Not every day will be perfect

30 October 2009
I'm happy to report that it all went very well with Hanno's surgery yesterday. He went in at 1pm, I popped down to Spotlight to check out a sale then spent a couple of hours in the waiting room, knitting, and he hobbled out at 5.30pm. We got home around 6pm. He had no pain, didn't need crutches and he slept fairly well last night. Today and tomorrow will be the test, the doctor said he must allow the knee to heal but he also needs to exercise it. His idea of rest, and mine, are entirely different so we'll see what happens today. My guess is he'll sit on the couch and on the front verandah until he reads everything he wants to read, then he'll want to wander around. Thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers.

A week's work from Allposters.

I was going to write about biscuits today but that can wait for another time because I'm going to carry on from yesterday. My post on "perfection" seemed to hit a cord with a few of you so let's expand on that.

I was saddened to read some of yesterday's comments. I know it's difficult to overcome something you've live with in childhood but as adults we have the choice to live as we wish. Examine your fears, think about what you believe perfection to be and develop the strength to toss out old ideas and work on new ones. Oh, and examine your fears in the bright light of day, not at 3am lying silently in the darkness when everything seems hopeless. If trying to be perfect just isn't working for you then replace that need with doing your best.

When elite athletes train for the Olympics they don't try to beat world records, they try to beat their own personal best. And that is a helpful tactic here too. Just do your best on any given day, you can't ask for more than that. I know that as I go through my week, some days I feel I can take on the world, and some days I just want to write, drink tea and rest. NO ONE, has the capacity to work perfectly every day. Not every day will be perfect - in fact very few are.

If you're expecting perfection you're setting yourself up for disappointment. You're hoping for something that rarely happens. Don't do that to yourself. Instead, today, this very minute, say to yourself that you're replacing the expectation of perfection with doing your best. And in the days that follow this one, try your best in every thing you do. Slow down and concentrate on what it is you're doing - don't rush through your work trying to get it done - and do your best. Some days your best will be spectacular and some days it won't be but as long as you can go to bed each day thinking that you did the best you could do on that day, that will stand you in good stead. Hopefully over the course of a few months, you'll replace your mother's voice in your head, insisting on perfection, with: I'm proud that I did the best I could.

I have touched on this subject before here: The best

I hope today is a good one for you and that whatever you do, you'll do your best and be happy with it. And remember, happiness is not one huge reward you find one day. It's tiny fragments that are collected every day and added to your basket. Never stop looking for whatever happiness you can find. It maybe in the passage of a book, it may be lurking in your garden or on the faces of your children. Take note of every happy moment, add them to your basket and be enriched by the thought of them as you go through your day.


  1. Thanks Rhonda,

    I am looking forward to a weekend of just BEING. My hubby has been away all week and I'm pretty tired after chasing the toddling one-year old around all day everyday. To top it off I've been using his absence as an excuse to catch up on reading, writing, knitting, sewing and any other crafty/artsy thing I don't get to do as much when he's around. All very satisfying- but I am now pretty sleep deprived. Will take am easy one today. Glad Hanno is on the road to a quick and easy recovery. Sending my love. xo Meagan.

  2. I feel a new bumper sticker coming on...........

    Perfection is overrated!!!


    Will say some orayers Hannos idea of rest and yours come closer together today.


  3. Hi Rhonda,

    Glad Hanno's knee op went well.

    The idea of perfect doesn't ring much for me I guess, it's so subjective. What's 'perfect' to me isn't to someone else. Sometimes being perfect is about living up to someone else's standards and I think that's something we all struggle with at some time.

  4. Your post was incredible timely for me yesterday and today, when I was waiting on uni results this morning. I have a tendency to be disappointed with anything but a high distinction (I wasn't like this as a child or through high school) but have got through life assuming the worst and hoping for the best. This serves me well now when perfection seems to have become even more important as it affords some self-defense in the event of achieving less. I went to bed last night telling myself to be very pleased with a distinction if that's what I found this morning, and also to be content with the first roman blind that I had finally made and hung. Roman blinds have got the better of my for years, but after plugging away at one for a week I have overcome a real challenge that has been getting to me for years!

    I am very delighted to say that after going to bed content with my blind not hanging as rigidly as I'd like (which I could probably mend if I wanted to :-P ) and feeling at ease with a distinction for a challenging course, I woke to find a high distinction on my uni records website yay!!! It wasn't food for my appetite for perfection, but rather a treat by this point :-)

    Thank you for your very timely posts :-) That happens so often with your blog LOL!

    Incidentally, are Hanno's knee issues down to his past occupation? Brendan is 178cm, 75kg and laden with arthritis which is aggrevated by certain industries when working as a diesel fitter. He's been told to stay mobile and not get fat :-S That's about as good as it gets unfortunately :-( He's had knee surgery (arthroscopy) before and it looks like he's got another cyst developing in his second knee. They are both ruled out of our insurance policies for obvious reasons. It's sad to see such a lean, healthy man suffering with osteo-arthritis with little hope for improving it. Best wishes to Hanno. I hope he's a better patient than Brendan is. I have always found a man with a bandage is the worst kind of patient LOL!!!

