Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The enemy

There is a saying: great is the enemy of good. I've seen it spun in many directions, but I believe it serves as a reminder. A reminder that sometimes, good enough is good enough. Sometimes, we don't have to shoot for perfection. It's OK to spend a lazy day on the couch. It's not the end of the world if you wait one more day to clean the toilets. And those dishes? They aren't hurting anyone by staying in the sink. We sometimes feel that being great is a requirement; as though everyone who depends upon us won't survive otherwise.

Your spouse, your children, your family, your boss, your toilets---do they know when you aren't willing to sacrifice yourself in the pursuit of great? Are they satisfied with good instead? Are you?

We tell ourselves we aren't enough this or a good enough that, but what does it really mean? I sometimes wonder if Martha Stewart ever says, "Well, this is good enough. I'll stop here." Or, does she kill herself in a constant pursuit of greatness? Does she ever stay in her sweatpants and watch TV, or is she always being perfect? Isn't she tired? When does she sleep?

What I have come to understand is that great--or the constant pursuit of great--is exhausting. It's exhausting because we can't be all great, all the time. We can't be a stupendous cook, a perfect spouse, a great housekeeper, a model parent, a spectacular employee and still have time to just be us. You are those things, true, but that's not all you have to offer the world. There has to be room for you in there somewhere.

Your heart pulls you in another direction or your soul reminds you that some things just aren't meant to be that way every moment of every day. Some days, it feels like we're just barely balancing everything and other days, we excell at each of the tasks we are called to complete. Admitting that you aren't great at something is painful, because it feels like you're admitting defeat. Or, you fear that someone you love will be hurt in the process. But those who love you--those who depend upon your good and your great--will still survive and love you anyway.

It's OK to let your guard down. It's just super fine and really quite dandy to let go of the great so you don't miss out on the good. Because you and I both know that sometimes, forcing the great means you lose out on the good. And good isn't so bad.

1 comment:

Purple Froggie Clay Stuff said...

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