Enemy of Good (Enough)

Sometimes, my brain talks to me in ways that aren’t terribly helpful. We all have some level of negative self-talk and my brain gets particularly sneaky about it. 

My husband and I have gotten into the habit of listening to old Casey Kasem America Top 40 shows on the weekend because it’s an interesting touchpoint for us. When we focus on the 70’s, that period is a unique overlap when we were both listening to popular music, including Top 40 radio. It’s fun for us to use the music to facilitate recalling and sharing memories – not just of the music itself and what we thought of it then compared to now, but also what we were each doing and thinking at the time. 

We both enjoy it but invariably, he’ll say – “Oh I have that album” – and after enough of that, I start to wonder, how/why do you have that album?!

It is beyond my imagination how he could have so many records because my brain really did a number on me over quite a few things, one of them having to do with buying music. 

Growing up in a household where there was always a lot of music around but not always the sort of music my friends were listening to on the radio, I’d sometimes get the idea that it would be nice to spend some of my own money on something I wanted. I’d take the babysitting money I’d saved up to the record store with full intent to buy an album – maybe two! I would spend forever in the record store, looking at all of the albums – more specifically, all of the tracks on each of the albums. I’d faint artists I was pretty sure that I like but then I’d find tracks I didn’t recognize because I didn’t know the music THAT well. And instead of thinking, hmmm, perhaps I’ll discover something new by this group, I’d just put it back. Or I’d find four albums I wanted and struggle so hard to choose that it was easier to just not get anything at all. 

I didn’t realize that I was holding out for perfect or that there was such as thing as just randomly picking out an album by an artist you like (which is what my husbands always did). More importantly, I didn’t realize how much that sort of thinking has contributed to less-than-desirable results throughout my life. I’ve even gone without lunch numerous times because I couldn’t decide what to eat or make myself just go with “good enough”! 

So these days, I practice noticing when I’m trying too hard for better – or even perfect – and aim for a “good enough for now and we’ll make it better over time” approach. I’m not great at it but plenty optimistic that over time, I really am getting better. 

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