Good Enough Defeats Perfection

There is much I did not do last year. I did not write a book, lose weight, market my business, do 10 push-ups, grow all my own greens, or fix the intersection of Fullerton and Rockwell.

But I did haphazardly replace a button, send impersonal holiday cards, bring Dunkin Donuts to play group, do 5 push-ups, and grow enough kale to keep me pooping this fall. And I fixed a toilet (unrelated).

Mission accomplished! Over and over, I kept my promise to not let perfect be the enemy of the good. By expecting—and accepting—less, I am getting more done.*

Can you spot at least three egregious mending errors?
Can you spot at least three egregious mending errors? Answer below.
Since I always forget what I plant where, I took pics  of bulb packages as markers. Alas, the 11/10 batch was out of focus. Mini Dutch Irises?

During the last quarter of 2014, I used my affinity for alliteration and aphorisms to test out other tips for managing daily life.

  • Make the Bed Monday.
  • A Place for All Some Things Tuesday.
  • Write it Wednesday.
  • Think Like a Waiter Thursday.
  • Don’t Freak Out Friday.
  • Sow Spring Bulbs before the Soil is Frozen Solid under Snow Saturday (forget what I said Friday!)

Few were particularly original, and many were different ways of saying the same thing. But for some reason they are guiding me past entrenched roadblocks, ranging from managing junk mail to managing myself.

Downstairs sewing kit in old (surprisingly large) glasses case. Second kitchen drawer, across from stove.

Don’t Let Perfect be the Enemy of the Good was the most powerful, which is why I have not redone button number three.** It is out of line, off kilter, and attached with the wrong color thread. Ack! Twitch!  But at least I fixed it right away instead of throwing it into the “to mend” black hole, where the button probably would have gotten lost anyway. (Think it, Do it!) I was able to fix it right away because of the mini sewing kit in our kitchen drawer. (A Place for All Things, and All Things in their Place!) The sewing kit was there because I am keeping tools where I need them, even when that means having multiples spread around the house. (I Don’t Have a Catch Phrase for This!)

Stay tuned for more case studies about which mantras helped the most and/or generated interesting conversations with friends via the book of face.


*Over the years, I have learned I am not a colossal screw up as much as I am a short perfectionist whose crappy executive functioning skills and irrational fears of failure have cultivated counterproductive behaviors such as procrastination, impulsivity, and intellectual paralysis. Bi-polar Disorder is in there somewhere. Chicken/egg—doesn’t matter. I know many others share this profile, which is why I post about this stuff even though the world already has plenty of words about how to get one’s act together.

**In truth, I did not even need to replace the button. It is decorative, on a sleeve. Few would have noticed it missing. Most who did would not have cared. But, I am not ready for that level of “imperfection.” (Should there be a comma between did and would? But and I?)

4 thoughts on “Good Enough Defeats Perfection

  1. Your truly have a gift, Gin. And, if you’d like your Aunt Grammar Nazi to reply to your last question, I think it should read, “Most WHO did would not have cared.” “Who” refers to people; “that” refers to inanimate objects.

  2. Gin Happy New Year! Please do not be so hard on yourself. You provided at least half, but probably more, of the domestic glue that kept your family together and functioning, including rearing one fine young man. And consider too the benefits and love at you have provided to your circle of friends and acquaintances. BTW those multiple sets of things are MAEGS. Middle Age Eyes Glasses Stashes.

    Jim Ralston 901-652-8874


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