Sunday, May 31, 2015

the beauty of good enough

As a recovering perfectionist, I am trying to embrace a new philosophy.
Perfect is out. Good enough is in.
This is because if I wait for life to be perfect....
Or for my house to be perfect...
Or my writing to be perfect....
Or for me to be perfect....
Or Scott or the boys to be perfect....
I will have to wait until heaven to see that happen.
(And then I probably won't care because everything will be perfect.)
Once when I was telling my friend, Lisa, about my many shortcomings, she asked me,
"Sue, do you think that you are Jesus?"
I laughed and said, "No."
Then she asked, "Do you think that some time in the near future that you might become Jesus?"
Now she was just getting weird.
"No...I don't think I am going to become Jesus."
She smiled and said, "Good. Then you are off the hook. Only Jesus gets to be perfect."

I'm glad she told me so that I wouldn't spend my whole entire life angry and stressed out...trying to get perfect.
Oh...wait...I guess I am still working that out.
But I am getting better at recognizing that "good", while not "perfect", is really, really good.
And if I take perfection out of the equation of daily living,
it is easier to breathe.

This week I painted the inside of our brown outdoor porch that surrounds our brick fire pit.
Every year I think...I should paint. It would look so much better.
But the undertaking seems to huge. I am a novice painter at best.
This year I actually went out and bought a can of paint. Marshmallow White.
An homage to the many s'mores that have been crafted there.
I prepped the walls the best I knew how.
And then I let go of perfection and embraced good enough.
Incorporating some cobwebs into the paint job as texture?
Good enough.
White paint drips and smudges on brick despite drop cloths and tape?
Good enough.
And when I ran to the store to pick up a few groceries and got the boys from school, mid-project,
and Scott asked me,
"Did you just go out in public with a glob of white paint on your forehead?"
Good enough. (I got the groceries and the kids, didn't I?)
And actually, I love how it looks now. Bright. Cheery. Paint drippings and all.

Here is the thing.
I will always balk at something and put it off, if I don't feel like I can do it well.
That is the perfectionist in me.
But if I can shrug off the sense that life can't be good unless it is perfect,
and embrace the sense that there is goodness and joy and hope and freshly painted walls
if I can just get over myself,
life really does get good.
I will always do my's just that sometimes my best includes paint globs on my forehead.
I'm going to go ahead and let Jesus be the perfect one.
He promises He that will keep growing me and changing me and helping me to be more like Him
every day, if I let Him.
And as far as I can tell, that is good enough.

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