Thursday, September 30, 2010

On Being Half Assed

It’s come to my attention that I’m now a blogger. Probably this isn't the sort of thing that sneaks up on most bloggers. But considering that I’ve spent the last three years reading many blogs and thinking (too) deeply about whether or not a blog was really something I could manage, I think it’s best that Lis has forced my hand.

So hey! I’m a blogger. Which, as Lis kindly reminded me this morning, means I should probably post something once in a while.

First off, let’s discuss this concept of being “half-assed.” A friend of ours started using the term a few years ago, mostly in relation to plans we were making—if it was a “half-assed” plan, it meant we could make the plan without feeling commitment shy about it. A sudden need to cancel an outing wouldn’t be taken as lack of love, ditzyness, lack of responsibility or follow-through, etc. We were close enough to understand that on the morning after one of us had had insomnia all night, a day trip to San Francisco probably wasn’t our best bet. We were close enough to understand that sometimes, even when you technically have a plan with a friend, your introvert nature takes over at the last minute and you must. be. alone.

So that was the origin, but the “half-assed” business has spread to other arenas. While it sounds flip, it’s actually come to mean something pretty important to me, and I think to Lis as well. (Though, just because we now have a blog together, we do not yet have a brain together, so I’ll leave it to her to correct me if I’m wrong.)

What I can say with certainty is that both halves of this here blogging team suffer from a certain...let’s call it a “wealth of perfectionism,” shall we? A wealth of perfectionism that doesn’t always serve us as well as we might hope. So half-assed? Really lightens things up—I mean, if what you’re going for is half-assed, just how nuts can you make yourself with the details? Just how comatose from worry can you become over whether it will all be good enough? Just how much can you bother procrastinating when, after all, you’re only going for half-assed?

And the miraculous thing is that if you set out for half-assed and actually get something done, it’s so much more productive than aiming for perfect and being all tied up in knots about even beginning. Whaddaya know?

Of course, the blog name also makes us laugh because some of us around here aren’t actually mamas at all. But apparently, I’m doing okay as a half-assed auntie. Recently, Lis’s profoundly lovely three-year-old patted my cheeks, looked at me adoringly and said, “My little Amy.”

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