I am a perfectionist. Once, I wore that epithet as a badge of honour: not only would I get things done, I got them done well. Wait: I got them done *perfectly.* In high school, once I figured out the grades-game, I got straight As. I still smart from a B+ in a grad school course; I still think – literally decades later – that the prof was, well, wrong.
I’ve striven for perfection in pretty much every area of my life (yes, I just looked up the past participle of “strive”) and, while I’ve been able to let go of some things – our house can be, frankly, messy; and my amazing, complicated & complex second child is a regular reminder that there really is no such thing as the perfect parent – academics are still a real bugaboo for me.
And I’m taking this course… the FIFTH since August because I am finally getting the credentials I need to be fully settled in the Ontario teaching system; it’s a lot of hoop-jumping. In case you are wondering – which you really shouldn’t be – I got As in the first four. And not just As; I got a 98 in one of them. Not that I care, mind you… just kidding: I definitely care.
Readers, I got a 100 on the first assignment of this current course. And I have a job and a family. And we are moving on Saturday – that’s in TWO days. And I turned in assignment #2 early because we’re moving on the day it’s due. The assignment involves making a video of myself explaining a text. I sat at my computer, a blue sheet draped behind me, and talked about the text. My eyes are always looking a little down; I fumble to show the book to the camera; my face fills the screen. I know what I’m talking about, but the video itself is not great.
Now we are required to share our videos – I did not know this would happen – and the young teachers in the course have videos that look amazing: visuals and transitions and screenshots. Not one them holds the text up to the camera and accidentally moves it the wrong way. They look so good that it makes my stomach hurt a little.
So I decided to re-film mine. I still have two days until it’s due, and I could definitely learn how to do those video-things. I mean, I know how to use the internet to learn things and also maybe a colleague would help? at lunch? on Friday?
For once in my life I am going to acknowledge that my work is good enough. I will learn nothing more from filming that video again. Until the due date is past, I will repeat this mantra: “this is good enough.”
I just need you to hold me to that.