Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Enough

Yesterday, I was thinking about all the blogs that I recently added in my new blog roll over there on the right. I was thinking about why I read them, what it is that keeps me coming back to them. Some of them, it's because they are funny or well-written. But mostly, its because each of them tells the story of someone who doing more than expected, just because. Just because it is beautiful or adds value or is an expression of self.

Deb over at Smitten Kitchen, for example. This woman makes elaborate from-scratch meals as a regular habit. Makes things I didn't think home kitchens even made, like scones. Brings freakin' root bear float cupcakes to potlucks. Some slightly-above-average cookies and everyone would have been like, "Ooh yum, awesome" and loved it. But she just triples down and brings those cupcakes.

Or Jordan Ferney. She threw this party just for fun with her friends! (okay so probably partially for business, since she's a party planner, but still!):


And I realized that I want to be like that. My default mode is to do enough to avoid anyone thinking I did anything wrong/ugly/uncool. Just...get by. Me, getting ready in the morning: "Does this look acceptably decent? Yeah? Awesome." Out the door. I even actually say things to this effect to Eric all the time, "Does my hair look not-like-a-total-disaster? Kgreatthanks."

The root of this, if I can be so bold as to pscyhoanalyze myself, is that somewhere between middle school and early high school I realized that it was way not-cool to be the kid who gets 102%. This was overachieving, teacher's pet, obnoxious behavior. So, I stopped trying so hard, and I made an attitude out of it, and particularly when I was talking to boys, would play up how I totally only did the bare minimum cause like, whatever! (All of you reading this, if you knew me in high school, are probably thinking that I am full of sh*t about this, because there occasions where 102%s were made. But if you listened carefully, you'd probably have heard me telling someone that I had barely studied and it was just lucky.)

In some ways, I'm not sure this attitude shift was all bad. School is not everything, and its good to realize that less than great does not equal doom and gloom. But I think it's bled over to other parts of my life, and it's time I really examine that. Make sure that it's conscious choice between what things I choose to just do enough with and where I choose to shine. Fact is, I can't and won't be a fabulous baker with fabulous style with fabulous hair and fabulous fabulousness everywhere you turn. Not happening.

Maybe, though, the default should be "fabulous," instead of "enough." It's easier to dial down than scale up.


P.S. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that while I swear I had these thoughts the day before Meg over at A Practical Wedding posted this, her post did make me turn those thoughts into this post.

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