Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away (called high school), I had a favorite basketball/softball coach who had a favorite saying:
Practice doesn’t necessarily make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.
I remember walking into the gym one day and seeing the poster on the wall — he thought this would be a great motivator for us girls. A firm believer in making sure that everything we did was up to the highest standards, he wanted us to understand the difference between going through the motions and really focusing on improving and working hard on every facet of the game. Oh, and he loved walking around during practice yelling, “Is this perfect practice???”.
Of course, perfection remained elusive, but as a motivational tool, it worked well on us young teenagers. We loved him to death and would have done anything to make him proud (and I wouldn’t have put it past him to use that bit of knowledge against us!).
I read that now, though, and I admit I cringe a little. I understand all too well the pitfalls that come from trying to be perfect. Hell, I think I’m entirely made up of those pitfalls. My world tends to be black and white, and if I’m not perfect, then what’s the point? Right?
Now that just sounds silly, doesn’t it? Except to me, it doesn’t really. Well – it sounds silly in a logical way, but deep down I know it to be a truth. MY truth, at least. LE goes a long way to trying to convince us staunch “If you’re not in first, you’re losing” types that it’s okay to be imperfect. That the joy — and the transformation — is in progress and moving forward, even just the tiniest bit, each and every day.
I’m working on this part. It’s a process, for sure. Right now I can see it creep in with the whole 5 servings of vegetables habit. This should be easy for me — I like vegetables in almost all forms — but it hasn’t been because it requires forethought and preparation. I’ve done the prep for 1-2 servings a day, but had opted to “keep my options open” for the other 3-4. And you know what? If by the dinnertime I’m only at 1 serving, and I know I won’t get in 4 for dinner, I decide that it’s easier to just skip it entirely. If I’m not going to hit 5, then why bother?
Don’t worry — I see the flaw in my thinking. Of course 3 servings is better than 1, every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Sure, 5 would be perfect, but if I can’t hit that, it’s still worth it to get another 1 or 2 with my dinner. Obviously. It’s sad when the voice in my head whispers at me, “It’s FAR too much trouble to stick that bag of frozen vegetables in the microwave…”.