My husband and I often look at each other, shrug our shoulders and say, “progress over perfection.” This is usually in response to either 1.) a task we are attempting that hasn’t totally crashed and burned but has turned out differently than we expected or 2.) something that is going well at the same time as something else we wish was going better.We are deep in the years of raising children – three boys 4.5 and under. We love the adventures of raising boys but things rarely go exactly as planned. Striving for progress over perfection has been a great source of freedom and peace for our family. We don’t shrug our shoulders as a cop-out or out of resentment but to celebrate the areas of our lives where we are making progress instead of focusing on what could be better.Here are a couple recent examples of the Vettel family celebrating progress over perfection:
- We have been diligently caring for several plants in our backyard that are providing us a delicious harvest of vegetables. However, it’s been really dry here and our grass is DEAD (and our neighbors’ lawns look awesome – it turns out the grass is sometimes greener on the other side of the fence). Progress over perfection.
- We have been consistently arriving to church on time lately. Also, we have been consistently taking our one year old to the back of the church because he usually starts screaming at some point. Progress over perfection.
- I have established a consistent laundry routine but cannot for the life of me get into a regular bathroom-cleaning routine. I will keep trying. Progress over perfection.
- We had a long day yesterday but we didn’t eat out spontaneously last night for dinner. However, frozen taquitos were a significant portion of the meal. Progress over perfection!
In the past, we would only focus on the areas of life where we were struggling which overshadowed any victories we achieved. However, when we started to celebrate progress in our life, we realized that in addition to experiencing greater peace and freedom, we are building momentum toward growth in areas where we are falling short. We found that working on one area of our lives positively affects all other areas of our lives, too.My hope for you is that as you go about your day today, you begin to celebrate the progress over perfection in your own life and experience greater freedom and peace because of it.Anita