approximation noun

ap·​prox·​i·​ma·​tion | \ ə-ˌpräk-sə-ˈmā-shən  \

: the quality or state of being close or near.

When we are young, approximations are celebrated. We scoot across the floor on our tummies, we babble, we take wobbly, miniature steps and fall into the arms of loved ones around us. “So close,” they say.

Little by little, these approximations become less appreciated. We are corrected at best and admonished at worst for our clumsy attempts at new things, hard things. The world begins to put expectations on us and eventually, we begin to reinforce these expectations on ourselves. We shy away from that which is new and settle into the comfort of the ordinary.

But what if we celebrated our approximations as adults?

What if we try for an entire summer to stand up on a surf board, only get up once, and tell that story with pride and a smile. “So close.”

What if we focused less on the times we lose our patience with our children and more on the hundreds of smiles and hugs we give them? “So close.”

What if we take on a new challenge, commit to sharing our voices with the world, to being vulnerable and accepting our own approximations as writers? “So close,” is gorgeously better than “I never tried.”

3 thoughts on “Approximations”

  1. So true. I’m having a week where I am needing to own aspects of life that become approximations of what others might define as right.

  2. Nice! I have started learning a new skill and this was helpful. I need to celebrate all the almost tries instead of getting mad at myself. Thanks for this!

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