Taking the time to become expert at most things is a waste of time. The hundreds or thousands of hours spent learning to make the finest quiche, the very best table leg, or the perfect free throw would probably be better spent getting kinda good at a dozen other things.
Case in point:
Everything we do with our garden is wrong. The plants aren’t properly tended, we don’t know the ph of our soil, the trees are too close together…and still the results are this:
What no one seems to get is that we’re not trying to grow one perfect tomato; 1,000 mediocre ones make great spaghetti sauce. 100 peaches go to waste. But another 100…don’t. The jalapeños would have more kick if they got more sun? I like them at the lower end of the Scoville scale.
We pretty much ignored the garden for a month this summer. We had a lot going on. Mostly fun stuff, lots of short trips, mini-vacations, social visits, family stuff; and it was ridiculously hot and humid back there! Weeding? “No, gracias.”
There’s a life lesson in there too, if you choose to learn it. Some people are driven to be the best; they’re probably trying to keep the murmur from the voices in their head down to a dull roar. Hopefully this group includes a handful of brain surgeons, the people designing suspension bridges, and Luis Enrique (entrenador de la selección), but for the rest of us mediocrity in most things is ok. Sure, take advantage of the idiot perfectionists when you get the chance: if your cousin insists on measuring before hanging the new picture frame, let him do it.
Use wire hangers.
Roll the pizza dough.
Don’t proofread your essay.
Seriously, most things which require great pain and sacrifice aren’t worth doing. When I sit here and contemplate how amazing my life is, how extraordinarily wonderful my surroundings are, and how pleasurable my pastimes; I ponder just how many challenges I’ve avoided, how many Everests I haven’t climbed, how many windmills I’ve just left peacefully whirling in the breeze and I’m grateful for every time I shrugged my shoulders and got on with my life.
You hear of people regretting all the things they haven’t done on their deathbed; but dying people really aren’t in the best place to be giving advice though are they? I mean, they are under a lot of stress what with the people crying all around them and the organs shutting down and all. The “not being good enough” never ends either. I recall people mocking Mitt Romney as a loser for not becoming president; he’s not my favorite politician but…he was a millionaire governor and senator from Massachusetts and successfully ran an Olympic Games in the wasteland of the mountain states. Sounds pretty impressive to me. Not worth it, but impressive.
So, yeah, as the blood leaves my brain and I forget what year it is I may regret not backpacking across Anatolia, but here and now with all of my senses in fine working order I can say unequivocally that I’m thrilled to just have my feet up on an ottoman while writing my weekly blogpost.
(The next time you hear someone say “good enough never is” remind them that good enough ALWAYS is, it’s a tautology)