Perfection vs. Done

December 21, 2010

They say that “Perfection is the Enemy of Done.” I guess I am my own worst enemy. When it comes to espresso, margaritas, and love I will not accept failure, half measure or even a half stop below perfection. I have spent years on my espresso; working and saving to buy better equipment; laboring over each shot; reading and learning wherever I could. Likewise I have spent my whole life in pursuit of love, and then  in its betterment and refinement. I can be nigh obsessive about some topics.

On the other hand is my boat. I love sailing, don’t get me wrong. I love working on my boat too. I want her to be strong and capable and safe for my family. I don’t worry about the aesthetics though, and I don’t fret about the more minor details that affect our life within the boat. Things like rough woodwork, or a little plumbing improvement, or even matching plumbing standards, these things are a best effort consideration.

Once we started talking about it the reason for this dichotomy was immediately apparent to me. I spend my perfectionism where it can do me some good. World rocking coffee is achievable and worthwhile. A love nearing Hellenic proportions is, while not as easily attained certainly no less worthwhile. A perfect boat on the other hand seems to me to be a liability. The only ones I’ve known haven’t left the docks and if they did they would instantly cease to be perfect. So I choose my battles. With love, family, coffee, and  margaritas, I pour on the effort and strive for perfection. With my boat, and those other things, I’ll accept done, and done well.


  1. Comment by Barfoolian

    Barfoolian December 21, 2010 at 9:21 am

    As I wander the cracked and broken path I marvel at the bluebells growing in the aftermath. In my mind’s eye sometimes the path is not perfect, sometimes the bluebells are. If perfection is an unalterable eidos how can I explain this? I can’t. And when I find happiness it is in this moment of realization. Perfection is perception. I may choose my perception. And with that knowledge I may change my world. Is it truth? In the words of Don Van Vliet, “The stars are matter. We’re matter. But it doesn’t matter?” Good bye Captain and thank you for coming to the party.
    My apologies for the ramble and taking it from a ramble to an elegy. In defense Beefhart had a lot to say about perfection and I will miss his voice. = RIP 12-17-2010

  2. Comment by Tucker Bradford

    Tucker Bradford December 21, 2010 at 10:07 am

    John, I can’t tell you what sudden and overwhelming joy overcame me as I saw the email notification that Barfoolian had commented on my post. I think I’ll read that quote a few dozen times this week. It is a fantastic meditation.

  3. Comment by David Drazen

    David Drazen December 21, 2010 at 10:35 am

    What pray tell then is your margarita recipe? I’d like to compare it against mine. 1 part tequila, 1/2 part orange liquor, 1 part fresh lime juice, and 1/2 part simple syrup. I’ve been using Cuervo 1800 silver lately and Gran Gala as the liquor.

    • Comment by Tucker Bradford

      Tucker Bradford December 21, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      1 part lime juice
      1 part Milagro tequila
      1 part Patron Citronge (or Cointreau)
      shaken and poured over ice, no salt.

      I’ve also added 1 part agave in the past, which is a great beginner drink but I’ve come to look forward to the small diferences in lime flavor that the sugar would have hidden.

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