I finished the last assignment for my last course of the summer semester in my graduate program. I struggled with letting it go and calling it done, because I knew I could have done better. I’d met most of the requirements for the assignment, a certain number of posts to a discussion group, but hadn’t backed it up with enough research as I normally do. I didn’t really have anything else to add, but I could have found something to research and posted more. My posts hadn’t been fabulous, but they were mostly okay in my book. There was no reason for me to struggle with this, it was done. “Half-assing” it, my overall grade dropped from a 94% to a 93% so I guess good enough was really good enough.
Being a perfectionist can be helpful in some areas. After all, I’m a nurse and I don’t think many of my patients would be okay with me “half-assing” medication safety and administration. It has been a good thing for me when I was a data warehouse analyst and programmer. “Good enough” really doesn’t do the job when you’re dealing with financial and insurance data.
Being a perfectionist in every area of my life has proved counter-productive, however. Trying to perfect my resume’ meant it didn’t go out to some jobs soon enough. Wanting everything organized perfectly as I’m trying to clear clutter meant the clutter didn’t get cleared. Trying to remove every error in a knitting project means it will never be done. There are a lot of things in life where “good enough” really is good enough. Some cleaning is better than no cleaning. Getting the assignment in on time but not up to standard is better than 50% off your grade.
The wisdom in life is learning which is which. That, I’m getting better at.