Tuesday, 24 June 2014

On Cutting Corners, Falling off Tables, and Preaching at My Children

Lately I've been thinking about my tendency to cut corners--no matter what job I begin it seems that I forgo the quality of the job in order to see it done quickly. Rather than preparing well, I just want to get to the good part. So if I am cutting material for a quilt I might not do the best job because I am in a rush to see what it will look like finished. Or rather than tearing out a mistake I might let it slide, thinking: "it'll do".

I find that I do the same in the yard, even though I really really enjoy the work. I need to take time in building my flower beds and planning my yard so that I have a good foundation to work with. I would like to apply this attention to detail to all areas of my life, particularly the not-so-fun tasks that I begin with good intentions but end up slapping together. So I have decided to turn over a new leaf and do my best job of any job that I take on. As I would tell my kids, if it is worth doing then it is worth doing right.

This brings me to the staining of our basement stairs and railings. We had our carpenter build the railings out of 2" x 4" boards and the stairs are plywood. Rather than cover them with carpet or lino, we decided to stain them dark and then finish them with a clear gloss varathane. I have been working on this during naps and after the kids' bedtime for days. Yesterday I had really hit my groove, and when my four-year-old commented that I was doing a good job I took the opportunity to speechify on the merits of hard work and persevering even when you don't like the job you are doing (especially when you loathe cutting in paint or stain around the edges!). I was quite proud of myself--with my tiny paintbrush and my great attention to detail.

It was about this time that I opted to step off my step ladder and onto Husband's poker table in order to reach the highest point of the stair railing from outside the stairs. It is was a pedestal table, so I was sure to step onto the centre of the table, directly over the pedestal. The table wobbled...oh no! As you can imagine, the table crumbled under my weight and my container of dark stain flew through the air, stain splattering the freshly painted walls, the floor, well, everywhere.

I did that.
So after mommy ran around getting buckets of water and cleaning up the huge mess, we sat and had a little chat about how if mommy would have stopped and moved the table, then moved the ladder, I would not have broken daddy's table and made such a mess. This would be a perfect example of doing a job properly. I do so love a teachable moment.

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