I’m not a detail person. I would rather do the big stuff. Make the big difference. Start the big program. Be the front man. And let someone else take care of the details.
Because that’s what feels good. When I can look at what I’ve accomplished and celebrate a job well done. I can hold in my hand a proposal or hand you a copy of my latest book or send you a link to the speech I gave or the program I ran or… Problem is, most of life is details. Details leave me dissatisfied. At the end of the day what do I have to show for them? Nothing.
Yesterday was one of those days. I twiddled and twaddled. I plunked out a blog post (not my best, I know. I’m sorry. Still wallowing in the Boston mess; resisting the urge to call it the Boston massacre, guiltified to move beyond, wary of others accusing me of putting it behind, this thing that now is a part of all of us), tweaked my this and hand-washed my that, re-wrote my “about page” for this blog, perused others’ professional pages noting their structure, formulated a re-working of my professional page. Alright, yes, I spent some time reading emails and looking at Facebook.You get it; I generally diddled.
Point is, without a crisis or a looming deadline that begs a big splash I am forced to attend to the details.The stuff behind what everyone sees.The stuff they don’t give you credit for.
This morning I am thinking about the tons of people who spend their whole lives doing this. The stuff other people don’t want to do. They’ll never be celebrated. Won’t get credit. I wonder if they are as dissatisfied as I am. I, the spoiled person who needs proof of her value by the product of her hands. They have a lot to teach me, these hidden ones.
And I look out at the grass of my front lawn that is all-of-a-sudden green. Exploding in tufts that need mowing. When did that happen? Spring came overnight and I missed its approach. Can’t deny its arrival; it’s right there in front of me, teasing me to join in the fun. The gangly green grasses stretching and yawning and making a silent ruckus. All there in my front yard!
Mother nature was working those details while I was busy with my bigger things. Yep, the grass and flowers and, oh my goodness, flowering trees that now have budded into tender little green leaves. Above me the canopy of shade, the cathedral of tulip poplars, has returned. When did this happen?
Where are all the little workers whose toil I now get to enjoy? I want to thank them. But they’re not that way. They’re the detail folks. They don’t do it for the credit. Probably not even for the product. They just keep chipping away at what needs doing.
And suddenly it’s beautiful.
I am gonna watch for those detail people today. See if I can catch them in the act. And tell ’em thank you. Perhaps this will help me acknowledge this person in me. The one who takes care of the necessary details, only when forced to. Maybe if I make a list…so I can check off the tidbits.
There’s that ‘getting credit’ thing again. Ugh. Lord, help me see you and not the devil in the details.