The Dangerous Appeal of Good Enough

This is a pivotal moment. I am hovering right on the event horizon of “good enough.” Things aren’t as bad as they were, and with some workarounds I am able to get done most of what I need to get done. Things are not good, obviously, but they might be good enough. And there is no greater danger to good than good enough.

But I’m tired! I have been doing this for weeks now, and I don’t know if I have enough energy to push through this wall. This is why good enough is so seductive. It presents itself as the only other available option, as if “take a break” didn’t even exist. Take a break can be problematic as well, often greedy and overlong, but it can also be a lifesaver when visiting for short times. I do get the sense sometimes that take a break and good enough are working in collusion, or that good enough at least has enough lobbyists working with take a break that gridlock can be extended indefinitely. Don’t let take a break fool you into siding with good enough as take a break takes off. The two do not have to come as a package. Inertia is something, but it is not everything.

Where things get really sticky are the places we add subjectivity and relativity to the mix. For instance, my good enough is not the same as my wife’s good enough. And vice versa. Things I can easily ignore or overlook are gashes in the flesh of peace and happiness to her. Things she could not care less about at all are so important to me that I want to cry. So we compromise. Sometimes we argue. And then we hopefully raise the bar to highest common denominator of good enough. But we can’t stop there. We have to keep going. We cannot be lured in to the place of acceptance when the unacceptable is hidden right in front of us.

She guessed it would take a month to unpack, my wife did. At the rate we were going I agreed with her. Now I’m not so sure. I have become used to finding my shirts in that suitcase on the floor and my pants in that other one. I can squeeze between the boxes to get to the closet. I can almost use my desk. I can’t find a pen, but I can find paper. Isn’t that good enough? NO! I will press on! I WILL unpack this house! I WILL put everything away!

But I am so tired. I have been doing this for weeks now…

NO! NEVER! I deny you, good enough! I will unpack another box today! And then another! This house is not good enough until there is a place for everything, and everything in its place! And that goes for the rest of life too. You hear me, life?! Good enough is not good enough! Time to start working. Time to keep moving. Just maybe a quick break first.

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