All About…

I thought that I was ready to ‘move on’, to transition from Eating Art Work’s previous focus to other elements of my life, our lives. I thought that I was going to spend the NaBloPoMo (Remember? National Blog Post Month) exploring friendship, a topic I have written and thought about sporadically for almost 40 years. And I may still do that, for part of the month, but I find myself back on familiar ground, today: the personal, political and sociological story of body size. That is: growing up in 1950’s and 60’s America as a chubby girl and surviving (occasionally thriving) as an XL woman for the last four decades.

There is a music video that I saw for the first time yesterday, although this song has apparently been quite popular for some time now. Once again, late to the party, but as ever, I feel some elation at connecting with something positive in our late 2014 culture. There is so much that is oppressive and depressing. But this song and video by a young woman named Meghan Trainor is definitely upbeat. Her song is All About That Bass and here is a link to the youtube video.

The tune is catchy and the video is fun and endearing (probably not the adjectives the producers were aiming for, but hey, I’m a 62-year-old admirer, outside of their target demographic!) However, being the wordsmith that I am, it is the lyrics that really landed the punch for me. That is to say, tapped my heart, brought tears to my eyes and brought me both sadness and in-your-face joy. You see, there is defiance in this piece; rejection of the size two, Barbie doll, Photo-shopped image that is lauded as the ideal in our times. Needless to say, I love that ‘f.you’ attitude. Makes my heart sing and my body move to the beat (of the bass…)

This is the line that got me: “My mama she told me don’t worry about your size…”

Where did those words take me? ‘Dear god, I wish that my mother had told me that.’

Full stop.

How might my life have unfolded differently? Impossible to tell and of course, there is very little I would ask to change about my life today. I love my life, today. What I would change is the years of agonizing shame and self-loathing. Maybe it’s obvious, if you know me or have read any of my earlier posts on this site, but I was told just the opposite.

Pen-ulti

Something has been growing clearer to me over the past few weeks. It’s time for me to wrap up this phase of ‘The Middle’ of the EAW/Food Life Story. Perhaps what I mean to say is that it has come to its own conclusion and I’ve become conscious of the fact that it’s time to make a change. Time to shift priorities.

Going forward, my energy, my attention will focus on my own health and the people who are nearest and dearest to me. I won’t become a hermit, but a significant aspect of this ‘Middle’ path has been recognizing how my time and energy are used. I have slowly been eliminating the less-healing parts of my life, shifting my tim-ergy back to myself and attending to my own well-being.

Let me expand for a moment on what I mean by health, in this context. Physical health is an obvious priority, especially as I age. My mental and emotional health have both improved dramatically in the past six months.  This is in no small part because of the work I’ve been doing on this blog. Speaking up about my burdens of shame, anger and sadness; sharing them in this quasi-public arena has been immensely healing and fulfilling. I feel like I have traveled countless miles toward wholeness, sanity and health by choosing to commit to posting on this blog.

To state the obvious, these ‘different’ elements of health are completely intertwined. They are all of a piece. So, when I speak of spiritual health, it is not separate from the others, in fact it may be the overarching piece. I don’t claim to know. Breaking down the meaning of the word health is sort of artificial. To some extent it is merely a way to expand on the basic simplicity of the concept or perhaps it is an attempt to condense the enormity of it.

Point is, I am “feeling healthier” than ever before in my life and self-ish-ly (see post from 4/20), I want more!  I’ve been faithfully posting here for six months – daily in November 2013 and twice weekly in the months since. This Wednesday, April 30th, will be my last scheduled post for a while. I plan to return as a daily blog poster for NaBloPoMo in November. I suspect I will be a pop-up blogger here over the months until then.  Although I won’t be posting regularly, I will be writing and there will undoubtedly be things I want to share.

Please go and see the movie Fed Upfedup

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Re-view

brocFor more than six months I’ve been ingesting and digesting thoughts from many disparate sources, regarding shame, body image, addiction and fat stigma.  Chewing and pondering these various bits of information and insight, sometimes semi-publicly on the blog and also in private writing, has helped me move toward shame reduction. At moments when I feel most ‘out of body’ (which is a hysterical turn of phrase when talking about body size), I feel ‘shame-less’ or shame free.

