There was a time when I found so much joy in completing a task all by myself. I could stand back take a good look at it and say “there I did it all by myself”. It would bring me so much satisfaction and a good sense of accomplishment to think that it was difficult and yet I overcame the challenge and completed it without having anyone help me. I’d make a game out of the mundane and the repetitious to see if I could beat my previous time. Always striving to be more efficient, improve the outcome of every action by studying the motions necessary to do something then experiment and see if another method improved the time it took to complete the task. I guess it was a way to pass the time when one works all alone and striving to be as efficient as possible. Your mind wonders and you talk back to that voice in your head. Always debating about your next move and weighing it against another thought that comes cruising through your head as you attempt to go faster than your previous time. Always racing, always counting the minutes, always trying to be as efficient as possible.

I’m a slow learner but I did eventually get to that point and gave in and hired a helper, Derek. He was a great student and hard worker. I had someone to talk to as we worked side by side. Then along came Gordy who has been as steady as the sunrise and it’s been nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Aven came on board and I took on the task of training a child of my own in the ways of his fathers craft and the joy of working together. Then Amaleah came along beside us and new challenges were to be overcome as she steadily has to prove herself worthy to the old curmudgeons. By the time Jens’ joined the crew we were one big happy family tackling one obstacle after another and the laughs were plenty. We tried to be as efficient as possible. At times we operated like a well oiled machine and sometimes we struggled to figure out our roles and who did what. Each new sibling was welcomed with open arms by the others because it meant they had someone to boss around and were no longer the designated sander. Then Jeremy signed up and he got literally more than he bargained for when he came into the family.

It’s not easy juggling all the talent we have available but it sure is fun! Most of the time anyway:)
So I’m just cruising along with all this excitement happening around me on every job and one day I realize something is different.

It doesn’t happen overnight, you don’t even realize it has happened until you look back at the job you just completed and not once did you worry about a wasted movement or a more efficient way to accomplish something. You’re just glad that you’re done.

Maybe it’s age and you think you’re not the man you used to be.

Maybe its because you enjoy the process more than the outcome.

Maybe it’s the fact that you have proven to yourself that you could have done it yourself but you really enjoy having brought one along with you on your journey.

Just maybe you think there is more to getting the job done than just getting the job done.

Perhaps it’s a little bit of all of the above and you come to realize that there is just a lot more to work than just focusing on the task and completing it the most efficient way possible. Don’t get me wrong I still love efficiency and productivity but maybe I’ve learned that if you get to share that love of doing something you love with those you love and have fun doing it…maybe just maybe that is the sweet spot of life I find myself in:)
Thanks to all of you!

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-Jeff Whitmore