Good is Just Perfect

This is the time of year I become philosophical. Well, really that happens all year long. But New Years is a particular demarcation point. A moment to look back and review the year rapidly coming to a close. And, also, to set the mission for the year to come. This New Years Eve will be different for me.

In years past I have focused on what I wanted to accomplish. It has always been a looong list. My friend, Stephen, told me at Christmas dinner that I make him tired just thinking of all the things I am doing simultaneously. All of my ideas. Or things I am just considering doing. My personal credo has always been Eleanor Roosevelt’s – Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people. I like discussing ideas. But this year things are changing for me in new ways.

Do I want to accomplish a bunch of things in 2023? Of course. But my thoughts about it, and about myself, have evolved this past year. And my long list of goals will be influenced by my revised thinking.

When I ran an innovation lab, we always said Perfection is the enemy of the good. But that never stopped me from striving for perfection. Both personally and professionally. Accomplishing great things has always been the goal. Did I fail? Plenty. But, after spending a great deal of time looking inward over the past year, I realize that personal perfectionism is a trap. A golden cage that steals joy.

This year I am not making my list of goals for the New Year. This year I will focus more on the How and less on the What. And, I am abandoning perfectionism. The enemy of the good. My highest good. And its not just about on what I want to accomplish. Its about how I measure myself and others.

It might surprise you all but, wait for it, I am not perfect. I never have been. So trying to be perfect is an act of futility. And measuring myself against fantastical, unrealistic standards is just crazy making. But its more than that. Striving for perfection robs me of an appreciation for my own humanity. And the humanity in others. Because our humanity comes with making mistakes and learning. That’s the most beautiful part of life. The purpose for living.

This year, at New Years, I am committing to more kindness and compassion. For others and for myself. We are none of us perfect.

No More Black And White Thinking

Everyone knows I loathe bullies. Or people who perpetually intentionally hurt others knowing what they are doing. That’s just evil. A character flaw of the highest order. But most people, and I would put myself in this category, just do the best they can. Sometimes we stumble and fall. Sometimes we are impatient. Even thoughtless in words or deeds. Less, oh so less, than perfect. But, still, we have good hearts. There are just such things as bad days. We’ve all had them. If all of us were held to a standard of perfection we could never wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Stumble, and grumble. Skin our knees. But this is where I struggle. When I stumble I am often my own worst critic. Its much easier for me to extend compassion to others than to myself. Unable to forgive my own foibles. But, I am learning that to be truly compassionate towards others you must first begin with compassion for your self. Learning lessons doesn’t have to be a life sentence. That’s the entire point.

As I stand here making my favorite lasagna and listening to Louis Armstrong sing Because of You, I know 2023 will be my best year yet. I know this because as I navigate the packed life ahead, I am committing to doing so with self-compassion. Perfection, for me, is so 2022. Imperfection is the new black – in fashion parlance. Something that has been missing from my life closet of late. And, it turns out, a good year filled with imperfections is better than perfect.

5 thoughts on “Good is Just Perfect

  • In 2004 we were in Santiago to take our friends to the airport. It was Xacabeo so first, we went to town to the Cathedral, waited in line to see the bones of St James and look around. A mass was scheduled and I wanted to be there. We were standing on the side in the front when the priests came to swing the botafumeiro. It was swinging right in front of us. I couldn’t believe it. I took as many pics as I could with my little plastic camera, which I cannot find now. 😫 Out of everything that I’ve seen in Spain, this is one I will never forget.
    Milito told me that the botafumeiro was originally used because the smell in the Cathedral was always bad. I don’t think people took too many baths years ago. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  • Love it. So well spoken. Great
    Lesson for us all continuing to appreciate you Kelli. Hey Jeff

    Good news from today’s surgery. chemo is working as things look as good as can be expected so not worse. Yippee 🙌 is what we’re saying. Path results in a week.

    We have more time now which means more options
    Brad and Linda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brad and Linda – you must have been hearing my thoughts in the middle of the night wondering how Linda is doing. We are soooo happy to hear this news. Yipppeee!!! For sure. Not worse is great!

      We are heading to mass at the Cathedral tomorrow to watch the botafumeiro swing and to enter the Holy Door before it closes. I will offer up a prayer of thanks for this good news. And light more candles for healing for Linda. And time. More time.

      Peace to you both. And abundant hope in 2023. 🙏💕

      Kelli and Jeff


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