Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Good Enough

As anyone who works for themselves (and particularly anyone who works for themselves from home) knows, it is often very difficult to differentiate between working and relaxing and knowing when "good enough" will do. We see our work (and a plethora of uncompleted and necessary tasks) every single time we look out the window or open the front door. It is VERY easy for Type A personalities to fall into the trap of working all the time, from first morning light until one minute before bed. I know personally that this entire scenario can quickly become overwhelming for those with perfectionist tendencies (this includes BOTH of us, although thankfully not on the same topics !!). Over time and with much (!) practice, we have devised some coping mechanisms and strategies that work reasonably well for us in differentiating our business from our personal lives and in keeping both running *relatively* smoothly most of the time !

1. The horses' needs ALWAYS come first. It doesn’t matter who is visiting, what the weather is doing, what is planned, or what time it may be, caring for the horses always comes first. This very much includes such items as keeping the fences, buildings and equipment in good repair and keeping the pastures mowed in addition to feeding, emergency care, farrier work and grooming . Regular communication with our clients is very important too, but even this takes second place to caring for the horses.

2. Caring for us comes next. Obviously this doesn’t involve month long vacations in Tahiti twice a year, but we believe it is absolutely critical to take or make adequate time for us, both individually and as a couple. Individually, this includes Melissa taking lessons and riding her horses several times a week while I enjoy some uninterrupted quiet time to enjoy a good book or surf the net. Jointly, this means ensuring that we create enough time on a regular basis to ensure that we can tackle little problems before they become big problems AND ensuring that we have enough time to have some non-work related fun together ! For us this means creating two or more evenings a week when we are focused on each other or on something that both of us want to do/see/watch.

3. Caring for everything (and everyone) else comes next. After tending after the first two, sometimes there isn’t much left in the tank to deal with anybody else. Learning that this is okay was a long hard lesson of a thing to learn for both of us.

I’m very curious to know what similar issues you face in your world. How do you cope with them successfully ? When is “good enough”, good enough and when does it require considerably more effort to be acceptable ? For those with spouses, what are your challenges ?

I think learning to say “good enough” in all it’s ways has probably been one of the biggest marital and business challenges that Melissa and I have ever faced.

(post written by Jason)

I saw these sitting on the fence one afternoon. I don't know if they are hawks, vultures, buzzards or what. I do know that they look like something I don't want to mess with, and I'm thinking their presence means something had a day that ended badly!

Ogie, Winston, Faune, Asterik and B-Rad

Teddy and O'Reilly


Elfin decided that chewing on the fly mask on the gate would be a nice way to pass some time

Hemi and Slinky playing over the fence. Hemi is 17.2 hands and Slinky is a large pony who very much has a macho man personality. Here he is coming down from the classic squeal, swish my tail and strike at the fence maneuver. I hoped to snap this picture sooner but both front feet are still off the ground. Hemi just found it entertaining to make Slinky go through the whole routing. He would basically keep putting quarters in so he could watch the whole routine again.


B-Rad and Alex

MyLight and Lily

Homer and Trigger


Cygnata said...

They're turkey buzzards, a relatively common species up and down the east coast.


IsobelleGoLightly said...

Goats? Goats? Shouldn't goats be first on the care list? Tee hee.

Anonymous said...

Slinky is quite the character! I know what you mean about priorities and good enough, as opposed to perfectionism. I haven't really been doing a very good job of taking care of anything but the horses for a while, and hope to spend more time on my husband and myself this year - but as you say, the horses always come first!

SmartAlex said...

Cope? I don't think we cope at all. Well, I do. And even that is a source of contention! How can I possibly be sitting with my feet up when there is weed whacking to be done? And gosh, can't I see the fly spots on the house siding and the dirt on the window sills? Ummm... no. Not from here.

Sylvia said...

in my case, the kids come first, then the husband, then the house. i'm always last. i think that is common for the primary caregiver with children. my husbands first priority is work. it always has been, and always will be. *shrug* he tries hard to make sure we don't "notice" but that's just life!
good enough for me, would be housekeeping. i used to be more type A...but that went away after i had kids!

Vivian, Apollo's mom said...

Those ugly birds are Turkey Vultures. Pete says that "buzzards" are a common name for hawks of the Buteo genus (he knows ALOT about birds) and that name is incorrectly applied to vultures.

As to being too much of a perfectionist and not taking time for yourself, wait till you get into your mid-late 50's and you will see how much you ease up on yourself!

LuLo Designs/Blue Eyed Tango said...

Well I think age has a lot to do with slowing down the perfectionism train! You both are young still and I could relate when I was your age. There's only so many hours in the day and you cannot do it ALL well....sure you can accomplish a lot but was it done well? Did you enjoy it while you were doing it? That's what I always ask myself, "did I do it well or did I just get er done"? Life is too short to have endless jobs waiting to be done. Pick and choose and let the rest go. I've seemed to have hopped trains though....I use to fret about the inside of the house when the kids were young but now it's the outside! I look out and can see everything that NEEDS to be done but have realized that if I don't take adequate time for the things that I enjoy, I'm not worth much to anyone or anything. Our horses come first here as well. However, because of owning so many horses my husband and I have not taken a vacation together for some time....we did travel a lot before with his job so I don't really care about that. As far as things to do together....it's trail riding. We are complete opposites outside of that! LOL Oh by the way, do you know anything about Long Branch Lakes in Spencer, TN? I received a book/brochure from them about land for sale. If my husband's idea comes together....we'll be moving south!

Hate those buzzards and the black crows!! Great post Jason! Hi Mellisa!

Jason said...

Hey Luanne;

No, I don't, and knowing what I do about that part of the state, not knowing them makes me very nervous. There are a lot of fly by night shysters buying cut over timberland or land for which they don't have the mineral rights and then selling it in small acreage tracts to folks from out of state with services promised in the future. It can be very hard to tell which companies are legitimate and which are not, but if anything is promised rather than shown, run, don't walk away. I would be happy to put you in touch with some trustworthy folks if you'll email either Melissa or myself privately.