That is, without shame, in a positive way.bana

This reminds me of my desire to re-frame the words self-ish and self-less, which desperately need to have their connotations expanded. To be self-less is actually not always positive.  It can mean not acknowledging or valuing the self. In fact, it can indicate blatantly negating the existence and value of self, as if others – people & things – are of greater importance, to the point where there is no room for self. Oh yes, there are positive meanings of self-less, but for women, I dare to say that being without self, as part of serving others, is far too common and self-destructive. Of course, destroying the self  implies having a self and, to speak for my self, the insubstantial and mightily distorted sense of self with which I came of age didn’t require much effort to destruct. Addiction is a speedy tool of destruction.

clemmySelfish, of course, has virtually nothing but a negative connotation. Greedy, not caring for others… It is thus a perfect word to use when accusing a woman of not taking sufficient care of others. In fact, any lapse in care taking, of spouse, children, parents, friends, colleagues, who-ever, is a spot-lit, glaring event. Over the course of centuries, patriarchy has inscribed the edict quite deeply, (like the Harry Potter character writing, scarring his own skin, as punishment), that females exist to service males.

This invisible writing, the tattoos of the established female role, has been diluted bit by bit, over the last century or so. And there were always exceptional women, (the exceptions) who were not, for whatever reason – and I would love to understand the hows and whys – fully oppressed by the code, the cultural norms. But for a woman to elevate self-care, even to the level of other-care is still a radical notion.

Mothers, particularly, speak of needing ‘me time’. It is a commodity, marketed now, of grapishcourse. (I think of those intensely sexual television ads for chocolate, where a woman swoons while nibbling a small square of chocolate while in the background a man stirs & pours sensuous vats of molten chocolate…)  ‘Me time’ for a woman is promoted as if it is something apart from ‘normal’ life.  On the other hand, with the exception of ads showing men driving cars or drinking alcohol and watching sports (since cigarette ads have been banned for many years), one rarely sees males yearning for ‘me time’.  They freely ‘indulge’ in these pastimes as a matter of course, every day.

It is the ‘norm’.

Okay, I went off on a bit of a tangent.  I drifted into this diatribe on self-less and self-ish rhub(behavior) due to their similarity to the expression shame-less. Another generally negative expression, with the implication that some wrong is being done and one ought to ‘be ashamed’ of the behavior. In fact, this connotation is not inaccurate for some situations. When I think of particularly obscene avarice or bigoted behavior, I wonder:

‘Do they have no shame?”

But this is a far cry from the shame of which I have been writing: the inlaid shame which hobbled me for so many years.  I feel tremendous gratitude that I walk comparatively unencumbered today.

 

more from The Middle

As for Eating Art Work, the design/art/craft business… as of today, it’s still alive. There have been some unpleasant ‘learning experiences’, although none as painful as dealing with my dad. Hindsight isn’t as clear yet, but I can see that I’ve missed some opportunities to say ‘No’, instead of my predictable, ‘Yes’. It’s obvious that there were a few times when a door opened and I wandered or scurried through it, without pausing to think. Repeat that behavior often enough and even a ‘slow learner’ like myself, will catch onto the pitfalls and wise up.

appletowelHowever, there has also been a steady trickle of positive outcomes from the EAW business venture. It is really gratifying to have strangers say nice things about my work, and sometimes buy it. While selling at various venues, I’ve met fellow vendors who were kind, open and generously shared their ‘experience, strength and hope’. My family and a few friends have been remarkably supportive and encouraging. I’ve confirmed that I have good business sense and have figured out how to do a lot of things on the Internet. No small accomplishment at my age. Most of all, I’ve allowed my creative self to play; trying out various ideas, ‘just because’ I had them. Now that is liberating!theprof

Which takes me back to the writing. In August of 2012, I took a break from the original blogging on the two sites, choosing to commit more time to the business of sales. I reasoned that autumn was the season when people bought gifts, so if I was going to ‘give it a go’, that was the time to make it a priority. Mixed results. Father still alive and needy, plus, to tell the truth, my enthusiasm and drive to ‘succeed in business’ were limited. But I tried and had modest sales. Exhausted in January, missing the energizing pleasure of doing the Food Life Story interviews and even minimal writing, I knew that I needed a break from sewing and selling kitchen towels.

