Are You Striving For Perfection? How about 80%?

I had dinner with Godmother of Coco the other night. We were talking about life and how exhausting it can be sometimes. We were both talking about how busy we are with work, families, drama (real and imagined), love lives and kids.

She told me that as a young 24 year old she had admired a girl in her forties in her same office. This woman had it all. She had a great job, a family, she was on top of her game. In the elevator my friend asked her what the secret to it all was. She looked right at her and said:

"Being happy with 80%".

Wait one second, though my Type A inner self, weren't we supposed to be striving for perfection? Looking for that 100%? Then I thought about the times I had hit 100%:

100% perfect Mom? (dream on)
100% perfect wife? (I don't think so!)
100% perfect business? (sometimes but things change)
100% perfect kids? (some days!)

This really makes me think. Am I driving myself crazy?

I do like things to be pretty perfect. I think it's all about the idealized life we have all dreamed of for ourselves. It's hard when you fee like you haven't lived up to that. 

It's easy to look around the house and see all the things that need to be done and fixed but...

YOU HAVE A HOUSE. A lot of people don't, or lost theirs.

It's easy to look at your fighting kids and see perfection when....

YOU HAVE HEALTHY KIDS. A lot of people don't, or don't have kids and are dying to have them.

It's easy to look at your husband and think he's not enough but....

Think of all the girls dying to get married, hating the single life, and think of all the other women who would love to have your dependable sweet husband! (WHOA!)

You see where I'm going with this right? I think I might have figured this one out. If I keep striving for 100%, I might miss the fabulous 80% that's sitting there smiling at me.

Fine. 80% can be good, even great. 

I'm still going to monogram my kids clothes and dress us all alike.
Okay so maybe 85%.


Suburban Princess said...

When we look at perfect wives and mothers...they were housewives. That certainly gives women more time to create the illusion of perfection. They also didn't have blogs, twitter, facebook etc etc. I suspect if we unplug a big we will do more good in our real lives.

Debra said...

Great post! Something to think about for sure. I am pretty Type A also but I think I've eased up a bit as I've aged. You should see my house right now- sometimes it makes me sick because I want it to be perfect & then sometimes I'm okay w/ it. At least I haven't been approached by 'Hoarders' producers! :)

Melissa said...

I love this post and needed to read this today! My husband has been pissing me off over really dumb stuff. This puts it into perspective for me :)

Houses, Couches and Babies said...

Right on! Thanks for reminding me to keep everything in perspective. I was once told something similar by an older, much wiser woman: "kids don't need a perfect mom, they need a mom that is good enough." While I skewed my face in horror when she first said that, I hold that thought in my head at all times. And like you are saying, it's not about being perfect, it's about being happy with what you have. When I die, I would much rather say I lived a happy life than a perfect life. And you know what, I might not have said that when I was 24. I guess this getting old thing isn't all bad!

Jen said...

Good advice! This is something helpful for me to hear.

Kate said...

love it. i feel the same way. perfection is overrated.