A New Useless Word For a New Year

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Another year, yes.
Lots of time!
High time, in fact: overdue.
I’ve been waiting to offer up my new useless word.
Why wait? Procrastination, perhaps, holiday rest, but not JUST that.

Let’s reflect on the last year,  especially on all the holidays lately.
So much pressure, high expectations,  spending, debt, frustration, conflict, presure…

Today’s Useless Word is “perfect.”

A nice idea,  so poorly used. Legions of would-be perfectionists obsessing about perfection, never getting there, grinding away on their imaginary treadmills… Holidays simply speed up the mills until they, and our souls, heat up and smoke. This is what holiday means? Really? So enjoyable lots of people drink just to get through it all. Woo hoo! We’ve lost our way, isn’t it clear?

How can you go wrong with perfect?  Doesn’t it motivate you, serve as a goal, drawing you forward even if you never reach it?

That’s not what I’ve seen over the years. I’ve seen people obsessing over trivia, pouring so much time and energy into avoiding any flaws that it offers more  distractions than goals. I’ve seen people beat themselves up over even minor mistakes and imperfections, rationalizing and numbing themselves from dark thoughts : too fat, not rich enough, not the best at everything, unable to outdo Martha Stewart (and her legion of helpers) at every meal and party. Seeking perfection usually devolves into fretting about imperfect.

We might try a little experiment this year.

Instead of grandiose leaps to the mountaintops where the Perfect Gods dwell (as if), instead of flogging  ourselves and disappointing ourselves, again and again, let’s try something different.

No more giant leaps, unless they’ve served you well so far I suppose. The rest of us, let’s look for imperfections as targets. Imperfections : there’s no shortage,  right? I have plenty. We can continue to fret about them, hide them or pretend we’ll suddenly erase them forever (no more grandiosity, remember?). OR we can make good use of these flaws, frame them as resources. They offer us opportunities: without flaws, there’d be no room for progress. Boring! Pick a few to focus on, plan reasonable, DOABLE steps forward. A year later, we can all trade notes on our successes, all those steps.

Not on anything perfect. We’ve had more than enough of that.

Anyone interested?


  1. Love this: “OR we can make good use of these flaws, frame them as resources. They offer us opportunities: without flaws, there’d be no room for progress.” I’m with you on the “no more giant leaps,” instead, DOABLE steps! A great way to start the new year!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It doesn’t matter where I publish from, or how many times I checked it over, it’s only when it’s actually published that I find the glaring errors and die inwardly in my imperfections, because I am a perfectionist, albeit a messy one 😉 I then edit furiously, sometimes 3-5 times, til I get it right…hopefully 😉
    I am guessing “impercections” are really imperfections, right?
    And “grabdiosity” is grandiosity?
    Hehe 😉
    Edit, edit, edit…… 😉
    Nice post 🙂
    Happy New Year!


  3. Perfect has its place in our lives. I do like perfection or predictability in systems, machines, methods…. airplanes… whenever people’s lives are at stake, but as it has been shown in tragedy after tragedy… nothing is ever perfect and even systems deemed perfect can never be perfect because humans are always involved and we’re imperfect beings. In addition, maybe perfection leads us to our own complacency in our expectations, and makes us lazy. That said, on a more personal basis, I was never a fan of perfection, preferring its more interesting cousins: mistakes, errors and accidents — all helping us to learn more and more. All of this said, I will go on a limb here and wonder if any word is useless… except the word “useless” which I still think is the most useless word of all.


    1. “Useless” is a shameless plea for attention that has become the trademark of this little series. I agree with you it lacks accuracy, a common feature of absolute adjectives. I’m willing to live with it, especially as it seems to get people thinking about words and ideas, generally a good thing. Thanks for taking the time to participate – much appreciated! – Greg


  4. HA! I cannot seem to publish a post from my phone period! I may edit or update a post, but writing from start to finish just hasn’t appeared to work for me thus far. I commend you for that feat. But, as you said, it would be slightly hypocritical to perfecting it on the computer before publishing. But what does perfect really mean to a person? Satisfying for them or the world? Perfection is a far fetched accomplishment for many to obtain, let alone realizing the honest meaning behind the word. Perfection could possibly mean that a person has the most satisfaction within whatever it is that they do/are. Just a bit of a critical thought process for you to chew on 🙂

    Cheers 🙂


    1. Thanks, I love stuff to chew on! I actually mostly use the word perfect differnently than most. When something pleases me, often I say “Perfect!” as in perfectly pleased in that moment. Not a completely accurate use perhaps but sincere…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love “We can make good use of these flaws, frame them as resources.” 🙂
    The word “Perfect” has been useless to me for years, although imperfection is a strenuous adverb to deal with. Imperfections can bring you gifts, you’ve just got to notice them when they come about for they do not always speak loudly.

    Great post! Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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