attention to detail – solsc#10

Last weekend two friends hosted a marvelous brunch for our future daughter-in-law. Everything was absolutely perfect! I was in awe of all the special touches they included to make it such a memorable occasion. It seemed as though nothing was too much trouble for them to find a way to make it happen. It was, simply, lovely.

I left feeling a bit convicted for my own lack of attention to detail. This has happened slowly over the years. Some of it has come from being busy, some from lack of motivation, and some from thinking no one would notice. But I have noticed. And I don’t like it one bit.

As I described the party to my husband I mentioned this observation. I told him I was going to be more careful with doing things completely from now on. His eyes got big, he shook his head slowly from side to side, and said, “Well, now, sometimes being too detail-oriented can annoy people. Sometimes people just like to take it easy.”

Yes, nowadays it seems that most folks are more likely to be bothered when something is “too perfect” rather than somewhat sloppy. Maybe they don’t want to put in that extra effort, or perhaps they don’t know how, and it doesn’t make them look good when someone else goes all out. But my husband needn’t worry. My projects and expectations will be for me, not for him to carry out. And I can’t make the change overnight. But I do want to try.

And I wonder if this is something that can be taught, or learned? Can we instill this in our children, or are they just born that way (or not)? I tend to think it is something that we can all improve on. I hope so. Paying attention to details is a way of showing respect, and recognizing value, and sharing love. And we all need more of that.

7 thoughts on “attention to detail – solsc#10

  1. Jen says:

    I agree that attention to details is something that we can all improve on. I like how you linked attention to details with showing respect. Too often, I think that attention to details is equated with being nit-picky. Thank you for sharing this!

  2. Lori Carter says:

    I am a detail oriented person in many areas of my life and others, not so much. It depends, but thinking about on it, I am more detail oriented when it comes to the things that I think are important: my kids, my work, my needlepoint, my personal schoolwork. Housework, cooking, haircuts, make-up, not so much to my mother’s chagrin. 🙂

  3. lynnjake says:

    So interesting. I tend to be in the boat of thinking people won’t notice that much, but my daughters go all out when they throw a party. Handmade decorations, special invitations and even drinking straws! I really do like the way they do things even if I”m too lazy or uninspired to think of it myself. I’m even happy to help as long as they organize it. I think it’s pretty great in the end!

  4. Carolyn Carr says:

    I think that this goes back to the fact that some people are “big picture” people and some are “detail oriented” people. If you are anything like me, I’m sure you are harder on yourself than anyone else would be.

    But what I connected with most in your post was this: “But my husband needn’t worry. My projects and expectations will be for me, not for him to carry out.” I have tried sharing this argument with my husband many times and his response is that when I get stressed out by my expectations for myself and get frustrated with things not going the way I want them to, It does become his worry because of how my stress ends up affecting him (and our whole house). Good luck with your goals!

  5. Donna Smith says:

    I, too, notice and am always impressed with the “extra mile” some people go. I can ALWAYS improve on that…I’m kind of like “Under the Sink” sometimes.

  6. I have noticed I have some enterprises where I am really into detail and doing things “well” and other projects/activities where I am more “loose”. I think it is only in my eyes that there is a difference but like you said, it is just about how I want to feel in the midst of it all, not what I’m doing to impress or accomplish or prove,

  7. C. Crouch says:

    “Attend to precision” is a favorite catch phrase that my fellow math teachers preach to our 4th graders!

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