Friday, February 04, 2011

Good Enough

What does the phrase "Good Enough" mean to you? Does it conjure thoughts of someone who has tried their best and knows when to stop or do you think that good enough is never enough, there's always room for improvement?
I had asked Five to clean up a mess that he had made. He got most of it but missed a few small pieces. I told him "Good enough" and let him leave the room. Afterwards I wondered if i had just communicated to him that it's okay to not do the job to full completion and if I should have insisted that he get even the little pieces. I try to emphasize effort more than performance. I don't care if he didn't succeed at something as long as I know he tried his best and had a good attitude about it. I used to think that I had had to do everything right. If I missed a day of devotions, I'd do 2 the next day to make up for it. I'd end up getting so behind that there was no hope of catching up so I'd give up on doing it at all for weeks or months. Then I'd start again, determined not to miss a day but of course it would happen inevitably and I'd feel like a failure.
Perfection affects my crafting as well. I'll buy a pattern I like and later get intimidated by it and think I can't do it justice so it sits in my drawer, untouched. Or I'll keep adding and adding to a project, trying to make it better. Or rip something out and try again 3, 4, 5 times when the reality is that anyone else that looked at it would probably see nothing wrong with it, it just wasn't exactly what I wanted. I've been finding myself saying "good enough" more often recently and it's like a load is lifted off my shoulders. I used to apologize when giving a gift if it wasn't perfect and point out the mistakes and say how I should have done it better. I've realized that 1. people are just grateful for the gift and don't care if it's not perfect and 2. chances are, they won't even notice if I don't point it out to them.
After thinking all of this through, I felt good about telling him that what he had done was "good enough". I don't ever want him to think "Nothing I do is good enough so I'm not going to bother to try." I have seen this happen to children when their parents or teachers were overly critical and demanded perfection of them and it is devastating.
I apologize for the lack of posts. Life has been busy and the sewing room/sunroom is not weather proofed very well so it's really cold out there. I'm trying not to run our electricity bill way up by running the space heater constantly so I haven't been out there much since finishing my class. In fact, I still haven't hemmed a pair of pants that I got for Christmas! I'm hoping for a warm spring so I can get back out there and sew some more.

Anna Q