Tuesday, December 28, 2010


In just a few short days we will leave 2010 and enter into 2011. Some of us are breathing huge sighs of relief at the thought. A new year...a new start...time for new resolutions and new opportunities. A clean slate. New, new, new.

But if you think about it...January 1 is just another day, really. On December 31 it will just be tomorrow...right? January 2...it will just be yesterday. But still...the New Year always brings with it hope.

I admit, I don't make resolutions. I stopped a while back. They always made me eat more...smoke more...or completely avoid whatever I resolved to DO. So I stopped.

But just recently I started to set small goals for myself. Like this winter for instance...I told myself I wanted to learn to bake bread and make a patchwork quilt over the winter. Two small goals that I have wanted to achieve for quite some time. So...I decided that this winter is the time. (And now that the holidays are over, I better get down to business, eh?)

I realized a while back that setting small goals for myself is what works best for me. This realization started with The Girls. I did a ton of research on chicken keeping...I stalked web sites, I borrowed books from the library...I read and read and read. And then one day, I realized I was ready to take on some backyard chickens.

The summer before that one I decided to teach myself how to can. I made jam and dilly beans and peaches and pickles. And it worked! And it all tasted great...except for the pickles. I've yet to find the recipe. But I will...I know it.

The summer before that one I decided that I was going to plant a garden. So I did. I planted cucumbers, tomatoes and zucchini. And it all grew beautifully. It was a success. And because of that I've had the courage to plant a garden each summer since.

What's the big deal, you ask? Well...it all boils down to perfection. For me anyway. I have a tendency to avoid things because I can't do them perfectly. There are so many things I want to do...but I have often talked myself out of one thing or another (quilting...) because I'm afraid it won't turn out right. Or more accurately, perfect. So...if I can't do it perfectly, I won't do it at all. If I can't plan and plant the perfect Victory Garden or Cottage Garden worthy of a photo shoot...then I won't plant anything at all. If I can't make a perfectly pieced and color coordinated quilt...then I won't make one at all. And so on and so forth...you name it, I'll give you the reason why I wasn't able to give it a shot.

Until recently....

Looking over the past couple of years and the things that I've learned to do I've realized that even if it can't be done perfectly, it is still worth doing. And maybe the process is just as important, if not more, than the finished product. I have stopped trying to achieve perfection...in my self, in my home, in my endeavors. I strive for a job well done...yes. I do my best... But I don't expect it, whatever it is, to be perfect. I expect bumps along the way...I expect challenges...and in the end, I expect to have learned something in the process.

So if my pickles aren't perfectly spiced...or my quilt pieces aren't perfectly lined up at the corners...or if my bread falls flat and comes out of the oven looking more like a cracker...I will try again. I will learn from mistakes and what would appear to be a failure...and I will try again. I won't give up. I won't quit.

Not anymore, anyway.

Hmmm...sounds like maybe I just might have made a resolution...


Nancy said...

perfection...it can be a terrible thing. like you, the thought of not doing something perfectly has held me back many a time. slowly but surely i have come to realize that if you don't try, you'll never know.

Mari said...

You are so cute. And as far as I'm concerned, you are perfect!!

The older I get, the less I worry about perfection. Maybe it's because I'm too tired to worry about it...ha.

Love ya lots. Happy New Year to you. I will need to spend some time and get my goals down.


Lelainia N. Lloyd said...

If you stop learning, you might as well be dead. It is far better to attempt something-you run the risk of succeeding and if not, then be brave enough to fail spectacularly!

ThyHandHathProvided said...

Well said, my friend.

Anonymous said...

I can really relate to this. perfection is the enemy. I don't do new year resolutions anymore either.

Mavis said...

Small goals are the way to go... the big ones just seen to overwhelming sometimes :)

Kelly said...

I stopped making resolutions years ago, but started setting annual goals recently. I like that better-something to do instead of not do, which most resolutions I made were about not doing something I shouldn't have been doing all along. Worked fairly well this year-I completed a lot of things on the list!

Another great photo-if you could make my sink full of dirty dishes look as good as that picture, I wouldn't mind my messy house!

Talitha said...

You sound so much like me sometimes it's scary. My life has been plagued by the fear of imperfect also. And, like you, I'm learning that there is still value in what is completed imperfectly. My mantra for a few years has been, "it doesn't have to be perfect, it just has to be done!" I say this to myself a lot... and to my daughter as well. Here's to continuing imperfection in 2011! :)