Blog 2288 – 01.26.2022
Getting Better All The Time
I have discovered that in writing and in life what makes us better and better is how much effort we put into correcting the little mistakes. Yesterday, I printed in this space my ever evolving daily mantra. One relatively recent addition that has evolved quite a bit even over such as short time is the part that says, “Whatsoever my hands find to do, I shall do today with my whole heart, finding purpose in even the most menial of tasks.”
I recently finally gave up my day job. At seventy-one years of age I have finally retired, but a year and a half of not being able to work due to COVID-19 making it impossible for me to find work in my trade helped me to learn that I could find ways to occupy my time other than making money. After depleting all the savings that I was able to accumulate over a five year period of practicing money saving techniques that a friend had taught me, my wife and I were forced to refinance our home so that we could finish paying off our other debts and be able to live on our retirement checks.
On June first last year I started my last away work assignment in Wayne, Nebraska and was able to replace most of those savings so that my wife and I would again have an emergency cushion. I was even able to put aside a “Paris Fund” for that romantic trip that we have longed to take together for a very long time. Like Boogie and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca, whether we get to make the trip after COVID is under better control or not, we will always have Paris.
But to the point I learned during the shut down and have honed with my daily life, daily blog, and daily mantra, fixing all the little things that we see amiss is a life long and never ending pursuit. Some years ago the quality folks around the world started promoting a comprehensive quality program called ISO 9000, the aim of which in a few words is, “continual process improvement.” The age-old adage is, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” but the reality is everything is always wearing out, breaking, or becoming outmoded and unless we are diligent to always fix every little problem and to implement improvements to our processes, sooner or later the system will completely fail us or become obsolete.
I saw a great quote recently that said something like “success or failure is not measured by our mistakes, but by the heroic effort or lack of it that we make to correct them.” Over the almost seven years that I have been posting this daily blog I have discovered that inspiration is indeed ninety plus percent perspiration, meaning that good living and good writing is far more about the details, the fixing, the polishing, the improving than it is about those wonderful flashes and inspiring thoughts that come to us all from time to time.
There is nothing in life that cannot be improved upon and unless we are making the effort to continually fix all the little things and looking for ways to improve, we will see it, whatever it is, and ourselves crumble before our very eyes.
Am I afraid that I will be bored out of my gourd with no “day job” to occupy my time? Not in the least. Why the guy I worked for in Nebraska even phoned me yesterday and tried his best to convince me to put off retirement another year. I said, “Thanks for the offer, but no thanks.” Then later when my wife got home from her physical therapy I conferred with my partner in crime, my other boss. Whew, I am so glad I did not have to call the guy in Nebraska back and walk back that conversation. For a few harrowing moments I thought the recent unusual nightmare I shared in a blog about dream catchers was about to come true for me. That was a close one. Yet, I was ready to saddle up one more time if my beloved wife believed it the best course of action.
One of those little details that is so important in keeping any system or process running optimally and ever improving (especially a marriage) is to making sure you get the buy in, the consent, and the complete cooperation of all the stakeholders.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
Getting better and better every day, in every way,
Getting Better (Remastered 2009)