The Perfect Daughter

During the 10-hour car ride to Grandma and Grandpa’s (my parents) for Thanksgiving I got to read a lot. No doubt, during that time, I was bound to come across something enlightening, earthshattering, you know, some piece of serendipitous advice I didn’t even know I was looking for.

So, I’m reading a little of this, a little of that and finally settle into the book, Beyond Happiness: The Zen Way to True Contentment, by Ezra Bayda.

He says in Chapter 6, “A wise person once said, ‘Anything worth doing is worth doing half-assed.’  Can we give up our ideals of perfection and simply lighten up and do the best we can at the moment?”

This struck me. Whenever visiting my parents, I try so hard to be perfect. And I always blow it. I get pissed at my dad when he recounts for the millionth time my most embarrassing moments, or I snap at my mom when she just won’t let me be. It’s just the way it’s always been.

So, I tucked Ezra’s advice in the back of my mind, “It’s ok to be half-assed,”  and waited to see where it would take me.

As the holiday progressed, sure enough, my dad said x and my mom said y and I lost it as usual. I was not the perfect daughter. And then life went on.

I untucked Ezra’s advice and thought about how we always seem to just move on after I get upset with my parents. Then, it struck me like a lightening bolt, it wasn’t my parents who were disturbed by my behavior, it was me. In fact – they seem to get some sort of thrill at seeing how long it will take before I do lose it.

So, I finally figured it out. They don’t want a perfect daughter. They just want their half-assed daughter and family to visit for Thanksgiving.

And anyway, as luck would have it, their son-in-law and grandkids are perfect.


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