Tag Archives: mediocre

On making a mediocre dinner and appreciating mediocrity

I just made a mediocre dinner. You can see it above. It’s not styled in any way. The lighting isn’t great. The ingredients are cheap and basic. The side of mustard looks awful. it’s a pile of food on a plate to feed a hunger.

While it is mediocre, it isn’t bad. The food is fresh. It’s filling. It may not be the most nutritious meal ever but it’s nutritious enough. It killed my hunger and I enjoyed eating it.

While I was making it, and even before, I thought: how should I prepare this so that it will look good enough to share on social media? Should I make a sauce? Chop up some herbs to make it more photogenic? Plate it attractively?

Then I thought: I just want to eat some food that I like that is ok. It’s like a hot dog or a bowl of cereal: it can satisfy a need without being of interest to anyone but the person eating it.

And maybe I need to think more of food that way. I am not a chef or food professional, but the way I share my food photos and think about my meals, you would think I am aspiring to be. I think that aspiration is a problem at times, just as it can be for anyone with aspirations on social media. Maybe it’s time to revisit my relationship with food and my relationship with social media.

Social media can be a force of good. It can let us discover people with talent that we might not otherwise notice. It can help us celebrate the finer things in life. But it can also distort things and get us seeking attention when we don’t really need it. Perhaps a simpler and more basic approach to things outside of social media is better.

Enjoy things for what they are. Understand there is a place and a time for the most basic to the more advanced. Know when it is right to share things and when it is right to just live and be in the moment and then let it go. Those are all imperative sentences that can apply to me. Perhaps they can apply to you as well.

To many people, grey is a dull and boring colour. But for people like me, there is so much to appreciate in the colour grey. Likewise for things mediocre. My meal was mediocre tonight, but it was filling and tasty and nutritious and economical: all things I appreciate. May you appreciate all the grey and mediocre things in your life too.


On being mediocre

People who have high standards fear being mediocre. I thought of that when I read this: Opinion | I’ll Never Be Rachmaninoff – The New York Times.

People without high standards never worry about that. They do stuff, and the result is what it is. It comes with no judgment, for the most part.

Being fearful of being mediocre is twice cursed. First, if you fear that, you likely will not attempt things that could bring you joy and happiness due to your fearfulness. Second, you are already mediocre at some many things already, and yet you turn a blind eye to them, convinced that the few things you excel at removes the label of Mediocre from you. I have rarely met people who are great at one thing not be mediocre at many other things. There’s only so much time, and greatness comes with tradeoffs.

Don’t fear being mediocre. You already are! Go out and enjoy what you can. You may find the things you start off being mediocre in at first are things you end up being good at later. Not that you need to get good!

Here’s some things you can get better at: being stronger, writing a book, become an artist. Or get a partner and learn tai-chi.