11 February 2011


Good Enough

We have had two chaotic weeks here.  And if you ask me why, I'm not even sure I could answer.  At least not without a whole lot of thinking.  Even as I'm typing this I'm wondering what in the world snuck into our simple lives and turned everything upside down?

The latest and most happy distraction was tonight, but originated in 1972, before I was even born.  My grandmother had an exchange student from Italy living with her for a year.  They became very close and have always stayed in touch.  I grew up knowing Carmella as well.  So, when my grandmother came here to the Netherlands to visit us,  Carmella swallowed her fear of flying, left sunny and warm Italy, and travelled to gray and rainy NL just to visit her.  It was the most wonderful evening of food, drink, talking, and laughing with her and her husband.  I look forward to another day with them tomorrow.

But when I heard they were coming, two questions popped into my head:

1.  What do I cook for a family who buys parmesan cheese in Parma and hand makes their own pasta?


2.  How will I get this neglected house clean enough to host them here?

As the hours kept slipping away all week long, my panic and stress grew.  I got more headaches, and I developed a huge knot in my neck muscles.  And then it was Friday, a few hours from their arrival.  I had done the food shopping and prepared what I could for dinner.  I had cleaned the house in the minutes of cooperation The Girl gave to me.  But still, I kept finding more and more and more that should really be done.

Finally, out of time and resources, I had to call it Good Enough.

And you know what?


No one noticed the one shelf I forgot to dust.  No one cared that the dessert was store bought instead of home made.  People being reunited was the theme of the evening.  Mary instead of Martha.  Good Enough.  And I talked and laughed and hugged and didn't worry about the less than perfect house, not stressed at all.

I only wish I had decided it was good enough sooner.  I only wish I can have the discernment to know when something is good enough, when something is not really worth my worry.  I think when I am unable to do that, I am creating more chaos than I am controlling.  I think it's time to turn these wishes into prayers.

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