I long lived under the mantra if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. And that thus expanded out to mean if you don’t do it well, you wasted your time, energy and resources, it was a bad decision and you should feel bad about it.
That’s wholly incorrect. For so many bloody reasons. But fundamentally because it suggests it’s only worth doing if it’s done well. The things that are most worth doing are the things that are worth doing badly. The things you’d regret not doing. The things where a failed try is better than no try at all. Where a clumsy, inarticulate, muddling effort is more noble; more admirable; more true than silence. Where a half-step forward is still progress. Where a fudged attempt still provides something valuable.
When you fail to execute out of fear it will go badly, it sends the message that it wasn’t worth doing badly. Which translates to not being worth very much at all. Is that true? Or are you short-changing it?
Now, of course there is something to be said for the endeavour of excellence. But maybe it is more helpful to suggest that if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing wholeheartedly. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth committing to, regardless of the outcome. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing even when time, energy and resources are limited. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing, rather than ruminating over the perfect course of action.
Done is better than good, as they say.
I’ve been watching a lot of stand up comedy lately; mostly to pacify my building anxiety about the masters thesis I’m procrastinating, and maybe a little bit so I didn’t just get my 3 year old a Netflix subscription. If I cancelled his subscription and spent that time working instead I’d probably be a much more functional human being right now, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
Maybe I should have been a comedian. I like attention, I’m pretty good at regurgitating my own words a hundred times over and not really getting bored of the sound of it, and I’m even pretty funny provided you give me a few months to prepare.
I’ve never actually even remotely considered the possibility of a career in comedy (if we discount this right now), primarily because I’m so terrible at improv. I often come up with hilarious ideas during conversation and proceed to convey them in the most bland, tone deaf way one could possibly imagine. And everyone falls silent, looking a bit perplexed. And then, three days later, while sitting on the toilet, I finally craft them into the masterpiece they were always destined to be. And the only one to witness it is the baby slug that has emerged from a crevice near my shower screen to be today’s sacrifice to the toilet gods. Because yes, barring written testimony, I will still be flushing it.
…Not because I care about the testimony, that would just probably demonstrate a level of consciousness I wouldn’t feel comfortable flushing down the toilet.
Maybe I should be conducting more thorough testing of the gastropods that find their way into my bathroom. Just what is the level of consciousness that I do feel comfortable flushing down the toilet?
There’s an idea of comedians as society’s truth-tellers. Because comedy allows us to broach difficult subjects in an accessible way, by relieving the tension of taboo with a punchline. It breaks our defenses so we can let new ideas in. Sometimes. Maybe. Or maybe not. Sometimes, maybe, the tension is relieved too quickly and we get to skirt around the discomfort entirely. Maybe the art of comedy is holding just enough tension to change you, without you actually thinking you’ve been changed. Transformation disguised as entertainment. What delicious subterfuge.
I’m crap at holding tension. I’m an all or nothing kinda gal. I’m either flirting with you with no intent to follow through, or I’m conceding wholeheartedly to make us all feel better. Maybe the art of comedy would be a useful hobby for me.
Lost momentum is hard to regain.
At this point, I’m really just aware that in the not so distant past, I had a nice amount of momentum. I remember kind of what that felt like, and certainly that it was good. But I can’t really connect with it anymore.
I’m pretty sure that for a while during lockdown I had my shit together, but part of me is beginning to wonder if it was really as good as my nostalgia would have me believe.
Lately I’ve been sort of floating around in a chilled out bubble. I flouted my dietary requirements a few times, which put me in brain fog mode quite regularly but, even in between, I was preferring to just bob along happily with my little toddler-oriented life.
Then I decided to commit to some actual work. But, after a blaze of inspired productivity that lasted, like, a day and a half, I found myself climbing back into the comfort of my floaty bubble with an indulgent smile on my face.
I’ve had to begin the process of coaxing myself out. But I am a sneaky motherfucker. Every time I turn my back, bam, back in the bubble, naughty-kid side-eyed grin on my face. Come on, Yve, just five minutes.