Saturday, July 09, 2011


When did it become necessary to be the penultimate at everything? When did "good enough" become not good enough? Maybe I'm the only one who feels pressure to do more/be better, and that is an odd statement when I've commented before on not wanting to lower my standards. My standards are pretty high. I expect to cook for my family. I expect to keep my house clean enough for company at all times. I expect to fulfill all my creative needs and grow children who are thoughtful, polite, and creative in their own right. But sometimes I feel that there is more that I need to learn and accomplish, and yesterday, I asked myself why.

For example:
  • I constantly think that I should raise chickens. I've got more than enough space, and I love fresh eggs. Love. There is no comparison between really fresh eggs and grocery store eggs. It is not apples-to-apples. However, I am afraid of birds, and these are birds that are guaranteed to try to peck my fingers. Also, I have a perfectly wonderful granddaddy who has perfectly fine chickens, and he is perfectly happy to share their eggs. Somehow, though, I expect myself to raise chickens. It makes no sense whatsoever.
  • I have spent hours obsessing over my camera manual this week. Mr. Ouiser bought me a really nice camera a few years ago, and I've never bothered to learn how to take it out of it's automatic mode. The other day, I ran across this tutorial on Pinterest, and I decided that enough was enough...that I was too smart and too artistic to settle for automatic photos. But, why? When I was growing up, just having a photograph that was in focus was good, but now? Now I feel the need to take really, truly excellent photos. Why?
Stop the insanity! There are so many other examples of there being too much pressure on people to live up to unattainable standards, and I believe wholeheartedly in many of them. I believe in breastfeeding and homemade baby food. I believe in composting and gardening and ditching disposable products and so many other things. And I am grateful that I am able to do all of those things because I am fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom. But there is pressure for working moms, too.

When will it end? Does anyone have the answer? Can we just be good enough and be happy? I really don't know.


Strongmama said...

I don't have the answer, but I chuckled that your posted your overachieve post twice.

I started to feel that good enough was okay in some aspects of my life after the second kid came around. However, there are lots of things that I still expect of myself. I think it makes us grow (as long as we keep the important things in perspective).

In an age where people have so much it's hard to stand out so maybe we try to stand out by doing things more simply because the world moves so fast and is so in our face all the time. I'm not sure, but that's my good enough answer.

Leslie said...

Ha! Birds creep me out and when I lived on the farm as a child the chickens routinely pecked my legs bloody. And yet I am determined to raise them one day.

We are freaks. Wonderful freaks!

The Full Count said...

I'm the same way. I constantly have two or three projects floating in my head at all times. I like to think of it as a continual journey of self-improvement. It's all about the ride, not the destination.