We have a family motto that my Mom-in-law finds deeply disturbing: “It’s not great, but it’s good enough.”
It started one year as we tried to put the star on the Christmas tree. The slightly less than straight, but definitely much beloved tree our girls had picked out. Pretty soon we were saying it all the time – hanging a banner, decorating a cake, writing an email…
I didn’t set out to make mediocrity my goal. It’s hardly the stuff inspirational speeches and parenting books are written about. I do want my children to be wholehearted and hard working; to “work as if for the Lord and not for men”.
Yet I can’t bring myself to mold them into ideal Stepford children. Not only does it require enormous amounts of energy, but it sucks the joy out of life. As a recovering perfectionist I can tell you that the mindset is both exhausting and paralyzing. It’s hard to get anything done, when every little thing has to be done with excellence.
Instead I will train them to pick their battles; to save their time and energy for those things that are most important. I want them to know that they can do anything, but they can’t do everything. Hopefully I will teach them this while learning it myself.
It is hard to accept that I have limits and to live within those boundaries. So when the ghost of Martha Stewart (I know she’s not dead, but she does seem to haunt all women from time to time) peers over my shoulder with a disapproving look, I just say that motto out loud. It’s not great, but it’s good enough.
So here’s us, where life is messy and somewhat crooked… and good enough.
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