HUMANS 101

Choosing To Fail

There’s something really special about a bad bath; and other things

Sophie Lucido Johnson
Human Parts
Published in
6 min readSep 23, 2022

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All illustrations and photos by the author.

I have had the stomach flu, and the stomach flu has had terrible timing.

It came during my busiest work week — the first full week of teaching — of the year. Without getting into the nitty-gritty here, let me say that I have taken on more than I can (or any person can) realistically handle. But I recently had a baby, and costs are through the roof. You’ve heard this all before, I’m sure. I have taken on too much, and I’m not going to be able to be my best self.

And that’s okay. It’s an opportunity to lean into the “enough” of “good enough.” In fact, when things get overwhelming like this, it can be a great time to decide to do a bad job at certain tasks. One of the most liberating things I’ve ever done for myself is occasionally choose to be the exact opposite of a perfectionist.

For example: I’ll be bad at meditating. “Bad meditating” means I show up to my big red chair, I set a timer for four minutes (a terrible, short amount of time!), I close my eyes and think about my breath, sort of, but also let my mind wander if it feels like wandering. The goal is to put a check-mark next to “meditate.” That’s all.

Or I’ll do some bad writing, or make some bad art. Bad writing is when I sit down with a pen and a notebook (maybe a bad notebook, that I don’t have respect for, like a free one from a conference) and let the pen move me forward. Sometimes I intentionally write cliches. As many cliches as I can. A good starting sentence for me is, “Marianne wasn’t sure what she wanted to wear to the dance.” I’m just looking for something that will let me write, for a short amount of time, and have a nice time.

A bad journal entry: sit at the table, let your mind wander, write down words, numbers, and lists as they come to you. Don’t worry about cohesion or sentences. Make long to-do lists. Check…

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Sophie Lucido Johnson
Human Parts

A person who writes and draws and eats her feelings.