Progress, Not Perfection

august09 003This is from our local AA office.  Carole and I went there to buy books and meeting lists for our meeting.  We went with hard covered books, because to me, these books are meant to be kept and used for many many many many years.  In some kind of publishing logic, hard covers cost only a little bit more than soft.  Our meeting, and most meetings I go to, give books away to people who can’t afford them.

The phrase progress, not perfection comes from Chapter Five of the Big Book, How It Works.  It is, to me, a key to how it works.  It was recently pointed out to me that perfectionists are always concentrating on what is wrong.  I have understood “perfectionist” as a compliment, mostly, though I have never ever claimed to be or tried to be one.

The concept of progress, not perfection has been an excellent tool for me in sobriety and other areas of life.  It’s not saying that I’m good enough or always do my best.  I’m not good enough, and I don’t always do my best.  I do need to aim for progress and keep doing that for as long as I can.

I won’t be perfect at …… anything.  I will progress until time stops me.

And actually, there is something important to me that I feel I get worse at.  That is walking the dog.  I had a traumatic dog walking experience three years ago, and I have to admit I haven’t really progressed with that and I often feel I’m doing worse than before.  I’m not letting it go because I have the dog, and I feel the obligation as well as the desire to walk her.  I have hope about that situation, but I know I may never get anywhere with it.

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