In Pursuit of Good Enough

Writing a blog reminds me of going to confession. Something about the tiny room in the back of my old Catholic church, the lingering scent of incense, the attentive and gentle presence of the priest. It all seems to work in much the same way. On the page and in the church I spill the beans every time. Are bloggers actually seeking forgiveness, then, or some type of absolution? The blank page has a way of sitting semi-patiently, cursor blinking, like a busy priest with a lot of waiting customers. “Come ooooon,” I can hear the page saying to me. “Just get it over with.” It’s like stripping off one’s clothes and pointing out all the flabby areas for the whole world to see. “Yup,” the writer is saying, “This is actually something I did or said, thought about, loved, or dreamt.”

Nobody compels us to spill our guts in the confessional, except a belief in the presence of God and the peace that comes from sharing one’s fears. Maybe the blank page is as much therapist as priest. “Come on, you know you’ll feel better if you write it all down.” It’s so true. I’m having an aha moment as I write…

I am not a person who strives for excellence. I always wanted my children to play sports, but never to compete in the Olympics. Why have all that pressure? So your child can wash out at the age of thirty-five and be grateful for their job at Canadian Tire? The same goes for music careers. I like to sing, my whole family does. But having a child depend on it for a living, and actually succeed to the point that they have to keep racking up one hit after another leaves me feeling faint. Have fun with your music, kids, but leave the crazy life style to somebody else.

It’s the same with business. I have loved designing and selling the babyTrekker. I believe that it is an excellent product, but at the same time, have resisted taking the business to the next level. I have fun with it, but don’t feel crazed about it. Nor do I desire the label ‘high powered executive.’ It fills me with dread, actually.

Perhaps my hesitation comes from a fear of failure, but somehow, I don’t think so. I believe that I’ve been given the gift of recognition, the ability to find the gold that shines in the very middle of things, in the anonymity and peace of the smaller life.  Andy Warhol once said that everyone gets fifteen minutes of fame. You know you’re like me if you find yourself saying, after receiving said fame, “Thanks very much, universe. And thank God that’s over.”

You are one of the many like minded beings who make up the world, who love well and cherish the complexities of ordinary life. Like a thirsty person facing a  fridge full of beer, the trick is being able at some point to place your hand over the glass and say ‘that’s enough for now.’ That’s good enough. Thank you.

I watch the people who dream big, thirsting to be at the top of whatever mountain they’re trying to conquer. I wish them well, even as I give thanks that its not me there at the front of the line, betting the farm or whatever it is people do when they compete for top honours. I’m the one in the middle of the crowd, cheering them on. Then I go home and resume the life I love.

Published by Judith Pettersen

Judith Pettersen is an author living in Canada. She blogs about her life in the north and the ups and downs of being a writer.

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