Good Enough.

I went to see Stevie Nicks on Friday with my daughter. It was an incredible show, and Stevie Nicks is a GODDESS. But that's not what this is about. In order to see Ms. Nicks--whom I have adored for my entire life--from the vantage point of the nosebleed seats, I tried to make everything perfect. My hair, my outfit, the day, the experience ... my nails.

I have a love/hate relationship with my nails. When I was young, I wanted them to be long, and they refused to grow. Now, I feel like I'm constantly cutting them off because they grow with wild abandon, and I prefer them short. On Friday, they were long-ish, so I decided to paint them. Pink with gold sparkly tips because it was the 24 Karat Gold tour. I'm that guy. I own it.

It took me about 7 1/2 hours to paint them. They were perfect for about 15 seconds before I messed them up. Is it just me or does your bladder immediately realize it's uncomfortably full as soon as you finish painting your nails?

Anyway...Here is something you may or may not know about me: I used to like things to be perfect. You probably would not know that because I am mostly kind of a mess. I never achieve anything close to perfect and have gotten quite good at embracing the good enough, but I did like perfect.

My 20-year-old stomach was PERFECT until fetal Chloe decided she would need to be cut out. My car was PERFECT until I misjudged the distance of a drive through pole. My floor was PERFECT until someone (who remains unidentified) put a bunch of scratches in it. My bed was PERFECT until my little puppy girl chewed the corners. I could go on and on ... and on. But you get it.

Years ago, I read Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, and in it the author describes a Buddhist teaching regarding impermanence. Everything--including us--has a beginning and an end and will experience changes along the way. Some changes can be perceived as less than favorable, but it's just a perception.

This idea reminds me of Leonard Cohen's Anthem:
Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack in everything  
That's how the light gets in.

When we realize that things (and people) -- nails, cars, beds, floors, ourselves -- won't ever be perfect, then we can accept and even love them as they are. I love my imperfect stomach and bed. I am good with good enough. Full disclosure: The floor still pisses me off a little bit, and I mentally kick myself sometimes when I see the dent in my car. 

And as for myself...I try really hard in every moment to be kind and loving. Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I tell people to fuck off. 

I start every morning praying, meditating, writing a love letter to my husband and trying to pour goodness and love into my kids. Sometimes, before 5:15 a.m. I've called someone an asshole. Like my 18-year-old cat, who just strolled into my yoga room and peed on my rug. That's a dick move.

My daughter wrote a blog one time entitled, "Perfection, Rejection & Other Words That Are Dumb." I highly recommend all of her writing, but this one today. In it she quotes John Steinbeck: 

“And now that you don't have to be perfect, you can be good.”

That's powerful. It goes along with another of my favorites from Gretchen Rubin: Don't let perfect be the enemy of good.

I am not perfect. I no longer try to be. And from that vantage point, I see that no one who matters expects me to be. They accept my flawed, scarred, good enough self.

My sweet friends, if you are trying to be perfect and beating yourselves up for falling short? I see you. I feel you. Give yourself some grace. You are good and kind and loving. You're doing an amazing job at being your husband's wife, your kids' mom, your friends' being exactly who you are. 



  1. I love this. I love you. How I wish that you and I could go for morning walks together. This post was perfect... is that ok? πŸ™πŸ˜Š❤️😬

    1. You are the best ❤️ thank you! I do too. And I so wish I could come to one of your yoga classes. Thank you, Mol! I love you πŸ™πŸ»πŸ€—

  2. And......this is why your one of my people. πŸ’œ


Mary Swan-Bell 2012. Theme images by merrymoonmary. Powered by Blogger.