When I heard about an online course in Food Writing that was about to start, it seemed the logical thing to do, to focus and direct my writing self. I knew that what I was writing about food, my food life story, did not fit the normal categories considered Food Writing: restaurant reviews, recipe development, articles about chefs and food producers and trends. But it seemed close enough, so I climbed aboard. The class itself was ‘eh’. Having taught writing myself for 30+ years, I was dismayed by the style of the ‘teacher’. But there were a couple of women, from other parts of the country, whose writing and perspective intrigued me. We continued as a small group when the course ended, sharing our work electronically, with semi-regular telephonic ‘meetings’.

writeSo my writing juices were kept at least minimally stimulated through the spring and summer of 2013, through my father’s final illness, death and the aftermath. The duties that result from a parent’s death began to resolve themselves in the fall of last year.   I was sewing towels again, for the holiday sales season, but there was also a little time and space for writing and, not surprisingly, I felt stuck. It’s all of a piece, isn’t it? Always is. The experience of shame that my father had personified and perpetuated all my life, until the final months of his life, became a burden that I knew I finally had to address.

It was time.

HowTo

I once read an article about the genesis of Self-Help books. As I dimly recall, there were scores of pamphlets produced soon after printing became commonplace. People are always ready to tell other people how to solve their problems or share the secrets of their own success. Certainly by the middle of the 20th century, printed advice was pouring into the marketplace. Diet books and cookbooks were, and have continued to be major players in this field. Help is offered for learning and improving skills of every kind: interpersonal, business, parenting, fitness, even, and not surprisingly, writing. With the birth of the Internet and our 21st century post-Google lives, the HowTo howl has become a cacophony.

open bookThere is a recently published book, which I’ve requested from the library, called Promise Land: My Journey through America’s Self-Help Culture, a memoir by Jessica Lamb-Shapiro. As I understand it, she set out to research and write a book about the self-help industry. In the end it became a memoir. The snippets I’ve been able to read on the Amazon website were entertaining and thought provoking. What motivates the proponents and writers: altruism or commercialism? She shares some scathing commentary on a conference headlined by the man who co-authored the gigantically successful series of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She also comments on the uplifting ‘words of wisdom’ that appear everywhere, including a yellowed sign hanging in her local auto body shop, which says WE CREATE OUR TOMORROWS BY WHAT WE DREAM TODAY.

Which takes me back to my email inbox. One glance at the contents and you would recognize me as a soul with a weakness for inspiration. Also seeking answers to HowTo questions and, well, just seeking. Nothing wrong with that. There are a few healers, writers and guides whose words have had (and still have) extremely positive impacts on my thinking and choices, therefore, on my daily life. I’ve written about and quoted some of them on this blog: some repeatedly. But a couple of thoughts slapped me in the face when I looked at my inbox today.plate-1

The first is the excess of HowTo opportunities that come my way, every day. Some are offers to take a course – online or in some beautiful, perhaps exotic locale. I am assured that my life will be changed by the experience. Many I delete immediately. Some raise a whiff of fantasy and I read on a bit before I hit the disillusionment wall. Delete. But I wonder, what is getting stirred up in me, time after time: hope or dis-satisfaction? The same responses arise when I hear of a book that seems to speak to my issues… Gotta have it? This could be the one? Why is there often a feeling somewhere between disappointment and disgust? Is that with the author or myself?

A seemingly more benign type of missive that you would find clogging my inbox is the inspirational quotes. I am hungry for wisdom; I am a word-lover who is endlessly searching for someone who has distilled experience into a pithy, beautiful sentence or two. Could be a poem or a quote from the Dalai Lama, Emma Goldman, MLK Jr., a Native American elder or – gasp – a Self-Help guru. There are days when the words that show up on my computer screen seem prescient; “Exactly what I need to be reminded of today!” Sometimes a link posted on Facebook by a distant friend hits just the right mark. And some days, many days, there is just too much. It can’t possibly all be wisdom and its drowning out, rather than stimulating, my own knowledge.

pageWhich brings me to the second, and more thorny thought, with regard to my own writing. It may not be clear to a reader of this blog, but I am heading somewhere with all of these words, written and posted over all of these months. There is an urge in me to share my ‘experience, strength and hope’, my journey of de-constructing shame. And today I wonder if I am just another HowTo Self-Help voice adding to the din. Not saying that I’m going to stop what I’ve begun here.

