‘Tis the season for rampant perfectionism.
Oh my, yes.
Perfect decorations, perfect parties, with perfect desserts and perfect jokes and perfect laughter and perfectly festive outfits outdone only by perfect gifts wrapped with perfectly sculpted bows. Perfect music wafting through a perfectly scented perfect candle flickering perfection of perfect everything. And perfectly happy everyone everywhere.
Imagine my wonder and joy when I stumbled on something that was perfectly acceptable as a good enough something. And I never, ever dreamed I would do this in a million years.
My friend gave me a DVD of a fireplace. If it had been anyone else on the planet I would have balked at it. Actually, I did balk at it, but she persisted. And who’s going to argue with my best buddy? Certainly, not me.
You see, this particular burning fire DVD also has someone manning the fire whom their family has named “Charles.” Pronounce it with an uppity pre-WWI British accent mangled by an American accent and you have “Chawles.” Chawles mans the fire, meaning his arm occasionally shows up on the screen to stir, or adjust, or move something in the fire. My favorite is when Chawles puts another log on the fire.
Crackling, popping, blazing sounds emanate from the TV speakers. The glow fills the room with, well, glowiness.
At first, I put the DVD in to say I’d done it and then I’d planned to, gasp, not use it again.
Shame on me.
More skeptical than I, MSH sat down on the couch, scoffed, mumbled, grumbled and proceeded to chat about something completely unrelated.
We talked in front of the “fire” for a good hour. We stared at the light, the flickering, the mesmerizing leap and wane of flame, the way the light cast shadows on log and ember.
We analyzed the structure of the fireplace, the metal grate, the way the coals and embers piled up, rolled, flickered. We wondered at what kind of wood it was, since it burned steady and slow.
Like all good fires it set a backdrop to conversation and pondering. Contented sighs escaped our lips. Our to-do lists fell to the wayside. Relaxation settled in like an extra blanket laid over the bed on a cold night.
How is that possible? From a fake fire!
How can something not real have an effect as real as the real thing.
No mess to clean up, no fire to douse or worry over at bedtime, no flue to open or close, no wood to haul, chop, or carry, no matches to locate and keep out of reach, no fire hazard, no muss, no fuss.
But yes, the ambience. The feel, the mood, the restful drifting off of worries.
Then I thought, how is this any different than a symphony orchestra (perfection) and a recording of a symphony orchestra (pretty darn good enough.)
Who am I to question good enough when it happens. No way. Not me. I’m taking it where I can find it. This is good enough and more.
I wonder if there’s more where that comes from?
- Good enough baking?
- Good enough gifts?
- Good enough music?
- Good enough happiness?
Who knows. Maybe I’ve found a new quest.
Mock if you must, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
YESSSSSSSSSSS. I needed this today. This is my quest this season, too. Not perfectionism, but good enough, so that I can be there for what matters most: my family and the reason for the season.