the best to “doing” my best. If I do my best each day knowing my best will vary from day to day., that is perfectly good enough.
Another part of this new story has to do with mistakes. As I was growing up, I never got the message that it is alright to make mistakes. It is alright to be wrong now and then. What I know now, of course, is that mistakes can be a good thing, They are how we learn. Mistakes have led to some of the world’s great discoveries. Anyone who has never made a mistake likely never took a risk or tried anything new. Mistakes are just an aspect of being human.
It’s been very helpful using sound bites from this story such as everyone makes mistakes, it’s okay to suck at something, there is no shame or guilt being imperfect, accepting that good enough is good enough. The whole truth is that everyone of us is perfectly imperfect.
I am reminded of the Japanese philosophy Wabi-Sabi which is a concept that motions us to constantly search for the beauty in imperfection and accept the more natural cycle of life. Next week I will do a deeper dive into this wonderful philosophy of life.
Comments are welcomed.
Blowing In On The Wind
Let’s see. Where was I? Oh, yes. It was about the shock of Petal Plumblossom blowing in my window with the wind . A quick recap, if you missed Part 1. I was intent on exercising my whimsy muscle which had been inert for too long. You know what they say. If you don’t use it, you lose it . At the same time, I was keeping an eye out for any muses who might deign to pay me a visit. I opened the window to get some fresh air, when the wind blew in with the fancy girl fairy, Petal Plumblossom. That’s where the story left off.
Let me tell you she was as surprised (understatement) as I. We just looked aghast at each other for a moment. Then, I introduced myself and explained that the other neighborhood fairies occasionally come here for tea and petit fours. From their chatter, I assumed that she was who she is. She confirmed my assumption. Seriously, it was obvious going by her haute couture and haughty airs.
I invited her to stay and have tea with me. Since I was not expecting guests, I did not have petit fours to accompany our tea. I was able to offer homemade cookies which delighted her. Apparently, homemade cookies were a delicacy in her world.
To make a long story short, preferable to making a short story long, I will leave out all the juicy stuff for now. I will say we had a very lovely and enlightening conversation. Things and beings are not always what they appear to be on the outside. P.P. (Petal Plumblossom) gave me permission to tell her story whenever I was so inclined .
I must confess I had made assumptions about P.P. from listening to the gossip of the other fairies. When we assume, it makes…well, you know what it makes of us. There are times when it takes common sense and humility to defer to those with more knowledge about a situation or person. There are other times when we ought to pay attention to our Spidey Sense and recognize there is another side to the story. That was the case with P.P. There was definitely another side to her story beyond fancy clothes and fancy airs. When she saw that I was genuinely interested and trusted I would not judge her, P.P. shared her story.
Although she gave me permission to tell you her story, I’m thinking that her story is not the story. The story may be more in the lessons learned and things to remember about what is really important.
Eeyore, who was a downer donkey most of the time, had his moments of insight . One of these insights is worth the mention here. “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”
Comments are welcomed.
Whimsy? Muses? Either One Will Do
A couple of weeks ago I gave myself permission to cancel this blog. Seems that having released the pressure of a self-imposed weekly commitment has created space for me to continue a little longer. I am currently on the lookout for whimsy and muses. Either one would provide the impetus to keep going. For a little while, anyway.
Let’s go for whimsy. Even though it has been elusive for some time, whimsy is a part of my nature. Besides, the muses are unreliable and unpredictable. They come. They go. They have their own agenda and time lines. If by some stroke of good fortune the muses detour from their flight plans and land in your home, you might get a big burst of creativity. However, we have no influence over how long they stay. Personally, I have found nothing that might entice them to stay a goodly while. Believe me, I have tried all manner of bribery – special baked goods, the finest coffees, teas, wines, full control of the TV remote and all my devices, etc. Nada! If it is their fancy to stick around and help you, well, that’s great. Otherwise, you just have to be happy with what you do get.
Now, back to whimsy. The cool part about whimsy is that it is always nearby. We just need to be open and notice. For example, if you are very still, you might hear the appliances chatting amongst themselves. You might hear elves tap dancing on the roof. You might discover a wizard residing in one of your closets. The possibilities are endless.
I just opened the window. The wind blew in with Petal Plumblossom riding on it. I’ve had visits from the neighborhood fairies before. Never Petal Plumblossom. She is the fancy-girl fairy who is often the subject of fairy gossip. She wears fancy clothes, fancy shoes, fancy hats and flounces around with her fancy airs. The other fairies find her rather irksome. I was quite shocked by her arrival. I thought it must be a mistake. Perhaps the wind took a wrong turn. To be continued…
Comments are welomed.
Appliances…How Do I Love Thee?
We can be grateful for so many things in so many ways. We each feel it, express it in our own particular ways. Whatever way it works for us is all good. This morning when I was doing laundry, I suddenly felt grateful for my washer and dryer. That one thought, one feeling led me down an interesting, fun path of appreciation. I decided that today would be Appliance Appreciation Day in my household.
I actually went around to every appliance – washer, dryer, computer, AC, radio, phones, stove, refrigerator, TV – and gave a thank you to each one. I also included hot and cold running water. Sound a little goofy? Maybe. However, it made me take a global look to be aware that so many around the world are not as blessed.
Whatever fills our hearts with gratitude is a good thing. I also found that old Irving Berlin song to be true – “If you’re worried and you can’t sleep, count your blessings instead of sheep. You’ll fall asleep counting your blessings.” It works.
Comments are welcomed.
Surprisingly, especially to me, I’m back. At least on a week to week basis. Self permission does wonders. Happy May Day.
May Day is celebrated on the first of May around the world. While it is a Northern Hemisphere spring holiday, it also coincides with International Workers’ Day. Whether the beauty of spring season in May or the importance of labor, May Day is a fine time for celebration and good thoughts. Following is a little ditty which has that feeling of stepping full on into Spring.
The First of May
by Annette Wynne
If I could stay up late no doubt
I'd catch the buds just bursting out;
And up from every hidden root
Would jump a tiny slender shoot;
I wonder how seeds learn the way,
They always know the very day--
The pretty, happy first of May;
If I could stay up then, no doubt
I'd catch the buds just bursting out.