Sunday, February 14, 2010

Details, Details, Details.

Well, I've come to the end bits and pieces of my Big Clean Out and I'm feeling better for it. All the hard stuff is done and all that needs to done now is the small stuff. This includes clearing the kitchen table, sorting out the new piece of furniture and trying to fit the old shelf back into the stereo unit successfully without it falling out (I'm missing a piece that holds the shelf up). Otherwise, the place is looking good! Stevie is enjoying an uninterrupted view of the outdoors from her higher vantage point and her cage doesn't wobble around as much when it comes to me opening the cabinet to get something out below her. Otherwise, the lounge it really beginning to look great.

This morning, I went out to the shop and bought 3lt of milk, some carrots and the paper. And today being St. Valentine's Day, I wasn't expecting anything from a secret admirer. No flowers or card on my doorstep. Nothing in my letterbox out the front; and you an bet your last dollar, there won't be anything in my PO Box tomorrow morning either as a late arrival. You see, I haven't had a Valentine in over a decade. I guess I'm not what guys want in a woman. I've dated a few and they all expect me to look after them as though I'm their mother; or worse, they're my keeper and they call me all the time to find out where I am.

But having a Valentine is a detail in life really. We don't have to have one; it's not essential to be a part of somebody's life and make sure they are your Valentine. However, it sure would be nice to know they love you enough. Otherwise, I do think it's a couples thing that Hallmark aims their cards at; and I feel as though my nose is rubbed into it all the time.
Another detail is children and marriage. A lot kids I went to school with thought it was their destiny to leave school, get married and have as many kids as they could afford. Then - and this is the funny part - live in the two-storey house with a white picket fence and drive two cars, own a dog and a cat and live happily ever after. I'm not kidding. A lot of girls in high school said that when the teachers asked them. Me? I said I wanted to be a famous writer, travel the world while living from a few suitcases for a couple of years and then when I returned, buy a house here in Brisbane and furnish it with my souvenirs that I purchased and had shipped back from wherever I've been. I was laughed at by my classmates, but the teacher said it sounds like I had a great plan for my life. However, there was one detail I left out - and I knew it was going to screw up that plan I had if it showed its ugly face. This detail was my Epilepsy. And it did show its butt-ugly face and it did screw up my plans for a long time... until now. I'm getting back on my feet; slowly but surely.

Details are the small, crappy things that can make or break something you've been working on. They are the things that can smooth out your works and make them look finished - polished - and ready to go. Or they can be the spanner in the works that can screw everything up in an instant! I have found it's the small stuff that runs the world, not the big. It's when a company cuts corners on the small details that the whole project can be jeopardised; putting lives at risk, putting the project back for months and causing more problems then it solves (not matter what the project is, it can do this).

Even in nature, it's the details that mean the biggest things in the end. The smallest change in the DNA of an animal can change a detail about them. It can add or subtract something, it can make them more or less intelligent. It can cause them to run faster, see better, smell better or worse. The tiniest change in a detail on creatures can make a new species of the same creature. Details can be amazing in this arena as well.

I find that I'm a details person too. When I look at painting I'm doing - even when I've finished it - I can't help but notice something I could have done better. It's the same when it comes to my books too. I take ages to get my short stories onto my blog because it's the details, the spelling, the grammar that I'm constantly picking at to make sure I'm not insulting anyone. I gotta make sure I have every detail correct before I can let it go anywhere... and it's frustrating when I find one tiny thing wrong with it when it's gone public and I can't do anything about it. I get so stressed about it.

Details can either run our lives or they can be an annoying soundtrack in the background. Which one is it for you? And what part of your life are details more prominent - where you must have the eye for them - whereas they aren't so important in another?

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