When Something Is Good Enough, It Really Is

Good enough - word abstract in vintage letterpress wood type to showcase the title of the post.
How often do you do things for validation rather than enjoyment? Unsatisfied with being good enough, and insisting on making everything perfect...

I joined a local hiking group and hiked the mountain trails every week. We always stopped midway to enjoy the view, share refreshments, and have a lively chat in the soothing breeze. I brought homemade banana bread the first few times, and they loved it.


It was such an ego boost.


After careful consideration, I decided to make fresh figs and walnut scones to impress my friends. I mixed the dry and wet ingredients, folded in ripe figs and walnuts, patted the dough into a round shape, and cut it into wedges. Then I egg-washed the wedges and sprinkled sugar for a golden brown finish.


Everything went well. My kitchen smelled wonderful with these lovely morsels baked in the oven. I smiled at the prospect of compliments from the group. 


When the time was up, I took the scones out of the oven. My heart sank. The scones weren’t golden brown! The top looked pale despite egg-washing and sugar-dusting. It must be the oven temperature. A golden brown hue from the high temperature of a commercial oven is often challenging to achieve with a home oven. I should have dialed up the temperature setting beforehand.


Refused to present anything less than spectacular to my friends. I increased the oven temperature and placed the anemic-looking scones inside. It’d only take a few minutes to touch up the top to make them look impressive.

golden brown figs and walnut scones on a baking tray to illustrate the main point of this blog post.
by Ivy Ge

Five minutes later, the color was still not quite what I wanted. Just a bit longer, I decided. When I finally removed the scones from the oven, they all had that warm, sun-kissed glow. Excited, I took a bite. It was hard and dry. The extra minutes of oven-tanning dried out the moisture and made them hard. I was beyond disappointed.


Eventually, I brought the palest scones in my batch to share with my hiking friends.


How often do we do things for validation rather than enjoyment?


We want that perfect wedding, birthday party, or beach vacation, even when it translates into endless headaches, trying to control what’s beyond our command. By striving for the ideal outcome, we forgo all logic and training and force ourselves to reach for the moon. It often turns into a tiresome self-punishment. Far, far away from the joy and happiness we envisioned.


Although my pale yet soft scones won’t be showstoppers, people might still appreciate their soft richness, with the season’s freshness wrapped inside a buttery dough alongside the crunchy, nutty walnut.


When something is good enough, it really is.

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Dr. Ivy Ge

Dr. Ivy Ge

Doctor of Pharmacy, author of The Art of Good Enough. She writes to inspire women to design their own fate. Her writings and interviews have been featured on MSNBC, Thrive Global, Working Mother magazine, Parentology, and The Times of India.

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