Just sayin’…

The site

The other day I took a look at the other pages on this website and realized how incredibly out-of-date they are…  The page entitled The Beginning speaks only about the EAW drawings and what I say is still true, but so limited.  It’s also not accurate to call it the beginning, as I currently see the history of the project.  The Pages page just shows the full image of the first couple of pages of drawings and that’s fine, but there have been so many more.  And I haven’t been using the blog to follow the The Whole Story of the drawings for almost two years…

Yep, quite out of date.  If someone follows a link to the site, well, it doesn’t represent me, or my work, and I think it would be confusing.  So it’s time for a re-vision of the site.  I’m working on that.  I started by calling it The Middle, which in a way it is… I am in the middle of something.  I have also considered Along the Way or In Process as page titles.  One of them will stick, or maybe I’ll be adding pages.  But the process now is to re-view and understand what I have been doing.  Which will clarify what I am doing; what I am in the middle of.  (Dangling participle… poor thing, hanging out there alone, as if off a cliff.)

I honestly don’t read a lot of blogs myself.  And I am aware that only a few people read mine with any regularity.  That is fine with me.  I have never been much of a self-promoter.  But perhaps if I read more blogs, I would know why people blog.  Okay, that’s sort of ridiculous, because of course people have millions of different reasons for blogging.  Why am I blogging?  Wish I knew.  Honestly, sometimes it seems like I just woke up here in the blog-o-sphere.  Like the dreams where you are in public doing something embarrassing.

Now, wait a minute.  Reframe!  If I believe any of Brené Brown’s work, and I do, then what I am doing is making myself vulnerable, which is NOT the same as embarrassing myself.  I am ‘owning my story’ and spitting out the shame I have carried about being who I am, having the thoughts and feelings that I have.   So there!

Revising & emending

“If your mind carries a heavy burden of [the] past, you will experience more of the same. The past perpetuates itself through lack of presence. The quality of your consciousness at this moment is what shapes the future.”        Eckhart Tolle

Revision is about re-seeing.

Revision:  1. emendation, correction  2. reconsideration, review, reexamination, reassessment, reevaluation, reappraisal, rethink,

Revise: reconsider and alter (something) in the light of further evidence

ORIGIN: mid 16th cent. from French réviser ‘look at,’ or Latin revisere ‘look at again,’ from re- ‘again’ + visere (intensive form of videre ‘to see’ ).

As the stories from my past, those little blots of shame, are exposed to light and air, they lose their substance, do a little cartoon-like “poof” and virtually disappear.  I honestly didn’t believe it could happen.  I took it on faith that sharing them was a good thing to do; I hoped it would sap their power.  I’ll be damned; it did.  If I search for the hurtfulness of that comment by my grandfather’s friend (see post on 2/27), even the memory is as insubstantial as a bit of fog. And the sting?  I truly cannot summon up the pain and shame, even if I try.  It’s gone.

“Revise:  To reconsider [my life] in the light of further evidence.”

Further evidence.

“Most of us can remember shaming events from childhood that felt defining.  But more than likely we remember them because we didn’t process those experiences with parents who were open to talking about shame…  I don’t blame my parents for that… They didn’t have access to the information we have today.”            Brené Brown

For months now I’ve been asking “Why?” these shaming episodes have retained so much energy all these years… and the answers keep coming.  With each new insight, my life story can be emended.

Emend:  to correct.  It’s not about changing the facts, altering what happened to make a prettier story.  It’s about correction; in light of new information, correcting the story I’ve been telling myself for 50+ years.  As I cast off the ugliness of the events I’ve used to define myself, the spaciousness is hard to describe.  The challenge & delight now is choosing how to move forward.

“The quality of my consciousness [today] is what shapes [my] future.”

Game on.fog

Shrinking patriarchs

I want to express profound gratitude to two individuals whose writing and insights have given me enormous comfort and courage as I proceed with the examination of my life story.  They are not alone in the pantheon of the wise and kind, but they are stellar.   Star Fruit 1 Thank you, Brené Brown and Eckhart Tolle.

I will begin with this quote from Brené Brown:

“Our stories of worthiness – of being enough – begin in our first families.  The narrative certainly doesn’t end there, but what we learn about ourselves and how we learn to engage with the world as children sets a course that [may] require us to spend a significant part of our life fighting to reclaim our self-worth…   (Brené Brown, Daring Greatly, p 216-217)

Here’s one of the first memories that comes to mind.  I’m a preteen, visiting my paternal grandparents.  We spend an evening at the home of their long time friends, people who have known my siblings and I since we were born. After supper we play a game of Scrabble.  I’m enjoying the experience; not exactly a ‘grownup evening’, but special nonetheless.   When there is a debate about the Scrabble acceptability of a word, I am sent to the next room to fetch the dictionary.

