I’ve made it to Day 25! It’s surprising how fast this has flown by since I started blogging back in early September! In some ways, it has helped improve my writing. In other ways, it has been a drain as it takes time to write something everyday. This is especially true as I have another project that I really need to be working on, but I promised I would get through an additional month of blogging after the 10 Day Freedom Blog Challenge, and I intend to meet that goal!
I’ve decided I’m going to 31 days for blogging. 28 would be a cheating February move, and 30 is like doing pushups on your knees on memory foam. We’re doing the real deal: 31 or bust!
So with the countdown officially underway, what’s next? Am I abandoning blogging forever?
No, I’m not. But I will be moving away from daily blogs. I have a big license & certification that I really need to focus all out on and study for. Blogging is a great relaxer, but it eats way too much of my time that I need to spend studying. This is especially true when I don’t feel as though there is anything valuable that I can contribute to a dialogue or conversation, and so I spend a fair amount of time sitting and trying to find something to say. This bugs me as I take pride in the quality of work that I produce. I want it to be the best that I can produce EVERY SINGLE TIME!! But when I’m being forced to write something or create some new content every day, when most of my day is sucked up working at a confidential job where I cannot talk about my work, that doesn’t leave much time to find creativity or much to talk about since I can’t talk about it at all. I want to instead blog when I do have free time, when I do have something meaningful to say, when I can create better content for you, whoever you may be.
I reminded of my first job. I was about to enter junior high and my mom said I had to get a job that summer. So I landed a job working with a handyman / small construction & landscaping business. For two summers I worked for the guy, who was from the Caribbean and a joy to be around. He had stellar work ethic, a great sense of humor, and an eye for doing a job well. We did a variety of projects those years: residing houses, ripping up carpet and preparing the flooring for new carpet installs, re-roofing homes, installing new large appliances, and landscaping.
I specifically remember digging tracks in lawns to lay down bricks to surround pine trees and act as a berm. We didn’t have one of those fancy machines with a rotating saw blade that would cut into the ground and slice the grass nicely for us. No, we had shovels and machetes (yes actual machetes). We would slice the grass, begin to dig, and then place a brick in the track. If the brick didn’t match the exact height we wanted, we either had to fill in the track with more soil, compact it, level it out, and test the height again. Or, if the track wasn’t deep enough, we had to dig deeper until we reached the height we wanted.
If you’ve experienced summers in the Midwest, you know that not only will it get into the upper 80s and sometimes low 90s, but it gets hot and muggy as well. It’s the type of weather where you take an ice shower, put on a new change of clothes, walk outside and within minutes you’re back is dripping with sweat.
I remember working on installing this berm that covered the length of two house lots. With the sun broiling down, I would try to use the machete and dig the tracks faster, thinking that the faster I dug, the sooner I could go home and get out of the sun. No such luck. This is when Clinton taught me one of the greatest lessons I’ve ever learned: “Quality, not quantity,”he would always say in his laid back voice. At first, I could never understand him. I only saw hundreds of bricks in front of me that needed to have track dug, then leveled, then installed. I could only see the masses.
Clinton was able to see the art. Clinton knew that if we took our time and focused on quality, we would dig straighter lines and dig to the right depth sooner as opposed to constantly overshooting our targets and having to work backwards to fill in the soil, compact it, and re-level it. Clinton also knew that spending quality time with every brick eventually led to a greater understanding of how to dig the track, which did improve our overall time (because we knew what we were doing instead of guessing what we perhaps should do). Finally, Clinton also knew that the project was not one we could finish in one day, nor 3 days, nor a week. It would take time, it would take patience, and he was ok with that. I wasn’t. I was the exact opposite of all of that. I wanted to get done right away to get out of the heat. But because Clinton came to terms with the reality, he was more at peace with the work and stayed positive instead of letting morale drag us lower and lower, which would’ve reduced our speed and quality all together.
These were lessons that I had a hard time learning, but the more that Clinton said “Quality, not quantity”, the more that it began to sink in. I remember the day when we laid the last brick and completed the berm. I thought I would’ve been relieved to get out of there but the opposite was true. I was so proud of the quality of the work that we had produced! I had taken ownership of the project. I made it my own, and I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw how incredible our work looked like compared to the house next door who had “professionals” install it. I think I even went home, got my parents, and drove them past the house so that they could see the work and the shining red brick with trim that surrounded the beautiful evergreens.
Quality, not quantity.
I know that you need to produce quantity in order to improve your quality, but I don’t believe that is the issue here with my blog. I need to study first and foremost to allow myself to enhance my career. With career enhancements come greater opportunities, which allow for greater stories to be told which helps yield greater blog adventures.
So in a few days, I’ll be switching over to studying full time during my free time, and then if there is any free time or an exciting moment that I wish to share here on the blog, I will write a quality pieces about it then.
There are still 6 days left of daily blogs. We’ll see what content is created until then.
For now, be bold, be adventurous, and live a life of quality, not quantity.