Monday, April 25, 2011

"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly"

"Anything worth doing is worth doing badly."  That's my favorite quote from a college professor.  He was one of the accounting professors in my MBA program at the University of Utah.  He meant that it's ok to not be perfect, to try even if we fail, to do our best when we can and when that's not possible at least do something.  I have been so busy and overwhelmed for the past couple weeks that I really felt like I needed to vent and complain about everything that was wrong in my life.  Then I remembered this quote.  My problem isn't that I have so much to do, but that I think I have to do it all perfectly.

For today, this means that I'm taking a mom vacation.  I have work and church responsibilities that absolutely have to be done this week.  I won't take a vacation from loving my family, and of course I'm always available at a moment's notice if someone really needs me, but I don't recall signing a contract that says I am required to cook dinner and clean the house every day, especially when I'm busier that the other three adults who live in this house.  (Of course on the days I'm not busier than them, I will gladly do what I can to make their days easier.)  My mom vacation doesn't mean I'm punishing my family, it just means I've hit my limit and I can't do my mom  responsibilities perfectly today.

I also am not going to beat myself up over my church responsibilities.  Incredibly, the most stressful church job this week is providing refreshments for 200 teenagers on both Wednesday and Saturday.  It should be easy, I sort of have a budget for it and I'll get reimbursed for whatever I spend.  However, my plan has been to drive to WinCo and buy several 36-packs of fudgesicles, creamsicles and popsicles.  The problem is that WinCo is over 10 miles away, in the opposite direction from the church.  I can't buy enough for both days at once because they won't fit in my freezer so it would take two separate trips.  My solution is to buy the refreshments somewhere else, even though it will cost twice as much.  I still feel a twinge of guilt at using more of the budget than necessary, but I'm trying to let go of that.  I have a lot of other church responsibilities this week, but by not making two trips to WinCo I've freed up enough time that they don't look so bad now.

I picked up my work calendar this morning and realized I have a bunch of reports and quarterly tax forms due this week.  Unfortunately I can't do them badly, but what I will do badly is work during the afternoons and evenings to get them done.  I usually don't work when my family is home so maybe this really goes with the mom responsibilities, but I'm counting it as work.

So it looks like my week will be filled with lots of responsibilities, each of which will be done badly in some way, but they will all be done because they're all worth doing.  I feel better now and no longer have the desire to complain.

(By the way, my second-favorite quote from a college professor is "The time required to complete a task always expands to fill the time allotted."  That was from a statistics professor who gave us a huge assignment with only two days to complete it.)

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