April 2015 archive

Done is better than Good


A few weeks ago I travelled down to Sydney with one of my closest friends, to catch up with another close friend so that we could attend the All About Women Festival at the Opera House. It was a great event but the highlight for me was definitely the talk/presentation/performance by Elizabeth Gilbert. When people hear Gilbert’s name they usually associate it with her hugely popular best seller, Eat, Pray, Love (a book I have never actually read – nor do I intend to despite my new found love for it’s author). However, I’ve actually come to the Gilbert fan club through her latest novel, The Signature of All Things, which I found simply brilliant and totally captivating when I read it late last year. It was on this basis that I bought tickets to hear Gilbert’s presentation entitled “How to be Creative” at the festival in Sydney. I really wanted to hear this woman talk about her own creative process – how did she write something so amazing – what was here magical secret??

It turns out – there is no magical secret – and I guess I knew that deep down heading in there.

But Gilbert’s talk itself was magical – for it’s sense of “realness” and authenticity.

Gilbert herself is an amazing speaker – engaging, funny, intelligent, clever – she had no prompts, flash cards or power point presentations to accompany her – and nor did she need them. She was more than enough by herself. She had her audience right in the palm of her hand from the very beginning – I love listening to people like this, people with the power to engage, inform and inspire – it was a brilliant hour.

There were many fantastic stories and quotes from Gilbert’s talk but the one that has stuck with me the most is one that she shared from her mother whose strong work ethic has helped Gilbert through her creative work. Her mother’s message was this:

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done”

How powerful was that for a recovering perfectionist to hear?? It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done.

So now, as I continue to try to balance my 3 jobs, being a mum and a partner and a friend, looking after myself and my family – as well as trying to develop some sort of creative outlet for myself, I carry this motto with me – it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be done. And that’s ok.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about giving my best to something when I decide to take it on. But giving your best and striving for the perfection that is never going to come are two different things. I need to learn when to say “enough is enough”, I’ve done my best, the thing is done, it’s time to move on. Done is better than good.

How about you? Are you a recovering perfectionist like me? Would Gilbert’s quote help you out?


Just in time


This Easter long weekend has come at the perfect time for our little household. Even the arrival of bleak weather has not dampened our spirits – we’ve just bunkered down, read books, watched movies, napped, eaten chocolate (probably a little too much…) and drunk lots of tea.

This time out was needed. Very much needed.

As my last post indicated, things have been a little rough, temperament wise, around these parts of late. I’m very happy to report that things seem to have taken a turn for the better in this department (insert symbolic knock on wood as I type those words!). Tantrums are on the decline and semi-rational negotiation and discussion are taking their place.

But we have still been tired, and over worked, and tired, and tired some more.

I have been working long hours and often travelling through the week – leaving my partner at home base with Sweet Pea – trying to manage his own freelance workload on top of being an amazing dad.

It’s a new situation for us – for all of Sweet Pea’s life it’s been me who has been the main “stay at home” parent with some part-time, out of the home work thrown in for good measure. The tables have now been turned and it has taken some getting use to for all of us.

And so a long weekend with no real plans to enable us to rest and reconnect has been bliss. The work has still needed to be done but at least we’ve had a bit of space to do that in – breathing space.

And tomorrow we head off to Sydney for a mini break and a catch up with a beloved friend and her little girl. Just what is needed.

How about you? Has the Easter long weekend been a time out for you too?

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