The moment I am out of sight (but not ear shot), Mr. G pronounces “It’s a shame Cathy takes after her mother; she could be a very attractive girl.”  My grandfather concurs, deriding my mother’s body size and agreeing that I am not likely to marry well. At the time, I didn’t even notice that their wives did not speak up; I shut down completely and didn’t hear another word all evening.

How or why has this ‘minor’ incident continued to be so charged?  Well, I’ve answered this question before:  I have given it power for years.  I enhanced its strength because I never spoke about it.  I never even imagined telling my parents what I overheard.  Never.  Why?  Did I believe that they agreed?  Was I already so convinced that I was unworthy and therefore had no reason to complain, since they were just speaking the truth?  Was I scared of what my parents might say?

                                                          * * *

Owning my story does not mean making it my life story – creating my reality by perpetuating the story line.  So, I’ve made a museum.  Actually I think I made it long ago, enshrining the incidents and people who caused me to feel pain and shame; those who shamed me.  The central gallery has contained larger-than-life-size images of my father and his father.  That has been the core, the heart of the collection:  Childhood.  There is also an Adolescent wing.

For many years I’ve wandered these halls, having locked myself in; I was trapped inside.  While there, I regularly re-lived these events and the figures of these men grew with each replay, like characters in a tale by the Brothers Grimm.  In silent action clips, I fed their looming shadows, swelling their images for decades.

As I’ve begun sharing these stories, owning them and sharing them, owning them by sharing them, I realize I’m no longer alone in the halls of my museum.  As I stand in and walk through these halls of shame with others, I see the images I’d created of these men are beginning to shrink into insignificance.  They no longer dominate my life story.  Powerful shame-loss.

The tightly sealed doors, now open from the outside, have allowed others to enter and join me in the museum.  As the enshrined figures shrink, the storybook power that had sustained them is broken, triggering the release of the interior locks.  I am able to leave, to exit these galleries built of my stories.  I own them and now I can leave them.  With the shattering of the spell, I awaken, seeing where I have been trapped and discover that I can walk away!  As I take each step, with each bit of distance, my vision clears.  The museum shrinks and I begin to see so many other elements of my life: things that are also and now my life.

Connections

I write a post for this blog twice a week.  When or if possible, there is a connection, however tenuous, between one post and the next.  Much of the time daily life intervenes and what I write feels quite separate.  I try to make my peace with that. Then again, sometimes it takes a short remove from the writing to perceive the linkage.  Since I do largely believe that the best of what I write “comes through [me] not from [me]” (cue Khalil Gibran poem **), this experience of awakening to connections is not entirely surprising.

**I apologize for the digression, but I must offer you two links:  first to a printed version of the Gibran poem from which I’ve borrowed the phrase quoted above.  Then a link to a recording of the amazing A capella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock, performing a song based on the poem. I’ve been fortunate to hear them in concert a number of times and I love this piece more each time I hear it.

The post ‘Unapologetic’ apparently resonated with a few people.  I’m very glad about that. This morning I found myself contemplating the ‘Why?’ of excessively saying ‘I’m sorry’.  What popped into my head was: ‘Oh yeah, resentment.’   Hustling to meet the needs of others, to be of service in order to feel worthy (from 2/19 post) is linked to reflex apologies for being alive.  Does this make sense?  Well, of course it doesn’t actually make sense… it’s maladaptive behavior.  What I might privately call ‘stupid’.  However I want to poke around here a bit and see if I can unravel the thought.

Perhaps if I start with anger the picture will be clearer.  Even when I am thoroughly caught up in the unholy pattern of ‘feel unworthy, therefore serve others in order to create a sense (an illusion) of self-worth’, that’s not all that’s going on.  Although I may deeply believe in my unworthiness, at the same time I am pissed.  Underneath, inside, in a parallel sense of self, I’m angry.  The situation, that is, the behavior, is self-perpetuating, so a LARGE quantity of anger gets pushed aside, repressed and, in fact, saved.  Yeah, saved.  That’s scary, but true… I’m not sure that it can be called righteous anger, but a perverse value gets connected to ‘being wronged’.

