It’s The Little Things
My Dad is the handyman in the family. Need a shelf hung up? Call Dad. Laying down new tile, or wood flooring? Dad’s your guy. Pulled on the oven door so hard the handle broke off? Don’t fret, Dad can fix that.
That last one actually happened in my and Bri’s first apartment (lol!). The handle literally snapped right off, but Dad got his hands on it and made it look brand new!
Working with Dad
Prior to Bri and I moving to Lynchburg, we were on the hunt for a new entertainment unit for the living room, and a side table to place next to the couch. We found out we’d save a lot more money making the furniture ourselves. So we found Pottery Barn-esque blueprints, and called upon the handiest guy we knew – my Dad.
I helped my Dad build things in the past, but these two projects were extra special because they would become the first pieces of living room furniture (apart from our couch) that Bri and I owned.
In our first year of marriage, Bri and I used a Rubbermaid bin as our TV stand – it worked like charm, though it looked ridiculous! lol
So after picking out some great pieces of lumber, and a rustic stain, Dad and I got to work.
The Little Things – The Details
One of the greatest things I learned while building things with Dad, was the importance of the little things – or the details.
Cut a piece of wood 1/8 inch too short, and you’ll have yourself a wobbly table. Hang the shelf without first checking to ensure it is perfectly leveled, and you’ll have yourself a lopsided shelf. Fail to measure correctly, and you may come to find the last piece of the project doesn’t fit as flush as it should.
I’ve done each of the things mentioned above.
Looking back, I found that I always messed up a project when I was more focused on the end goal, and less on the details.
But let’s be honest here – the details aren’t sexy. In fact the details can sometimes seem so minuscule, that they appear to be unimportant. At the end of the day, though – the details give us what we truly want.
The same can be said for our personal lives.
Whether we know it or not, everyday we’re actively building a life for ourselves. Our habits, the things we say, our outlooks – all of it, compounded over time, will either give us the sturdy life we’ve been striving for, or an unsteady and imbalanced existence.
Watch the details
Like a carpenter paying very close attention to his measurements and cuts, we too have to be particularly mindful of the little things that make up our daily life.
It’s the little things that over time make a world of difference. Whether in our relationships, careers, or personal endeavors – the little things will ultimately make or break us.
Now don’t get me wrong, we shouldn’t be so caught up in the details that we forget where we’re headed; we should just ensure that the prospect of a table doesn’t distract us from the tiny measurements it’ll take for us to get the table in the first place.
In his book, Today Matters, John Maxwell writes, “it may sound trite, but today is the only time you have, it’s too late for yesterday, and you can’t depend on tomorrow, that’s why today matters”.
I don’t think we can ever overestimate how valuable today is, specifically, everything in our control today – even more specifically, the little things in our control that make up our day.
Over time, these little things become who we are. Every proactive decision, or lazy indecision, every action towards a goal, or idle moment, every positive affirmation, or deliberate critique – will lead us to a destination.
We’ll either arrive at the life we’ve been working towards, or be astonished at how far we’ve veered off course.
Either way, it’s the little things that’ll get us there.
It’s always the little things.
So moving forward, let’s try our best to focus on the little things a bit more. Let’s perhaps be a bit more proactive with the details, so as to avoid having to be reactive when we end up in a place in life we never intended.
Our life is what we make it, and how we make it is in the details.