constellations #41: good enough

Hi again.

My birthday was this past weekend. I really love my birthday, which feels kind of embarrassing to say. But I think I just like having permission (from myself) to do what I want with a day. “What I want” was, in this case, to wake up early and get huge iced coffees and muffins from Matt’s dad’s deli and then drive out to the museum that I have written about too much. I will spare you the details because I have written about the museum too much except to say that we watched five minutes of an informational video about Sol LeWitt that made me cry; sometimes your body knows why you love something before your brain does, and how wonderful to finally catch up with yourself. There were some new exhibitions on view that I liked and some I didn’t, which is always kind of fun in its own way.

This upcoming year will, according to a Saturn return calculator I found online, include the most intense part of my Saturn return. This means Saturn will have completed its entire circuit through the sky and come back to the place where it was when I was born. Saturn is the planet of responsibility, discipline, and restriction. A Saturn return represents the closing of a cycle; it often includes momentous, sometimes destructive change; it is said to bring challenges and questions about living the life you want to live. (And, ok, you don’t even have to be an ardent believer in astrology to agree that every 29-or-so years, there are usually enormous changes in your life.) Obviously I am wigged out about that but then I remember the two albums the Crutchfield sisters wrote and released during their Saturn returns and I think, perhaps it will be generative!

In the meantime, one question that has been nagging me lately, and that I have started to think might be particularly useful for this next year is: When is good enough good enough? (And when is good enough not good enough?) I feel it resonate in different corners of my life: in my work, in my joy, in what I expect of myself, in what I expect of the world, in what I expect of how we treat each other. Maybe it is on my mind because there has been, necessarily, a lot of compromise over the past year. Maybe it’s just a very Saturn theme, invoking high standards and hard work. Maybe I will write about it more as the year goes on. Everyone has different answers for these questions in different situations (and I would love to hear yours) but it would be good for me, I think, to try to answer them at least a few different ways.

On the drive out to the museum Matt and I listened to Land of Talk’s Some Are Lakes and if you have not revisited that in a while, I recommend it.

That’s all for this week. Thank you for reading. Hope you feel the joy of a well-spent birthday this week.