Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Learning about myself

I never thought of myself as a detail-oriented person but I'm coming to realize that once I get into something, I pay attention to those little details. I know there are a lot of people who have known for years that I'm detail-oriented and I've denied it up until now. Today, however, as I was lying on my stomach on the ground pulling out crabgrass, it occurred to me that I really must be detail-oriented. Why else would I be carefully pulling the grass away from each little crabgrass plant and pulling the crabgrass out? And why else would I actually try to pull out every crabgrass plant in our backyard? Of course I wasn't limited to just the crabgrass. I was on a mission to rid the backyard of dandelions, too, and I was also happy to pull out any other weeds I saw.

I knew that Ian wouldn't care whether or not every single crabgrass plant or dandelion was pulled. If I hadn't been out there actually doing the work, I wouldn't have cared, either, but once I started I was going to get as many pulled as I could. All that work and attention paid off with a lovely-looking lawn.

I've denied being one of these detail-oriented people because I'm not this way in every area. To me, writing computer programs is detail-oriented work and while I can do that work, I don't like it. I don't like paying that kind of attention to things that frustrate me or that I don't enjoy doing. But if I like what I'm doing or enjoy it, I can get right into the minutiae of it. When I'm sewing or working on a pattern, for example, I want it to be perfect.

So there you have it: I'm detail-oriented when I like what I'm doing (like weeding or sewing). Otherwise, the details will completely escape me.

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