the hard way

In every task, you have a choice. Do it the hard way, or do it the easy way. The option is always there. Hard or easy. Most people choose the easy way. It’s smart. It makes sense. Why make things harder than they need to be? Conserve your energy.

I like to do things the hard way. Not because I don’t see the easy way. Not because I’m bored and have nothing else to do. Not because I’m a glutton for punishment.

It’s because I like to do things well. Because details matter to me. If you’ve ever owned a house, you can imagine what this means for me lately. See, I could just wipe down the baseboards and call them good. I could just put some things in a cabinet and be done.

Except that I can’t. I’d never forgive myself.

I have to scrub all the trim and then paint it. Twice, in the case of the guest bedroom. After I painted the trim in my office, I realized I should paint the doors too (after cleaning them thoroughly), to make sure they matched. But I couldn’t stop with just painting my doors, I decided to paint all the doors. In our entire house.

This means I haul them down from wherever they were, remove all the hardware, wipe them down, paint all the edges/corners, roll them with a foam roller, touch up anything that needs it, allow to dry, and then flip and repeat before hauling them back upstairs or downstairs or wherever.

Did you know that doors are heavier than they look? Their surface looks kinda plastic-y, but those things are solid wood. Well, I did say I needed to work on my arms. So I’m checking off two tasks with one pen. (That’s my version of the birds and stone analogy because seriously, why are we talking about killing birds??)

Thankfully, my husband is learning to accept me and my detail-oriented, hard-way approach. He doesn’t always understand it. But he’s learning to support it. Which is incredible, because I know how it feels when someone wants you to just choose the easy, sloppy way. When they’re happy with “good enough” and don’t care to look any further than that.

It’s hard when you see potential, when you see ways to make things better but no one cares to do the work because things are “fine” as they are. I’ve encountered that far too often in my life.

I don’t want fine. I don’t want acceptable. I want the hard way, the tough way, the not-many-make-it-but-it’s-so-worth-it way. Because I’m strong (especially after lugging doors around), and I’m determined. And because the small things matter.

Even if they’re just doors.

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