Capturing life in words…

Learning To Be Okay With a “B”



It is very easy, especially in a fast-paced, industrialized society to become intolerant of allowing yourself to make mistakes. I am learning to be okay, at times with what I call “B Work”. This means it’s good, but not superb. It’s functional and works, but will not be considered for any awards. This blog, is in part, to train myself to write something and just let it go. The obsessive side of me wants to re-write, check for better ways to say something and pull creative verbs, adjectives out to produce that “WoW Factor”. Yet, all (versus some) of my writing would then, also, be an area of life which is slave to over-achieving when “B Work” is appropriate.

With this said, let me be clear there are times in life in which only your best effort is necessary.
In sharing a blog, if I leave out the fancy decor, there is no harm done. Yet, if my child comes to me with a need such as help because he is struggling with school, or he has an unexplained pain above his right eye which persists, I don’t respond with “B Level” parenting. It wouldn’t be acceptable to just smooth over the problems at the surface level, i.e. telling him to “suck it up and try harder” or “take some Tylenol and go play”. Those responses may temporarily remove the distraction from my life or my To-Do list, but I haven’t gotten to the root of the issue. I have merely hushed my child with bad advice or just shoved a pill in his hand. That is B work. “A Level Work” is sitting down with him and listening to what he means by saying, “I’m having some struggles at school”. Is he tired, is he worried about something at home/school, does he need vision or hearing checked more thoroughly, does he need my help with hands-on homework or perhaps a tutor? Is someone bullying him? Parenting requires a lot of 100%, top-notch efforts. Note I said efforts because as parents we live and learn as we move down the road, and each child has different needs. So we put out “A Level” effort and are forgiving of ourselves if it wasn’t perfect. We tried our best. If we screw up (yes, the obsessive side is screaming at me to change the verb screw-up to something more flowery!), and a mistake occurs, well we modify, tweak and move on. We do not sit there for decades beating ourselves up for doing the best we could with the information we had at a time in life. Last time I checked, only one man or woman was perfect on this earth and he was pinned to the cross. So we can throw the proverbial cross we are carrying across the room, give ourselves forgiveness, and move forth.

So as I spew this little blurb onto my new blog, I am reminding myself one of my goals right now is to not waste time giving 100% “A Level Work” to every detail in life. The towels need to be washed and put away, yet no one is going to give me kudos for lining up all the edges so my linen closet looks like a picture from Better Homes and Gardens. As a matter of fact, no one in this house probably cares about how the towels are stored — they just want a clean one when emerging shivering from the shower. Hell, I actually could just stuff them in the shelves and no one would say a word. So I fold them, because I like them folded and shelved.

So against the grain of my soul, I am going to send my thoughts out and not edit, re-write, trade out boring verbs for a Cadillac verb. I’m going to put it out there, minus the “Wow Factor” and then enjoy the time I have free because I did not waste energy if it is not essential to the function. My point was made, now to part two– being okay with vanilla writing at times.


5 comments on “Learning To Be Okay With a “B”

  1. mk
    August 16, 2013

    I completely agree with you . I am a victim of this ” A+ obsession” . Sometimes all it takes is to take the first step but if we run after perfectionism (A plus quality work ) we might waste so much time on a single task or even loose the opportunity at the first place . I am trying to overcome this obsession of mine .
    i agree with each and every word of this post . Keep up the good work .

    • lindasreflection
      August 16, 2013

      Thank you MK! I hope your journey, with this and all goals, goes well 🙂

      • mk
        August 16, 2013

        Your are most welcome 🙂

  2. reinventionofmama
    August 17, 2013

    I was an A+ Obsessor until my twins were around a year old. At that point in time I allowed myself to take time and say out loud, if only to my mom and best friend, how hard the last year had been. The adrenaline rush of the NICU days pushed us through the first year and then I hit a wall. It was a good thing. I allowed myself to be weak. Then, I picked myself back up and decided what I could push at A level, and what could handle B grade work. It was a true relief. Sure, maybe I allowed my house to be too cluttered for a period, but I gave myself a relief from the stress pushing for A level in every detail of my life. Thanks for this post and your honesty!

    • lindasreflection
      August 17, 2013

      So true. I did some reading/self-educating on “mindfulness”, which not only brought to my attention the benefit of prioritizing what needed “A level” energy/attn/work; but it also taught me how to be fully present in the moment. Mindfulness theory helped me see the beauty and gifts all around me. I probably have driven past hundreds of hawks in my lifetime, yet not taken the time to watch, I mean really watch their elegance…

      Glad to make your “cyber” acquaintance. 🙂

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This entry was posted on August 15, 2013 by in Learning in Life, Life and tagged , , , , , , , .
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