Sunday, April 8, 2012

G: Good enough

I will give a shout out to my runners up for the letter G - I would love to go to Greece (first international locale I recall ever wanting to visit), my absolutely favorite color is Green, and I absolutely love Giraffes.  But they were overridden by the chosen topic "good enough" this morning.  This is honestly the overarching theme of my life.  Let me give you a perfect example...

We took a road trip yesterday and got home late.  Kids were sleeping in the van, so had to schlep them into the house and get them to bed, take the neglected ADHD terrier out for a walk and give him some love, and we were tired.  Moreover, there had been not a lick of Easter basket preparedness in our house - with the exception of 2 bags of candy I knew were tucked away.  And today is Easter Sunday and the kids had been talking about Easter baskets and what the Easter bunny would bring etc.  We had purchased some treats on our trip, and I had suggested on our way home that perhaps we could put that in our baskets and leave a note for the Easter bunny that we had it covered and he/she could save the extra candy for someone else.  Anyhow, by the time we got home, the kids didn't think of fishing out the Easter baskets from the closet and I was too bloody tired to care.  So, I pulled out 2 bowls, put some of the jelly beans and malted milk eggs from the stashed bags in them, concocted my cover story, and called it a night.  The cover story is, having seen no baskets, the Easter bunny had to make do with what he/she found in the kitchen to leave some candy.  My kids will accept it - we have very practical magical visitors in this house.  Good Enough.

I am this way about most everything.  I am not a clean person by any stretch but really, if the floors and counters underneath the clutter are sanitary, and the bathrooms are clean, it is good enough for me.  At least until company comes. 

With school work back in the day, I had law school friends who would be up all night working on papers and other assignments - tormenting themselves editing and re-editing things.  I have long held to the firm belief that if I haven't learned it by 11 p.m., the damage done to my brain by not sleeping will be more than anything I might cram in after 11 p.m.  Kind of a diminishing returns argument.  And I did well in school - but way more of a B+ student than an A student for that very reason.  Good enough. 

I push a little harder at work, since after all I am directly affecting the lives of children, but it doesn't ease my stress to be freaking out over something right up until we walk into the courtroom or file the brief.  At some point I accept that what I've done is good enough and I am as prepared as I'm going to be and deep breathing will get me much farther than reading that book or paper or case one more time.

And then there is the message of recovery.  Good enough is probably not quite the Twelve Step message but certainly Today is Enough is.  Learning, and practicing, the idea of being present in today, in this moment, and having that be enough to think about, is a great one.  It's easy to do that in the springtime days of life - all around is hope and potential and sunshine.  Where I need to practice more is doing it in the gray, sloggy days of life, when it seems to be good enough just to put one foot in front of the other and get through the day.  I'd like to find more of the beauty in days like those. 

As Stuart Smalley (an SNL alter ego of my U.S. Senator Al Franken, who I admire) says:  "I'm good enough.  I'm smart enough.  And gosh darn it, people like me."  It's true in my life, and it's really enough for me. 


  1. I like your thoughtful post, Sarah. Oddly enough, nothing is good enough for me. Most of my life I have been hell bent on being better than good enough. I have beat myself up for being ONLY good enough. But, more recently (as in the last six months) I am becoming more comfortable with good enough. I can now appreciate what Stuart Smalley says. If only I can hold on to that.
    Thanks for going with this G post. Although, gotta say, I would have enjoyed hearing more about the color green. My favorite color has always been blue but more and more I find myself attracted to green. My eyes are green and my fashion conscious daugher has me well aware now of the value in wearing green. and green???? look around me - green in the outside world everywhere - so many beautiful shades to mingle with my flowers!
    Hope the kids buy the EB story. Worked for me.

  2. My friend calls us good enough moms, but some days I do want to try a little harder.

  3. Ah, Stuart was completely on to something. :)


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