The perfect: an enemy of the good

photo-188Things are a bit tightly scheduled around here this week, and as a result I haven’t carved out as much time for running as I ideally would. To be sure, I’m in taper mode for my half-marathon next weekend, but “taper” doesn’t mean “do nothing,” which is what I did from Monday through Thursday.

Friday was likewise packed tight. But after feeding the baby in the morning, I pulled on my exercise clothes, went to the basement, and hopped on the treadmill. The baby watched me as I did 2 miles before he got bored out of his mind (as any normal human being would) and started to fuss. Two miles isn’t much, I told myself, but it’s two miles better than nothing, which was my other option.

And sometimes, progress feeds on itself. Having done two miles, when an 11 a.m. phone call got moved, I decided to put my exercise clothes back on. I went downstairs and did another quick mile before my next call.

I would prefer to be doing 60-minute trail runs daily. The honeysuckle is out right now, and the woods are thick and fragrant. The running weather is great. But just because that isn’t happening doesn’t mean I must admit defeat. The perfect is a disarmingly subversive enemy of the good. Often, something is better than nothing. Much better.

In other news: The Chicago Tribune does a lovely write-up of I Know How She Does It, calling it “a refreshingly optimistic take on a topic rarely approached with a sunny outlook: having it all.”

Grown and Flown also does a nice review: “Vanderkam’s point is an essential one. There are days, sometimes even weeks, when it seems impossible to shoehorn everything we need to do into a single day. But this does not mean that our lives cannot be full of the work, family and leisure that we want. It simply means that for any given day the balance might not be optimal. Vanderkam asks us to zoom out our lens and look at our lives from a broader vantage point with a slightly longer time horizon. By doing that we can see that with much planning and flexibility and a myriad of creative solutions offered in her book, it can all get done.”

My piece on women with big careers and big families (4 or more kids) ran at These are all strategies I’m learning as I’m figuring out how to manage my career and brood!

Speaking of Fortune, Katherine Reynolds Lewis wrote a great piece called “Are all work-life balance experts self-employed hypocrites?” I really appreciated that one, so please go give it a read.

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