Good Enough is the New Perfect

It’s an amazing feeling to be lost and then feel found.

My turnabout came while reading the new book, “Good Enough is the New Perfect: Finding Happiness and Success in Modern Motherhood.”

Written by Lincoln Square resident Becky Beaupre Gillespie and West Virginia’s Hollee Schwartz Temple, the book discusses how modern working mothers can have it all … and how lonely that can be.

The pages are filled with interviews from women who have learned to put perfection aside in order to achieve balance between family and career, and ultimately find happiness.

I’m not one of the women featured, but since I’m in control of this article, you get to hear part of my story.

I am a perfectionist who worked hard in my 20s to create a satisfying career as a journalist. In my 30s, I chose to put much of my work on hold to raise two fabulous babies.

When I was able to tuck them into school for full days, I decided it was time to be a journalist again. Not an easy feat.

It wasn’t as if I could go back to my old newspaper for a job in this economy, so instead I took every opportunity I could find. In the last 5 years, I have strived to be perfect as a teacher, party helper, sales associate, photographer, blogger, web designer and writer.

Add to that PTA mom, school room parent and picture person as well as clean freak, and it all equates to an exhausting—and quite frankly, unsatisfying—life.

The last few years have been a scary and lonely journey. Until now.

When I started reading “Good Enough is the New Perfect,” I cried. I’m not alone at all.

The authors conducted more than 100 in-depth interviews to find that the happiest women are those who are able to put aside their need to be the best at everything.

While reading the quotes and life experiences shared from working moms all over the country, I found myself laughing out loud and nodding so much in agreement that I got a crimp in my neck.

I also found a path. I learned my life was suffering because I was a “never enough.” This book has given me permission to occasionally leave dishes in the sink, to file that story after the 10th edit rather than the 20th, and to feel less guilty that Noodles & Company has become a staple dinner for my children.

I learned that the priorities I need to follow are my own—not society’s—and that has been very inspiring. And freeing.

But I don’t want to give away too much. If you’re a person trying to balance life and achieve happiness, you will benefit from this book in your own way.

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