Monday, February 20, 2012

Magic Chalkboard Monday, brought to you by Anne Lamott

"I think perfectionism is based on the obsessive belief that if you run carefully enough, hitting each stepping-stone just right, you won't have to die. The truth is that you will die anyway and that a lot of people who aren't even looking at their feet are going to do a whole lot better than you, and have a lot more fun while they're doing it."

- Anne Lamott, in Bird by Bird, which is the best book on writing ever written and if you like writing and you haven't read it, go out and get it now.  No, seriously.  Now. 


  1. Yes. I agree. Other words on the subject from *my* Ben, in an email exchange during which time I told him that my attempt to be the perfect partner/student/person who goes to the gym was rendering me exhausted:

    Perfect would be nice and all but it would also be boring and be the end of all natural growth as a person... who wants that? Perfect lacks any interesting quality beyond its own perfection and it would leave you without strengths and weaknesses to relate to other people over; it's necessarily and intrinsically undyanmic. I think you should do what you can do, push yourself forward always but reasonably and not in a manner that overextends you too far. At least that's the method I've taken in dealing with my anxieties and things over the last few years. Little steps forward with an acceptance that sometimes you're going to fall back but that over time there will be progress of a surprising distance. It helps me to focus on the minute steps rather than the long journey ahead.

  2. I never thanked you for this great comment, Erica. In our perfection-obsessed world, it is so easy to forget these facts, even though they make so much sense and ring so true. Thank you!