Aging and The Joys of Mostly Good Enough

In a world of be all you can be, I’m getting more comfortable with being, mostly good enough.  There is a rhythm to life.  Why fight it.  Go with the flow, I tell myself.

Maybe this inclination is nothing more than a gut feeling.  A feeling based on 5.6 decades of being, alterations to the body, and the mind, and reading books such as I Feel Great About My Hands: And Other UNEXPECTED Joys of Aging.  Edited by Shari Graydon, it is a collection of 41 perspectives on aging, from notable women from across Canada, all of them over the age of fifty.

Graydon is past president of Media Action, an organization dedicated to challenging the under-representation, stereotyping and sexual objectification of women in the media.  She has also written two media literacy books for youth.  I have one of those books, In Your Face: The Culture of Beauty and You, in my home, or rather my daughter does.  It was given to her, in her early teen years, by her Aunt. Her Aunt knew something, better than I ever could or can.

Heather-Jane Robertson’s, The Joys of Mostly Good Enough is the title of one of the stories in the book.  She describes that phrase that is versatile, in that it can describe a day, a life or a haircut.  It leaves room for both error and improvement without requiring immediate action on either count.  I agree, and I think it fits nicely with the paradoxical insights that often come with age.

The women in the book come from a diverse spectrum of viewpoints, and backgrounds.  The stories are personal, lively, and often irreverent; witness (other) titles such as How Drooping Breasts Led Me To A Truck-Driving Life of Adventure, A Work In Progress, Levity In The Face of Gravity, My Colonoscopy.

Overall, the book celebrates the upside, and wonder, of maturity.  It’s all just fine.

The I Feel Great book launch gala took place in Ottawa, last spring.  Here’s a 16 minute video compilation, of the editor plus a number of the contributors.  Honest and funny (video not displaying? click here)


I think there is much to learn from elders on the joys and ways of mostly good enough.

I dare say, the facilitator, mediator, who seeks to find common ground, would do her/himself well by taking heed to the way of mostly good enough.

The wisdom that comes with aging is there for the learning.  One only has to apply it.

How are you learning from the joys of aging?

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  1. Ben, your posting got me thinking about an article I recently read on how researchers have found that “healthy older individuals have a positivity bias – they can actually manage how much attention they give to negative situations so they’re less upset by them”. It concludes that – in this way, at any rate – wisdom really does come with aging. So, perhaps enjoying ‘mostly good enough’ is more than simply a gut feeling. The article (I can’t vouch for its scientific validity, of course) is here:

  2. Good of you to bring this up, Susanna…. that we really are getting better, as we age… if wisdom & positivity are indicators. I feel better already. 🙂 I’ve heard before about the positivity factor… its as if accumulated experience give us a gut feel about what to sweat or not to sweat over; e.g., the small stuff. And your mention of our gut feeling… i.e., our intuition, is certainly something that is rooted in experience, if not our own, our ancestors & genetics.

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