“I’m in a good place, but I could be even better.”

It seems like it’s getting more and more uncommon to hear someone say that they are” in a good place” and leave it at that with no qualifiers. That statement is usually followed quickly by another describing what may still be wrong with their life, their body, their career, etc. So, do they actually mean that they “are in a good place?” What do those words mean anyway?

I think that when most people say that they are in a good place, they mean a mentally good place. At least that is what I mean when i say it. When I say I am in a good place, I am referring to a mental and emotional good place. I mean that mentally and emotionally I fall somewhere between satisfied and wrecked, more so toward the satisfied end. I mean that overall I am pleased and satisfied with how I am taking life in stride and how I process the world input around me. It means that I am not crying myself to sleep every night in a little stress ball. It means that I don’t walk around feeling like I am going to have a breakdown. It means that when I encounter stressful situations, I am able to handle them and effectively promote good change. It means that I am looking forward to the future. It means that there seem to be more good days than bad days.

What is doesn’t mean, is that everything in my life and mind is perfect and no change is required. I would still like to keep striving with my career success. I would like to be able to pay my bills without worry. I would like to summon up the courage and stamina to work more on my body and physical appearance with some consistency ( The rare workout sessions that occur now when I am able to roust myself by 5 am in my only window of time for that do not count.) I would like to be even a bit closer to the perfect mother and wife. ( So far I think I am hitting that target at least over 50% so that is something.) I would like to spend less time being modifying my behavior because I am worried about how some jerk might respond and just do what is right. I would like to have perfect balance in work and in life.

Wow, when I start going over that list out loud, it sounds kind of overwhelming doesn’t it? It sounds like literally everything is still a work in progress. But, that’s ok. Life is not supposed to be perfect. Life by definition encompasses everything around us. Flaws and imperfections will always be there and that is part of what makes life interesting. If we had nothing to fix or work on, what would keep us going? Most humans I know do not really know how to just sit and enjoy for any significant period of time anyway.

Besides that, everybody’s definition of perfection is different. Some people’s idea of perfection would be a life with all business and no emotional attachments whereas others might think perfection is a chaotic household full of kids and being a stay at home mom. From now on, I am going to refer to “perfection” in quotes, just to drive this point home. As human beings, we need goals to keep moving forward, to continue to progress in life as individuals and as a society. In order to accomplish these goals without driving ourselves crazy in the process, they need to be attainable and sustainable. We also need a baseline of healthy mental perspective to allow us to strive for these goals and attain them at our own pace without feeling like a total failure all the time. So, I guess what I am really saying is that being “in a good place” does not have to mean that everything is perfect. Otherwise, we might not ever allow ourselves to get there. Have a fantastic day folks!

Dr. Katz

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