Okay, that begs the point that I made in the 2/19 post, that while deeply ingrained, this ‘serving others’ behavior is still in some way my choice.  But therein lies a link back to shame.  If I blame myself for my choices, then I shame myself.  If I hoard and hold close my anger, then I feel shame.  In fact, in the universe of my childhood, to feel anger, much less express even a tiny speck of anger, was prohibited and therefore, quite shameful.  What I’m getting at is that collecting anger = resentment.  Yes indeed, there is a connection here.

steamA stockpot of anger, pushed onto a back burner where it simmers for years, yields a potent and volatile reduction called resentment.  One of the by-products of this stewing is the pervasive and scalding vapor of shame.  The thickened and reduced sauce is sometimes served as bitter and sarcastic apologies. Uh huh.

That analysis relates to the angry/resentful wellspring of sorrys, but what of the others… like the ‘sorry for being alive’, the sad, hurt, pathetic apologies?  I don’t think that the stew of anger, which becomes concentrated into resentment is necessarily what produces the sad sorrys.  There’s disappointment in the mix.  Some blend of ‘I’m disappointed in something or someone’ and ‘I believe that I’ve disappointed others’.  This linguistic and culinary de-contruction obviously needs further investigation.  Anon.

Owning my story

Back to de-constructing shame for a bit.

 “… that core belief that we are enough comes only when we live inside our story.  We either own our stories (even the messy ones), or we stand outside of them – denying our vulnerabilities and imperfections, orphaning the parts of us that don’t fit in with who/what we think we’re supposed to be, and hustling for other people’s approval of our worthiness.  Perfectionism is exhausting, because hustling is exhausting.  It’s a never-ending performance.”

from Brené Brown, Daring Greatly, pp132-133

Perfectionism and performance.  Ouch.  The effort to ‘look good’ continued far beyond my adolescent years of hustling for appearance-based acceptance and approval.  Long past the drive to ‘look right’ physically, I was caught up in a trap of questioning: ‘What should I be doing?  Is this how I should behave?’   Frequently feeling like a failure, but worse than that, an empty failure.  Questioning why I was doing this or that and if I really wanted to be doing it.  Failing at the doing and at the same time not really having my heart in the doing.

What am I trying to get at here?  Is that hollow feeling actually resentment rattling around inside my head, asking ‘Why am I doing this?”  And how does this relate to the Brené Brown quote above?  The part that resonated for me was ‘owning [my] story’.  I want to do that.  All of it.  I want to feel that I am enough.  I want to know, to find out if I can be enough without hustling and performing and meeting the needs and expectations of others, or more accurately, what I believe they expect or need from me.

In some ways, that’s what is at the root of my messy stories:  the deeply ingrained habit of ‘reading’ and responding to the emotions of others.  Hustling to meet the needs of others, to ‘make’ others happy, has set me up for a lot of misery and manipulation.  Feeling used and resentful, but at the same time, blaming myself, knowing that I’m the one making the choices.  Each time I do this, (and there is/has been too much of it) it feels as if I’ve again stepped away from my path, my story.  My needs and desires and dreams.  Or am I?  Is this my path?  Service?  Service with a smile?

A therapist once asked me, astounded, “Are you really only as good as the last good meal you cooked?”  Yes.  This is still very often the truth.  If I write something that feels honest and expressive, that is another good feeling, which gives me a flickering sense of self worth.  But meals I have to cook every day.  Writing, I don’t have to; because cooking is for other people and writing is for me, the cooking has greater value?.

I’m able to feel pride and self-acceptance in terms of cooking.  I have confidence in my ability to make a meal.  I find value & self-worth in feeding others.  (So frigging retro.)  A corollary to the question “Are you only as good as…?” is that if I make a meal that’s imperfect, sub-par or even one that I like, but others don’t, I can serve it.  I do serve it.  I may feel twinges of shame, but they are survivable because I have a reservoir of feeling worthy as a cook.  The shame does not win in those situations.  I do not crumble when I fail to reach perfection.

Here’s another quote in Daring Greatly, from an interview Brown did with Gretchen Rubin (author of The Happiness Project).  She says, (cribbed from Voltaire) “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  What a concept: doing something imperfectly is better than not doing the perfect thing at all.  Two examples that hit home for me are “The imperfect book that gets published is better than the perfect book that never leaves my computer.  The dinner party of take-out Chinese is better than the elegant dinner that I never host.”  Hmm.  I obviously have more thinking to do about this…

In closing, here’s a political cartoon from today’s paper. (see 2/15 blog post)

I laughed out loud. globe