Friday, February 27, 2015

The High Price of Perfection...and the Principle of Good'nuff (Part 2)

Hi, I'm Dorothy.  And I am a recovering perfectionist.  I was stuck on the perfection roller coaster for the first 56 years of my life.  Not just obsessed with grades (though I had to make an A, hopefully with the plus sign behind it).  I stressed about my athletic performance;  my weight/body image; even my musical pursuits. I could suck the fun out of any pursuit.  I'm working hard, at 57, to celebrate the luxury and IMPORTANCE of being just good'nuff...

Which takes me to this particular story, which began in Port Aransas, TX, on Saturday, November 10, 2012, right around 8:00 in the morning.  (I was there for a weekend songwriter workshop called Life's a Song.)  I was enjoying my 2nd cup of coffee, walking on the beautiful beach, breathing in the sea air and searching for shells.  My entire life, I had tried to find that perfect sand dollar.  You know, the one with absolutely no chips.  Unattainable perfection. I had never found it, until that particular morning... 

I had coffee in my right hand, and various seashells in the other.  It was a beautiful morning, with the seagulls swooping in and soaring and the waves gently rippling near my feet.  I had found 3 or 4 really cool shells that morning.  I had picked up a few broken sand dollars because they were certainly better than nothing.  I took a swig of my coffee and looked down and STOPPED IN MY TRACKS!  I did a doubletake...It couldn't be, but it WAS.  I knelt down, afraid to touch it.  To say that my heart skipped a beat is an understatement.

Okay, I've found the sand dollar.  I have coffee in one hand and seashells in the other.  I immediately dumped my coffee out (a rare occurence!) and dropped the shells I'd collected into the porcelain mug.  So now I have one hand free.  I pick it up oh so gently, in disbelief.  I had made the trek to the beach that particular morning to walk a few miles before the workshop began...but my walk was pre-empted by my need to get this sand dollar placed safely in some kind of protective shelter, so I wouldn't break it! 

I walked slowly back to my room and attempted to wrap it securely.  I tried paper towels, but kept checking it to see if it had gotten scratched or broken.  I tried tissue, but how much tissue would be needed to protect it?  If I had been home, I would have found some bubble wrap and a tiny box.  I thought about putting it in my car, in a cup holder, where I could watch it the whole way home.  Truly, I had found perfection, but it bothered the hell out of me!  What if I messed it up?  

Wait, isn't this really how I've been living my life?  Achieving this impossible status...and then stressing over keeping it that way?  I wrote a song ", said the sand dollar" about the epiphanies I gleaned from that little gift from the sea.  Here's a link to the song.   I sure hope you like it.  My performance was not perfect, but I think it was good'nuff!  

until next blog post, peace and love to you...