Confessions of a Recovering Workaholic

From The Train Who Flew
From The Train Who Flew

How is your week going? Good, I hope.

Have you ever started a big project and half-way through realized you were doing it wrong and had to start all over? I’ve been working on a five-story comic book and three days in decided it wasn’t good enough. Start over?  Or leave it not-good-enough? Agony.

I started over. Since the work was repetitious I had lots of time to think about work and perfectionism in general. Fortunately I saw long ago that “perfect” takes too long (forever?) and is therefore not perfect at all. So, ye perfectionists-be free! However, “pretty-dang-good” is attainable and so I feel compelled to hit that mark.

I was taught some good values growing up; that it was evil for the strong to hurt the weak (younger siblings and all animals included) that it is wrong to lie, that we are responsible not only to NOT DO wrong, but to help right wrongs if possible. All good stuff, but the character trait admired most in my Polish serf family was hard work.


This fit in well with American values, too, and made sense on the farm where we all shared to keep the family going. But is it really all that and a bag of chips otherwise? Can you work so hard you never actually live?

Is it natural for humans to work hard? Considering that obtaining enough calories was a matter of life of death to our ancestors, then working hard enough to obtain those calories was pretty important. But after obtaining them, work just burned calories. Smarter to sit around the campfire and make jewelry out of seashells or chisel an arrowhead.

Humans in the natural state are what we would call lazy.  But they may have been on to something. They may have had more fun, more laughs, more time for relationships.

So I’ll stick with:

1) Forget perfectionism, aim for pretty-dang-goodenism.

3) Do right, don’t lie and help when you can.

And save some time to sit around the campfire, make fun things, and talk and laugh together.

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