  5. Rhonda, you are such a wonderful, wise woman, i hope i can be more like you every day! This is an issue i struggle with every day. I suffer from depression, and i feel that i don't KNOW what my best is anymore. Whatever i do, i question myself, could i push harder, am i being lazy, is there more i could do? I am trying to let go, and your blog is helping me tremendously, so thankyou, i think you are a real life angel!

  6. I am so pleased that you wrote about not a perfect day as I have always told my husband and children that there is no such thing a perfect unless it is your surname. I had an auntie and her surname was Perfect and her first name was Joy

  7. Hi Rhonda,
    I haven't been over to visit here in a few days as we've been away, but checking back in this morning was 'perfect' :o) timing for me. A reminder why I love you and your blog so much! I've been a bit worn down with the busyness of life, and the difficulties that have come our way this year, and thinking of all the things that I need to accomplish yet, instead of thinking of all the things I have, and just enjoying my family life and the kids at the moment. I was having a 'grumpy' morning, but your post has helped put things into perspective.
    You are such an encourager and 'energy giver'.
    I hope Hanno's recovery goes well and speedily.
    Rachel L

  8. Hi Rhonda, i don't strive for perfection at all but do strive to do "my very best' in whatever i do. Sometimes things turn out better than at others. If i feel i've given my best to whatever i'm doing then i'm happy. I do so agree with the lady who commented that the word perfect should be removed from the english language. Gald to hear all went well with Hanno. Thanks for your great posts. Jeanette

  9. Great to hear all went well yesterday and that the knitting got a beating. Lol

    On perfection it reminded me of a few years ago of my DH attempts at various jobs in the house. His way of washing dishes or hanging out the laundry are vastly diferent to mine. I'm ashamed to say that his "best" attempt was not good enough and that I would rather do it myself because my attempt is way better. In fact it was "perfect". I have over the years regretted being like that. These days I'm so very grateful of any help from him. I have come to realise that at that time, and now, is all done with and out of love. Here I was rejecting that show of love.

    My day today will be mostly taken up cooking for the weekend as well as slice, blanch and freeze french green beans that DH has grown in the garden. Have a great weekend.

  10. Wonderful posts Rhonda! I am one who tends to set myself up for disappointment. A perfect image in my head that is unrealistic. I tend to be hard on myself but am trying very hard to accept things as they are. I will be a happier person at the end of the day :) I will refer back to your wise words when I start to head back to my old ways...thank you!!

    Glad to hear Hanno is doing well. Hope he continues with a quick recovery!!!!!

  11. Rhonda, in my work as a sport instructor I meet lots of people who had knee surgery. Mostly the best thing to do is biking (if it is possible on a stationary bike), because this is a 2-dimensional movement, and in a safe way strengthens the muscles around the knee joint.

    You don't 'land' on the leg, as in walking and running.

    Moving is always better than sitting still, because moving heals... (quote from Joseph Pilates)

  12. Thanks for this great reminder, Rhonda. So many times I've gone to bed, disappointed that my day has not gone "perfectly". In fact, I would say that I have never once had a "perfect" day. So instead of dwelling on what went wrong, I think I'd be better off being grateful for what went right. I need to start a gratitude journal, I think that would help immensely.

  13. Well, most of the comments agreed with you! You can't have perfection in people's responses to you either! (Just a joke.)

    I remember someone saying this: If you think your choices are perfection and nothing, you will always have nothing.

  14. Good to hear Hanno has come through yesterdays surgery and that some knitting was used as therapy for yourself Rhonda. Hope today's recovery for Hanno is done to his perfection!!!!!!!!Lol

  15. Well I'm all set to have a go at making your cold pressed soap. I have all the ingredients, which I aquired while I was in Perth including some lovely coconut fragrance. Just need to find a good container to pour it into. I'll let you know the result sometime next week.

  16. I have enjoyed reading through these posts and comments Rhonda.

    Hope Hanno recovers well from his surgery and enjoys his rest.

    My hubby had a double hernia operation two weeks ago and is becoming very bored with not being able to do too much.

  17. It's great to hear all went so well for Hanno!! Hope he continues to do so well!
    A saying I like a lot is
    "progress,not perfection"

    As long as I keep trying,that is good for me!! I,like others,have grown up with demanding parents that could not be pleased,but I don't let that be the way I live my life now.I keep working on how "I" want to live and let the past be in the past.It is hard sometimes,that is when I remind myself,"progress,not perfection!" Darlene

  18. It is great to read that the surgery went well and that Hanno is home. A swift and uneventful and boring recovery would be wonderful for you both and I pray that it happens.

    I am always ammazed at how far we have come. Modern medicine is truly filled with miracles.

