Published Friday, January 04, 2013

Good enough

When my oldest daughter was little, she was so exhausting to play with. She had an active imagination, and pretending with her was like performing a Shakespearean play. You’d better know your lines.

She knew exactly what she wanted you to say and when to say it, and it was not just a mere word or two. There were entire soliloquies to memorize. Looking back on it, it was very cute. I can still picture her as a 3-year-old girl, head full of thick blond wavy hair, pointing her little finger at me and gently instructing me on what I was supposed to say.

As an adult, I wonder if I tend to be like my little girl. Somehow, I expect people to say exactly what I want them to say. As a child, I spent a lot of time lost in my day dreams. I can recall long conversations, entirely imagined. Sometimes I was the reporter doing the interviewing, but more often than not, I was the celebrity, telling the world my secret to success. In my mind, I was graceful, beautiful and never stumbled over a word. I was also a famous writer, and everyone wanted to be like me – but I was humble about it.

Today, as I write this, I am none of those things.

“What are your resolutions?” my son asked earnestly on New Year’s Eve.

Knowing I had not made any, I quickly said, “Oh, to exercise more.”

My son gave me a look, a look that showed disappointment, a look that showed he knew I had not put any thought into it, a look that said, “Is that all you got?”

And that look made me feel ashamed.

So, here I sit a few days into the New Year and think about the person I really want to be.

I know Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage,” and if you watch any reality TV, that seems to be true, but the truth is I am not the playwright, nor the director, nor the producer nor even an actor. Other people are not for me to control like a 3-year-old playing out an imaginary scene. Words they say are their words, not mine.

I used to think a new year meant I had to reinvent myself – change my hair, whiten my teeth, get in shape, read more, work more, cook more, more, more, more. And, I had to do it all perfectly, not better, but perfectly.

Today, I’ve realized that life is not perfect. People are not perfect. I am not perfect. In fact, I don’t even know what that word means anymore, other than it’s no longer the standard for me.

This year, my resolution is to be me and to accept who I am – a clumsy ordinary person who often mispronounces words and mixes metaphors, a person who still spends a great deal of time day dreaming, a person who still hopes of writing a novel, a person who is still a work in progress and has lots to learn every single day.

And, for this year, that’s good enough.

© 2011 The Newnan Times-Herald Inc., Newnan, Georgia. Any unauthorized use, copying or mirroring is prohibited.