Tuesday, May 19

pilfering brilliance

If you havent before dropped by the blog of the lovely elburro who writes at team effort, then i reckon you're missing some pretty impressive stuff. Her post of a few days ago really struck a chord, it was so special; honest, simple yet incredibly insightful, beautifully crafted, articulate and funny. Everything i love in a post. She's agreed to let me re-post it here.

Good Enough=Better
Listening to the radio in the car yet again, I heard some person saying something about the Qwerty keyboard and how it wasn’t as good as the Dvorak keyboard. That the Qwerty keyboard allowed a proficient typist to be 15% more efficient. That the Dvorak keyboard should replace the Qwerty keyboard because of it’s superior design. I was nodding my internal head in agreement until another person cut in saying that it would be outrageous to replace the Qwerty with the Dvorak, that the Qwerty had been invented first, that it was all over the world, and that replacing it would mean retraining X number of typists and reprinting X number of typing textbooks and of course, throwing out all of the existing keyboards. That the Qwerty keyboard may not be quite as good as the Dvorak keyboard, but that it is Good Enough.

Good Enough.

When that person said those words I thought yup, that’s true. It IS good enough, and good enough is good enough. I was glad to finally hear those words spoken aloud, because after I heard them, I realized that those are the words that I should have stitched onto a sampler and put on my wall.

Good enough may as well be my mantra.

I don’t strive for perfection.

I don’t need the newest clothes, the cleanest car, the most well-dressed kids or the latest gadgets and I don’t expect myself to have the cleanest house or the perfect lawn. I’m happy with my first generation ipod, my twenty dollar stereo, a dishwasher that only sort of makes the dishes clean and a 15 inch TV that has to be wheeled out of the closet on it’s squeaky IKEA stand. I have mismatched dishes, a very, very old couch, and a car that leaks water onto the passenger side floor mat after it rains.

When I hang pictures, I’m happy if they’re approximately level, when I plant seeds, I don’t care if they’re not in straight rows.

As long as appliances kind of work, I use them.

I don’t change the lightbulbs in fixtures until every single one of them is burnt out. We sit in dimmer and dimmer light, and I only change the bulbs when the final one pops and it’s pitch black.

When I buy jeans, I would rather wear them a little too long than going to the bother of having them hemmed. (Learn to sew? Echhh…too nitpicky for me).

I let my hair grow well out of any definable style and only get it cut when it looks truly awful, and even though I looooove having hair that swings, and I loooove having style, I don’t love it enough to make regular hair appointments.

I cook great dinners maybe once every two weeks, and the rest of the time we make do with either the usual or have toast.

I start projects and then tire of them before they’re finished.

I do sometimes look with envy at a perfectly trimmed hedge or at a person who wears accessories as a matter of course, but it’s with the same sort of envy that I have when I see a perfectly executed triple back somersault off the 7 Meter tower. I would love to be able to have those things or do those things or be that kind of person, but not enough to do anything about it. It’s a sit in my chair in idle wishful thinking kind of envy that quickly passes.

There’s a whole lot of effort that goes into taking something from good enough to perfect, and most of the time, I don’t think that whatever it is warrants that kind of effort.

I used to feel a titch bit uneasy about my attitude, but after hearing the keyboard man, it occurred to me that maybe I’ve had it right all along. If there were fewer people clamoring for the iphone, or trading their big screen TV’s in for bigger screen TV’s and if we all thought that last season’s bathing suit was good enough for this summer, there would be less waste, less production, and less energy usage.

Maybe we don’t need more.

Maybe what we have is good enough.

She's so damn fine.


elburro said...

thanks Kel....

you're pretty fine yourself....

Dina said...

I love that!

Thanks for reposting it.

Pip at Rest is not idleness said...

Thanks to elburro for letting you re-post that. I like it. I've been travelling down that road for some time now, I used to want perfection and the latest thing, then I realised nothing is perfect and that I am quite satisfied with "good enough" especially with housework :)

Julie said...


Thanks for reposting Kel.

Barbara said...

Oddly enough it's my husband who
is influenced by what other
people have - in most couples it's
the opposite. He's been whining
about our bathroom for years
and is actually going to do
something about it. Admittedly,
it's pretty ordinary (the
previous owners did a lot of
bad renovations) but to me it's
still usable and I'd rather
spend the money on something

Kel said...

Im so glad you all enjoyed that! Thanks elburro! and barbara, enjoy the new bathroom. you will love it!

Jen said...

Thats one long footnote Kel, and thank you as I recognise this as my life-lesson!

Anonymous said...

Absolute garbage!

WHO DECIDES what is good enough? If it is you, then just don't upgrade. And leave those who do want an improvement of 15% in our efficiency to, for instance, adopt the Dvorak keyboard--nobody is forcing you to change.

And who said (other than you) that the only alternative to 'good enough' is 'perfection'? Flush toilets aren't perfection, but they are a lot better than a hole in the ground, and I, for one, am really happy that someone thought a hole in the ground wasn't good enough.

Please leave progress to those who care.


Kel said...

who would have thought that the dvorak keyboard and the iphone could get 'anonymous' so worked up. i think you may have missed the point...