    Today I am plodding thorugh the house work. It will be as it is. One thing I have learned is that perfectionists set themselves up to fail. A repetitive job should not be a source of failure. Done is better than perfect.

  19. In fact, hardly any will be! I agree, it's best not to strive for perfection, you're just setting yourself up for failure.

    If we can learn to accept that we can only do our best but we're in an imperfect world things we should feel happier. Most of all, we need to encourage and appreciate ourselves for doing anything at all.

    Some days it's so tempting to just stay in bed with the sheet over your head so if you manage to get up and do anything you're a legend:)

    I hope Hanno makes a speedy recovery and congratulations on your great blog. I discovered you via the Regional Writes website and am doing my own bit for the blogosphere from my home in Noosa. Go the Sunny Coast bloggers:)

  20. Hi Rhonda
    Best wishes and prayers for Hanno´s speedy recovery. And Rhonda you touch my heart!!!!Your perfection posts really hit it with me. I am a FORMER perfectionist and I can not overemphasize how much the quality of my life has improved since I quit trying to be being perfect. Instead I DO THINGS MY WAY; I DO MY BEST; PRIORITIES FIRST etc. Christmas is easy now for example. I could go on but my study must be priority now...
    Best regards

  21. I just found your blog after it being recommeded by a poster on my blog, It is always a pleasure to find a kindred spirit, even one half a world away.

  22. Oh Rhonda. The idea of living each day the best you can and finding the joy in the simple everyday things is how I've tried to live my life and teach my children. And it works. I've had, by some people standards, a small,but very happy life. I love, love, love your comment, "Do your best and be happy with it. And remember, happiness is not one huge reward you find one day. It's tiny fragments that are collected every day and added to your basket." Absolutely brilliant! So much so, that I want to make a small applique quilt using those words with a basket (baskets are a favorite of mine). Not for sale, but for my own personal enjoyment. Would you mind? I will show you the quilt if I ever do/finish it. Thank you Rhonda for your words of wisdom and a small treasure everyday in my life. Mona

  23. Could anyone offer a little help? my cousin's wife who lives and works in Barrow Alaska...
    "Well, if anyone has any ideas on printing out blogs, I sure would like to hear them. This is a nice record of our life since Mar 08 and I am not sure (short of printing each page) how to preserve it..."
    Her blog is here...

    thanks to anyone who can give her advice...

  24. SO happy all went well with hubby's surgery and hope you can keep him resting enough to totally recover. Tis not easy having our parts fixed, but seems part of age, doesn't it?

    Thanks again for all you share offer hope and consolation, as well as great ideas and experiences. I come often here to see what else you have to say!!

  25. Good morning Rhonda dear, good to hear that Hanno's surgery went well. I hope these first couple of days of healing also go well for him. I'm looking forward to Sunday and Monday -- two days off at last! :)

  26. have not been on the computer for week or so as things not good with my smashed arm and elbow. i know how hanno feels sitting when you are used to doing.
    i consider myself basically lazy but i am always busy in the garden or kitchen...then there is knitting and stitching .
    the good news is i should be fairly pain free by christmas so by then i will be able to use capital letters again. all the best, hanno

  27. This is so true. I teach all my kids it's more important to do your best, but I find I need to remind myself of the same thing often too!

    One thing I've been realising on my less than perfect days, is that some variable or less than perfect thing happened for a reason. I learnt something from it. Or something unexpectedly wonderful came from it as a result.

    I think society needs to embrace that sort of imperfection more than anything. Sometimes, I may not have gotten all my jobs done, but I had a surprise visit from a friend and a lovely day instead.

  28. Best wishes and prayers for Hanno to have a perfect recovery!

    (Sorry -- I couldn't resist!)

    I like the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi -- perhaps that will help some people!

  29. "And remember, happiness is not one huge reward you find one day. It's tiny fragments that are collected every day and added to your basket. Never stop looking for whatever happiness you can find."

    Oh yes, Rhonda. This is so true and how I try to live my life every day. My days are far from perfect, but they are always good if I look for those little things. Thanks for the encouragment.

    Joy (VA)

  30. Good morning Rhonda, Gosh it's nearly afternoon already. Time has flown for me this morning. Guess what I'm going to bake as soon as I get of this computer? lol What a great recipe and thank you Paula for this.

    This morning went fast as I've just finished making my first lot of your liquid laundrey soap. It was just so easy. I have it stored under the laundry sink in a old nappy soaking bucket that has a lid with it. Just the shot. And yesterday I made my first batch of cold pressed soap. DH was a little disappointed we couldn't use it straight away. Thank you so much for all these wonderful ideas of living simply.

  31. Thank you so much for your blog. I have just recently been medically retired after working for 40 years. I have been 2 years getting my mind set to being happy at homemaking. After I read your blog it was like a light had come on. I am so happy to be able to finally make my house a home. Thanks for all your great advise and insight.


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