That’ll Do

Wednesday March 24, 2021

I couldn’t concentrate on Friday. There is an issue in another area of my life (I wear many hats) and it is taking up a lot of my thought and energy.

All through Friday my mind kept drifting back to this problem. I was supposed to be writing a style and fashion blog; the one I try to publish every Friday, but it wasn’t going well.

A thousand words on shoes – easy! I could write a whole book on shoes – please don’t get me started – but this blog took all day; I just couldn’t keep my mind on the subject. Those who know me well will tell you it takes a great deal to distract Mary’s attention away from shoes (my shoe collection is the stuff of legend)!

In the end, late evening, to keep my Friday commitment, I just had to say, “It’ll do,” and click the send button. I wasn’t happy: the writing was stilted and disjointed, the formatting was clumsy and worst of all, in that very moment of clicking and sending, I noticed an error in the subject line!

Too late. I was totally mortified; deeply ashamed of my work and took myself off to bed in abject misery. I felt I had let my clients and myself down by offering something less than my best.

I imagine many of us have had that experience. We produce something of a lower standard than we expect of ourselves, and feel disappointment, frustration and a bleak depression.

I was surprised, however, to receive several emails back from clients telling me how much they enjoyed that blog and how it was exactly what they needed to read. What I felt was shoddy work was perfect for them.

It sometimes happens for Moodscope too. I have lost count of the times I have sent a threadbare blog to Caroline with apologies. She is always gracious and tells me it is fine. Those are often the blogs which attract the most positive comments.

I know – I hope we all know – that perfectionism can be a negative trait. “Perfect is the enemy of excellence,” as my business coach says. On the other hand, I detest the concept of “That’ll do.” I always tell my clients, when they are shopping for clothes, “It’ll do never does.”

But perhaps I need to change my thinking. Perhaps we can only give that which is our best at the time of giving. Our best may depend on circumstances and what we feel is less than our best may still be more than enough.

I said I detest the words, “That’ll do,” but not always. The final scene in the film Babe always makes me cry. The pig has just given the most incredible performance in the sheepdog trials and gained 100% from all the judges. The crowd goes wild. And the farmer looks down and simply says, “That’ll do Pig. That’ll do.” (Watch it here, and sniffle with me. https://bit.ly/3lIQlNF)

So, maybe “That’ll do,” will do just fine.

A Moodscope member.

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