I Believe in Good Enough

Betsy - Salem, Oregon
Entered on July 26, 2008

I am surrounded by perfect, or at least the assumption that everyone wants to be perfect. Mavens of household exquisiteness implore me from television screen, newspaper page, home and garden magazine center-fold, and billboard. Have perfect, be perfect, want perfect, require perfect. Our house, our pet, our clothing, our cuisine, our tablescapes (doesn’t anyone just set the table anymore?) every aspect of our physical beings, our children, our relationships, ALL must be perfect. And just don’t get me started on weddings.

What is that all about?

I believe in the transcendent liberating power of “good enough.”

Good enough is comfortable, like a beloved pair of well-worn jeans. Good enough allows for honest effort and then gets over itself.

Good enough doesn’t harangue or harass, good enough is gentle and kind. Good enough overlooks the dust and a few weeds on the way out the door to visit an elderly relative. Good enough gets it that listening attentively to the person across the table from you is a loving investment in your relationship, and pointing out flaws in table manners is soul shriveling.

Good enough welcomes friends even if there is dust.

Good enough wonders what all the fuss is about, all the obsessing and failing and competing for most perfect as if perfect could be achieved in the first place.

Good enough is in favor of living within your means. Good enough reuses sacks and aluminum foil, shops at the thrift stores, and cultivates a taste for library books and walks in the park. Good enough likes to be a responsible citizen of the earth, but it doesn’t go out and prowl the curbside trash bins of neighbors to make sure their recycling is perfect.

As a matter of fact, good enough is just fine with the idea that I am responsible for me, and you are responsible for you, and lets it stay that way. Good enough does not get its knickers in a twist over other people’s driving habits, or child rearing or housekeeping habits or social mores. Good enough minds its own business and never, ever preaches.

Good enough treasures individual differences.

I am not perfect. Never was, never will be. I am who I am, flaws and all, and that’s okay.