Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good enough


It's rather remarkable what one learns while gardening.  I guess that's why Jesus gave so many parables about the entire process of raising food and tending animals... it gets to the heart of... our heart.

Recently I was talking to the smallest of the tomato plants in the raised bed which receives shade.  I had removed the tall green structure from it to use on the cucumber plant which was growing nicely.  Very much a case of "robbing Peter to pay Paul".

However, I was telling the plant that I will buy another large tomato cage when I could budget for it and apologizing profusely for having it grow with no support at all when my eyes happened to land on the three small tomato cages I had thrown in the corner of the garden last fall... after their failure to support those heirloom tomato plants (which were huge).

As I looked from the droopy plant to the unused and imperfect cages, the thought entered my mind that sometimes good enough is... well... good enough.  While I do not really honestly consider myself a perfectionist at all, I do prefer the right equipment at the right time.  But in this case when they are not in the budget... good enough is better than none at all.

So, I brought the best of the cages over to the raised bed and centered the small-ish tomato plant in its' middle and pressed the cage into the soil.  I placed the plant's new growth on the areas of the cage where it could be supported better and it seemed that plant grew a few inches right then and there!  It now had some support and didn't seem to mind that it was not as tall or important as the other plants... good enough was all it needed.  :)

I must admit that stayed with me since then, I even told my husband I had learned a lot about the concept of... good enough.  For I believe we (especially Americans!) are constantly being told that good enough is another word for giving up or even failure.  It must be the biggest and the best and the perfect or whatever it is should not even be considered.

But when one is trying to do anything on a budget, then one needs to do the best they can and remember that there will be times for... good enough.  Just ask my tomato plant.

19 comments:

Marninah said...

Good thoughts, it is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking "good enough" is failure. But, often it is a blessing in disguise. Thank you for sharing. Your garden is lovely.

Monica said...

Great post! I always tell my kids if they are doing their best then that is "good enough". We have become a society that is never satisfied with what we have or make do with what we have. Praise the Lord that there are still some that can e content with "good enough". Thank you!

Heather L. said...

I like that thought of good enough!

becka said...

When we first were married and on a very tight budget by husband told me that "second best was good enough for us." In a few instances we have purchased the highest rated products, but often in life we have found that lesser priced (and less advertised) things hold up nearly as well and can be quite adequate. I also learned this from a friend from Switzerland who had immigrated to the US and was on a very tight budget. She purchased simple but flattering styles of clothing at KMart, removed the labels and always appeared well dressed.

Vee said...

It's a fine balance, isn't it, by what we're taught as Believers and by the facts of our lives?

Personally, I like "good enough" just fine. My aching arm likes
good enough just fine, too. Though I should have done a better job painting, my efforts will have to do for now. Someday, though, I'm going to do better.

As a parent, I think about this all the time. I think about it in terms of the Father and the Prodigal and all that was lavished on that boy. As a mom, I want my children to have more than enough. Enough means that one isn't in a place to bless others very much. More than enough means there's enough with some to spare.

Please forgive my ramblings. You always do this to me!

Your garden is a delight and I believe that it will be the source of many more wonderful lessons. (And why you aren't writing that book, I'll never know. ;> )

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I think it was from you I first heard the saying that if you consider your options to be between nothing and perfection you will always have nothing. Isn't that from Edith Shaeffer? Oh. Is it Edith? Another senior moment....But I love the spirit of doing what you can do rather than doing nothing. And the baby tomato loves it too.

Anonymous said...

Love this! Thanks!

Lori in PA

Kimberly said...

Come over and meet our Mrs. Goodenough. :) These days, good enough just is.

TN Quiltbug said...

I was blessed by this post--thank you for sharing your thoughts! :)

Lena said...

I think your "good enough" is what I generally refer to as "makin' do". Sometimes, that's the best that anyone "can" do, and the way that many of us and the folks who raised us lived their lives. I've never really thougth of it as doing less, but rather a way of accomplishing what I could.

Isn't it rewarding to watch a garden grow? I find so much satisfaction in that.

Mrs.Rabe said...

I agree, Brenda. Plus it is fun to use things that we already have, sometimes in new ways.

Deanna

ps - thanks for your encouraging comment earlier on my blog!

Rebecca said...

I like the way you've elevated the concept of good enough in the sense of satisfaction with what we have.

Remember "use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without"? Another variation on the them, methinks...

Rebecca said...

THEME (not them)

Anonymous said...

I've been a Good Enoughist for years! So much easier to try MY best and not strive for more than I can manage.

My husband & I constantly reiterate that we have enough, as well, so we aren't thinking that we "need" more.

Thanks for your post.
Connie in San Diego

Anonymous said...

You are so right...using what is at hand is going to have to be for all of us, I think. Times are changing...and so must we, in order to survive!!

Blessings, Elizabeth in NC

matty said...

Great reminder! We have friends who cut shoots off trees to use to support their tomatoes and they work Just Fine. I think you are right; we are spoiled into thinking we need the "best" when we just need to "make do." Great reminder!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Your garden is coming along! I agree, sometimes good enough is good enough.

I've stacked tomato cages when I've only had the short ones. Fit one inside the other and it'll give you a bit more height if you need it. I've also added chickenwire etc to the top of too short cages.

Brenda @ It's A Beautiful Life said...

I agree... so often good enough is good enough!

Enjoy your garden... lookin' lovely!

freetobeme - Anita said...

It's actually fun to see what can be done with 'good enough'
I love being creative but even that's hard when most of what we have is shade. Thanks for sharing with us. I'll be anxious to see the results later in the summer.