Several years ago I worked with a graphic designer who had "LET IT GO" printed in big, bold letters and taped to the top of her computer screen. I always thought it was an odd thing to stare at every day. It never made much sense to me.
Voltaire once said, "Perfection is the enemy of good." Five years ago, I would have rolled my eyes at this statement. How can perfection ever be the enemy of anything? The definition of perfection is being free of flaws - being faultless.
I now understand what Voltaire meant and I think I know why my graphic designer peer stared at the words "LET IT GO" all day.
Here's the deal. The idea of perfection often causes us to wait for the right timing or obsess over the smallest things. This impacts life's big decisions like getting married, having a baby, moving to a new town, taking a job, etc. And for the record, I'm not advocating for rushing through these big decisions instead of waiting for "the perfect time." There will never be a perfect time to have a baby or moving away from everyone you know, but there are definitely times that are not ideal. Nothing is wrong with making responsible decisions and planning accordingly when it comes to the big life stuff. We just have to check our motives for waiting.
But honestly, I believe our lofty idea of perfection does the most damage during the smallest decisions and thoughts, and we don't even realize it...
I wonder how grandpa is doing. I should call when I have time to talk. [Just call grandpa. Five minutes is better than none.]
I'll start eating better after my vacation. [Small adjustments now are far better than waiting.]
We'll have time for date nights when the kids are older. [Make time for each other now or you won't have a relationship when the kids get older.]
I really don't have time to be on this committee, but I have to or I'll disappoint them. [Stop trying to please everyone. Life is short so spend it doing things you are most passionate about. Let it go.]
I've always done this, so I can't stop now. [Nope. You can stop and you should stop if it allows you to make room for something more valuable.]
I'll read the book to you tomorrow night. Mommy is tired. [Read the book. You'll be tired tomorrow night, too.]
I'll start exercising in the New Year. [Doing something now is better than doing nothing.]
I wish I had time for ballroom dancing lessons. [Why don't you? What can you change so you do?]
How does she do everything she does? I can barely stay afloat. [She is not you. You are you. Let that idea of perfection go.]
I need to clean out my closet, but I need to lose some weight first. [Clean out your closet. Donate or sell those size 2 jeans. Those tiny pants are more heavier than you know.]
My daughter's teacher is so awesome. I need to get her a cool gift. [Don't put off gratitude. If you know you'll never get around to getting her a gift, just give her a few kind words instead. Use what you have.]
I miss my friend. I need to plan a trip to see him. [If a trip can't happen, FaceTime can. Or a good old-fashioned phone call.]
She really inspires me. I need to send her a note. [Don't wait for the perfect opportunity to tell her because it may never come.]
Basically, we have to let the some of the small stuff go so we can make room for the things that we value most. I am not a "Let it Go" expert, but I am working on it. I'm still guilty of many of the thoughts above, but I'm no longer trying to be perfect - I'm just trying to be better.
"Best is good, Better is best." - Gretchen Rubin