Good enough...a pensive post

posted on: Thursday, 29 April 2010

How do we decide when anything is good enough? This largely female pursuit of wondering ' I good enough?' fascinates me. It applies to every inch of my life and I ponder when exactly did it become a conscious decision? At what point did I insert that feeling that I could have done better?

I observe my daughter doing her homework and she does exactly what is required; no more, no less. I say '...why don't you explore that extra topic or why don't you draw another picture or read another page, do another sum?' She looks at me as if I am nuts and says ' doesn't say I have to do more, so why would I?' Good point. What is it in me that I always think the more I do, the better?

A good enough mother? Well, don't get me started...a dose of working-mother guilt, those very rare occasions where I find myself shouting at the Boos, times when I would rather be doing something else than making train tracks/plaiting Barbie's hair and my mind wanders and I think - shouldn't I be more committed and content to just play with them all the time?

A good enough wife? Ten years of marriage and it's all very good (we got the love), but at times I think, do I listen enough? Do I blame or force my own agenda? Do I make enough time for him?

At work, because I do a job where I am very experienced in a very niche field, I know, most of the time that I am good enough. But that feeling, in a corporate world, is a temporary luxury. Tomorrow I might not be good enough...they like to call it 'raising the bar'.

I went to the doctors yesterday as I have tonsillitis - boohoo its just not my week! I get this once a year, like clockwork. It's a little reminder that I am running too fast. The doctor said I must try to slow down. I said that's difficult, my life runs on rails and the pace is fast. She said derail, try harder! So I have to try harder at that too!

Even blogging. At what point do we press the 'publish' button in the knowledge that it is good enough? I post it, then go back and look at it, tweak it, re-post it and worse of all when it posts by accident because I pressed 'enter' too soon! Heaven forbid! Something went out into the internet ether and it was not good enough! I am stickler for spelling and grammar, which comes from my time in publishing where if there was a mistake, it was so my problem. So I confess I spent a good few hours agonizing about apostrophes in the word 'Boo'. Yep, really. Is it Boo's, Boos, Boos'...I think I need some booze...

I think that is why I am enjoying blogging so much, because ultimately it gives me validation. When people comment they are saying, in a round-about way, 'you are good enough!' and I like that :-)


  1. Beautiful post Louise. I think it is a common struggle amongst women.
    I wish I had the answer. This is the makings of a great conversation for a group of women sitting around the table with a couple of bottles of wine on the table and a tape recorder. The stories we could tell!

    I love the fact that the women we meet thru blogging are of all different ages and lifestyles. It makes for wonderful insight. You will find that the comments change according to age. From my point, at 50, I can say that you will feel differently as the years pass. When the kids are young life is rich and all consuming. 'Me' time isn't even in your vocabulary. When the kids get older and come into their own identity you enter into another phase. You could still be pulling your hair but your bounce back factor into calmness is a little easier. I put a 'beware' note on that because you never know what you will get with a teenager.

    With my oldest nearly 21 and youngest 10 I am still a bit in limbo land but I have the experience and have learned to let go of many things that worried me 10 or 15 years ago. You do the best you can and sometimes you have to 'let it go' and live and let live. Being the perfect everything doesn't seem as important. Life does.

    I smile because I sat down in my favourite spot of the house this morning, I call it my 'inspiration place'. The first thing I wrote after my first sip of coffee was... 'How do you realise a dream?' and followed with a note to have a 'frank discussion with self'.

    So there you go, it never ends even at 50. Sorry for my usual long winded style but I hope it helps a little. Take care of those tonsils and take care of you!!

    Jeanne:) vocab, spelling and punctuation is tragic at the best of times, I decided it was one of those things I just had to let go of....

  2. What a great post. As women we are always striving to make the world better, and we think we can do it through being better at whatever it is ourselves. To lead by example. (My blog posts take forever to edit)

    But I agree with Jeanne, possibly because I just turned 50 and my children have grown up and are now flying solo. Talk about scary. But I have lost control and with that has come a certain degree of resignation, even satisfaction with the world.

    You notice this is a Good Day - I am Finnish after all and we are nothing if not pessimistic and maudlin.

    Helena xx

  3. Hi Lou - ah yes - all so true - sounds to me like a lot of us women think the same. Must say I am improving and I learning not too worry about the little things - big picture I keep saying, big picture.

    You are such a lovely writer Lou - you put everything down so well.

    Leanne xx

  4. Yes, you are good enough. Your words certainly resonate as do the ladies who have left comments. I love Jeanne's thoughts. We can share and learn so much from each other. These post's are really thought provoking and prompt wonderful conversations. I agree that there are some things that we just have to let go of (easier said than done!). Take care of yourself and your spirit. I Love to hear your take on life.
    Lise x

  5. I too fret about my blog, tweaking it all the time and sometimes wondering why I get 2 comments and someone else get 100, and I guess it all comes back to that same old thing "am i good enough? Is it good enough" Would my life be any different if 100 people left a comment. Not really. I try to be happy that a couple of people took time out of their day to leave me a nice comment. Now a bad comment, that is something else. I have had a couple and that can flood you with self doubt.

    I think because we all have so much to do with work, kids etc, we have never do a perfect job, time does not allow. I bet thugh,m your husband and daughter think you are perfect just as you are. And by the way, your blog is lovely and I always like seeing a new little picture on the sidebar meaning you'v added somethign new.

  6. Chania - on the comments thing, yes it is strange how some posts provoke many and some none! They are lovely to receive though, like little gifts, and I always like getting yours. I did read somewhere that when blogging, being a good writer is one thing, but being a good blogger is another. The point being that 'good' bloggers got lots of comments as they 'moved' their audience! Who knows? LB x

  7. Lovely post and lovely blog. Glad I discovered you.

  8. Hi Louise - nothing I can really add to what Jeanne has said! Just wanted you to know that I really enjoyed reading this - we are all so different and yet in so many ways, the same...hope you are feeling better x

  9. Well you definitely are...your blog is the most serene & calming read on the web!

  10. I hear you on the "are you good enough." I too am constantly questioning everything I do and constantly wonder if I am good enough. This seems to be a trend among my female friends. I also do the same check and tweak with the blog posts.

    You are fabulous and great!


  11. You know what? After reading your post, I thought about it, and realised that I never think that ANYTHING I do is good enough. Not a single thing! For whatever reason, there is always something left to be desired. I don't know where this unrealistic expectation of unattainable perfection comes from and I have no idea of how to let it go. It's like second nature to me, and so tiring :( I think that my mind just defaults into that mode so I'm thinking that way before I even realise, if that makes sense (?).

    On the other hand, you - you lovely, talented being - are most definitely good enough :) *hugs*

    PS. I am happy, though, that I am not the only one who tweaks and re-tweaks blog posts ;)


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