My word for the year may be “enough”, but one month into 2015, I find the word I’ve actually been using the most is something a bit different. Well, not all that different.
I’m not sure exactly when or how it started, but I’ve been describing a lot of things lately as “suboptimal”. It’s a satisfying word to say, or indeed type, possibly in all caps. Perfect job advertised, across the country, with no chance of even part-time telecommuting? Suboptimal. Kids four years apart suddenly both embark on separate stroppy developmental phases at the exact same time? Suboptimal. Both kids get sick AND baby is teething AND huzbeast is away for the week AND you have a sudden urgent freelance job AND you’re sick too?* SUB. OPTIMAL.
It works even better for describing my own failings. Letting Elfling watch Frozen on a loop all afternoon because sick baby won’t sleep without mommy and sick mommy could really use a rest? Suboptimal. Letting my cherished goals slide for a while because I just don’t have the energy right now? Suboptimal. Wasting precious time typing up a blog post again because I didn’t hit save even though I know how flaky my pooter is these days?** Suboptimal. Realising we’re solidly into the second month of the year and I haven’t accomplished a damn thing?
Suboptimal. But still okay.
Suboptimal is a much kinder word than “crappy”. It’s also completely accurate. I’m behind on, well, everything, but I’m not letting anyone down. My new Awesome Productivity System may not have me powering ahead just yet, but I still feel good about it; right now it’s helping me to cope, and soon, as things get that vital fraction easier, it will help me to catch up. My parenting isn’t fantastic, but my kids are happy and loved.
It is indeed enough.
* Not that all these things have happened exactly as described, or not all this past month. But you know.