Doing Better

Leave a comment

July 13, 2018 by Julia

I can always do better. And maybe that is okay. It’s not an indictment of my character, or a wallowing in my mistakes, or a despair over my flaws.

After a failure I am tempted to roll around in shame, like a pig in mud, which actually makes it sound a lot more fun than shame is, which means I should probably find a better metaphor. I can find a better metaphor. Maybe not at the moment, as I write this. But that is okay. No need to panic. I don’t need to be improving in every single moment. That would not be better. That would be oppressive.

Making things better, making myself better, is what keeps me learning and growing and exploring. Better will always be on the horizon, calling to me. I want to plunge to the depths and climb so high I can see forever. There is no better life than what I have been given, but there are always better ways to live it and be in it.

Better can be my inspiration, rather than my paralyzing shame. Better can be whatever that means to me, a song that speaks to my heart and mind and body all at once, patiently pulling me down paths that I can’t forsee, but I can enjoy in the moment. A song composed of all of my favorite musical elements: joy countered by angst, rocking, rolling waves, an otherworldly element, layers upon layers of sound and meaning; complexity and beauty. I don’t have to run. I’m allowed to pause. I can walk, and take it all in, as I slowly move forward to better.

Perfection leaves no room for that reaching. Perfection has already arrived and has nowhere else to go. Sometimes I think I want to have arrived. Like, maybe I can finally get some inner peace if I arrived at all the goals. Like I could lie down and rest on the plateau of perfection. But the thing is, I would never want a life comprised of only rest, any more than I want a life of always reaching. I want pauses in the long journey, yes, and I want to forget about the reaching sometimes. This, to me, is better. The pauses make things better, just as the slow walk forward makes things better.

Better can be whatever I want it to be, in my life. Contrast. Light and shadow. Beauty and grit. Peace. Sitting and looking at a waterfall – or diving into the ice-cold water. It depends on the moment.

I want to go, go, go. I want to travel to the outer reaches. I want to rest, rest, rest. I want to see what happens when I do. This is my better.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 560 other followers


playful + peaceful

writings on an imperfectly balanced life


--- A Return to Art Criticism ---

Radical Discipleship

A Joint Project of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries and Word & World


A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Angela Barnett

Writer. Wig Wearer. Shame Buster.

Things We Like

a project by jessica gross

LaMonte M. Fowler

an indie author writing to stay sane

Kelsey Hough-Munger

life-lover, truth-sharer, fiercely free

Social Justice | Pop Culture | Black Girl Magic

One Awkward Year

wow, this is awkward . . .

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Joy, Lovely Joy

Writing through mothering

Fucking Awesome Bulimics I Know

Sharing stories and kicking shame in the shins (warning: some of these stories might be triggering)

Stephanie Mackley - An Honest Mom

On existential questions, feelings we're not supposed to feel, and toppling the patriarchy


small shares from Pronoia Coaching

James Gillingham - Long Arm Films

Thinking thoughts and making films

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing and Speaking for the Pop Culture Literate.

Laura Parrott Perry

We've all got a story to tell.

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

Music for Deckchairs

"In shadowy, silent distance grew the iceberg too": universities, technology, work and life

my name is elizabeth

stories about race, culture, and identity

Priss & Vinegar

Lawyer by trade. Writer at heart. Housewife by accident.

Angela Tucker

Blogger / Speaker / Educator

Candice Czubernat

A leading voice in the LGBTQ and Christian dialogue

Song of the Lark

Music, melodies, mutterings

Adventures of a Teacher Nerdfighter

Building a fifth grade classroom community around enthusiasm, creativity, and awesome.

Michelle Murnin Paulson

Spiritual Medium & Blogger

Olivia A. Cole

Author. Blogger. Bigmouth.

%d bloggers like this: