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Doing It Wrong, Intentionally

I’m a big fan of doing things efficiently and competently. I don’t like to waste my time, and I certainly don’t like it when other people waste my time. Alas, I have children, so time gets wasted. But I do appreciate hacks, tips, tricks, and other inventive methods that make life just a little easier.

For example, this mesmerizing video tells me I’m cutting watermelon wrong.

When I recovered from the music, the video speed, and the woman enjoying her watermelon far more than is appropriate, I realized she just cut the handle off all the watermelon. Now how is she suppose to eat it at a picnic without making a mess? She’s the one who is cutting it wrong!

Or maybe this is an alternate way to cut watermelon in funky spear shapes. Nifty!

You can find lots of fun hacks, like how to use your soda tab. If you can get over the realization that you’re a wrong person who has been doing things wrong your whole life, Wrongy McLooserton, these tips can be helpful.

Or suck an inordinate amount of time for really useless “improvements.” For example, you can use an onion ring to cook a perfectly round egg. But, why? I mean . . . WHY?!?!?

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Let’s face it, the quest for perfection can get out of hand.

As a homeschooler, I’m constantly seeing friends and acquaintances jump from program to program, looking for the “perfect” curriculum. You probably know someone who is constantly looking for the best productivity/organization/time management system. People jump from diet to diet and fitness routine to fitness routine looking for the “secret” to health. How much time, energy, and money we waste in the futile attempt for perfection?

We’re going to a homeschool convention at the end of the month, but the exhibit hall no longer has the same pull that it did when I was a new homeschooler. Part of that is because I’m much more confident in my abilities, but the bigger reason is because I realize that there is no such thing as a perfect curriculum. I can no longer be guilted into spending money on something because I’m not giving my kids “the best.”  What works best for my child isn’t the only (or sometimes the most important) question. If my kid excels on a $1000 per year math program, he might just have to be content with less math-excelling but more food, shelter, and clothing. If a program takes 6 hours a day and requires mom to be involved every single minute, then the results don’t matter near as much as the fact that that’s a one-way trip to the asylum for mom. Nobody learns well when Mom has lost her mind. “Perfect” isn’t the primary measure I use to choose our curriculum. I’m much more concerned that it fits our family culture, schedule, and budget.

Likewise, I know there’s always going to be a better way to rearrange the details of my life. And from time to time, I need to do an assessment and see what needs to be restructured. Life is a constant battle against the entropy, and there are some great tips for fighting that battle. But life isn’t only a battle against entropy. Maybe I don’t cut my watermelon “the right way.” Maybe (definitely) my kitchen is an inefficient mad-house. Maybe my kids aren’t getting the best science education available,  and why haven’t I invested in a university-grade laboratory? I’m sure I could improve the function and efficiency of every area of my life. I could aim for perfect and spend all my energy and resources seeking to attain that goal. But the trade off is to not actually live my life. I think I’d rather do it wrong.


Related: Starting with the Wrong Question


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