Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Live in the Gray

I poo-poo-ed this blog theme when it was first thrown down.

Too much like Mitch McVicker’s album “The Grey (When Black and White Fade)”.

Gray versus grey. Discuss amongst yourselves.

And then I learned the phrase was invoked by someone not especially familiar with Mitch.

A non-groupie.

Not a member of the Ragamuffin tribe.


Godincidence maybe.

The reference had to do with letting go of perfectionism. As a recovering perfectionist and compulsive planner I’m familiar with the need to have everything just so. Everything is either a success or a failure. There is no in between. It’s either black or white.

That’s how I used to think anyway. At times.

There is so much beautiful gray in the middle.

I’ve observed something when counseling weight loss clients the last few years. I’ll ask how things are going or how the week went. And people beat themselves up over where they perceive they erred. Where they weren’t absolutely one hundred percent perfect. People are hard on themselves. Harsh. Really harsh. Wow.

It’s not that bad! It’s not either or. There’s a whole array of perfectly valid ways to be in between.

I tell people to keep getting back on the wagon. Daily. More often than that if they have to. What, are you going to completely give up on trying to be healthy because you had a bad week (day, month, year)? It’s not black and white. It’s not all or nothing.

People carry a lot of shame for not achieving perfection. It’s so unnecessary.

A friend described trying to develop healthy habits as a dance. Very astute. Rarely does one set a goal and land on it immediately. One-two-cha-cha-cha. Three-four-cha-cha-cha.

And yet we expect perfection.

We do.

Stop it.

Sorry, not Earl Grey. Green passion. Pretty sure you have to hold your pinkie out when spelling grey with an e btw.

Excellence doesn’t have to be one hundred percent. Sometimes good enough is phenomenally perfect in its adequacy and efficiency. Sometimes excellence is learning from mistakes and doing better next time.

“So you’re depressed and ready to quit because you had two McD’s sweet teas this week. How many did you used to have? Five or seven? You’re doing good. Make ‘em unsweet next week. Or half sweet half un. Or drink water. Choose one.”

The green passion tea is unsweetened, thank you very much.

Right, wrong, or indifferent … wanted or not … I’ve gotten rather comfortable with the gray of life in recent years. I’m not in control. I don’t have to be. I’m in control of my own choices. And I stand by them.

I have to chuckle, though. Do you ever get the sense that people have been talking about you? In the course of a conversation you suddenly realize they’ve made some assumptions that did not come from you. (Going through past discussions and writings in my mind … did I ever say … no, okay, well.)

Pardon my grayness. Talk away. Just spell my name right, please.

Most people want things to be neat and tidy. Black and white. Easy. Defined. Understandable.

Sorry, babe, life doesn’t really work that way.

A while back I had a brief political discussion with a friend. The tv happened to be on, detailing the latest great travesty against humanity. Well against liberal “rights” at least.


I proudly claim to be part of the vast right wing conspiracy (the non-shrieky contingency), and my friend … well … they proudly display a snapshot of a past Democrat president in their home.

We agree on Jesus, good music, and good food. That’s more than enough. On the controversy of the day … I didn’t think anyone involved was one hundred percent right or one hundred percent wrong. I also didn’t think we had all the info. (What, the media left out some details?!?) There were a couple or three absolutes one could state, but the rest was generously smeared in various levels of grayscale.

I kind of want to finger-paint with black, white, and gray now. Or grey.

A trip to Hobby Lobby may be in order.


Anyone want to join me???

My hairdresser took care of the gray. And the grey.

Neither gray nor grey.

Dark gray.

Has nothing to do with gray. I just like this pic.

Keep looking up.

For more Living in the Gray see Sue Bowles at and Leisa Herren at

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