I was a perfectionist in the past when it came to creative endeavours. I always paid very close attention to every detail trying to make them perfect. Being a perfectionist can be a good thing, but it can also slow you down or keep you from even trying new things. I have written before about being a slow painter. Part of this is because I keep seeing little things that aren’t quite right so I have to “fix” them. I’ve also said that I started painting snakes because I could not paint fur – especially when I was trying to paint every individual hair. Fur is better done by painters who can relax and feel free in their brush strokes. I tend to want to control it all -v e r y c a r e f u l l y. My perfectionism isn’t just a problem with painting. It is also a problem with cake decorating – especially when you are working commercially and quantity, not quality is preferred. I struggled mightily for quite awhile, trying to make quality cakes but not having enough time to do it. The only way to keep up was to lower my standards and that was difficult. I realized that my standards had nothing to do with the store’s standards and since the store was paying me, I needed to lower my standards to meet theirs. That was when I learned the phrase, “It’s good enough.” For awhile I had to keep repeating it to myself whenever I put a cake out in the case. After awhile I got used to it and it has helped me with my painting. For example – this coral snake that I painted is “good enough” – it is not my best and I am a bit frustrated with it, but I got to the point where I just had to quit. Sometimes trying to “fix” something only makes it worse. And what I find funny is that at times it’s the “good enough” item that people want, not the “perfectionist” item. The cake with realistic roses in a variety of soft hues will sit in the case for days – and the cake that I threw together in five minutes with leftover frosting and sprinkles is bought minutes after I put it out. I guess that means that my “good enough” can be someone else’s “perfect.” That is actually nice to know.
It’s Good Enough