The Simply Detailed Life

Photo courtesy of Vogue Germany 
“Reject it”, I said, and I hung up the phone. I knew I could either laugh or cry. It was the call I’d been waiting months for and just a little after 7am it came. Yet it wasn’t at all what I’d expected. Not even close. 
My house back east has been in the market for some time with varying degrees of interest. The recent weeks were full of hopeful emails and texts from my amazing realtor and they all felt answers in progress to many prayers. And finally that morning my realtor called. Despite clumsily knocking the phone off the shelf in my haste and excitement,  I managed to pick up the call before she hung up . She shared there was an offer but there was excitement lacking I her voice.  I knew that meant the offer wasn’t a particularly good one. It wasn’t. In the words of my friend whom I told about the offer, it was “disrespectful.”. The offer was $36,000.00 below asking.

I chose to laugh. I couldn’t help it. Mostly I laughed at myself. You see I started to cry out to God and ask if it was a joke until I realized it kind of was. I realized that I’d sent up lots of prayers for an offer on the house and I got one. God had gotten me. I imagined his laughter was as gregarious as my own.
I crawled out of bed and laughed my way into the shower using the time to narrow own the pre selected mental options of what I’d wear that day. As I made my choice and moved onto the accessories, the small details that I was certain would perfect my look, I laughed again. This time I laughed at how much detail I was giving to my look that day but the detail I lacked in my prayers regarding the house. As I towel dried my hair and washed my face, momentarily looking at it in the three paned rectangle mirror above my ivory sink I looked at the face of a woman who’d been carefully honing her skill of disregard of details, particularly in her prayers, request, and expectations. They’d become generic eggshell goes with everything machine washable all weather outlines of hope.  They were cloudy day after cloudy day offering a veil of the beauty of my surroundings. They were all things elastic, conforming to what little shape or structure I’d give them.
Photo courtesy of Free People.com
As I moved throughout my day I couldn’t truly stop thinking about the prayers, requests, and expectations that had taken up residence in my mind in the past couple of months and just how generic they were. I wanted a job and in higher education. Yup, got that.  And well it hasn’t been what I really expected because I didn’t put those real expectations out there. I wanted to relocate, preferably to the west coast. Note to self and all of you, While Spokane Washington is the west coast, it is the Inland Pacific Northwest. It’s not your San Diego, LA, An Francisco, Seattle, or Portland- all places on the west coast too. It’s as different as Miami is to Boston, despite both cities being on the East coast. I wonder what would have happened had I been detailed about what living on the west coast would be like for me.  Or there was meeting a nice guy, and I did but I hadn’t accounted for things like age. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of the older gent…but the sky is not the limit- I need to cap that.  Oh and then there’s returning to working for myself. Yeah I’m not really cut out for the 8-5. 8-7, 8-11 gig unless it’s my own. Yet I found the hardest hurdle to jump was my generic could do this I’m good at a lot of things and doing it all makes sense right? Kind of like cotton elastic machine washable all weather pants. Yeah I bet those weren’t featured during fashion week .
Here’s what I’m getting at. And I am totally willing to concede that it could just be me…but I really really really don’t think it is. Sometimes life can be so life (a lovely compilation of good, great, awesome, awful, tragic, and ugly) that we forget to really go after what we want down to the last detail. We put in generic no frills request. We send up ambiguous prayers that might as well be- Lord don’t let me die or kill anyone today, and find ourselves overjoyed when we manage to get a hello and peck on the cheek from our significant other, 13 year old, mother, father, or increasingly crotchety uncle George.
We stop adorning our dreams and hopes the way we adorn ourselves. We forego the earrings, the handbag, the hair clip that perfectly complements the top, the shade of pink shoes that makes the ankle length pants pop, the mascara that adds just enough length and fullness to our lashes to give a dramatic look without incurring drama in our lives.
Photo courtesy of Vogue UK
I think many of us know what  it’s like to receive something where the gifter paid attention to detail. Maybe they bought something for us in our favorite color, or from our favorite store. Maybe they got something in our favorite flavor, or something to motivate us to reach a goal we shared with them. In any event I think many of us not only appreciate a gift, but we are extra appreciative of thoughtfulness aka details.  When people do things with thoughtfulness it helps us feel known. We’re relational people, we innate desire to be known by others.
So why in the world do we get all shady and sketchy about what we want in our lives? Why do we just want a “good” partner and never really define good? Or a “nice” boss and not really define nice? A “raise” but not really take into account what we want to do with the extra pay and be specific about that raise? Why do we not make our request known?
As for me, I know that in part I have consistently heard my expectations are too high. My extra basic generic requests absolutely stem from that. I’m working on it. Honestly because I can’t control the outcomes f others but I got some serious influence on outcomes for myself and I can be detailed about what I expect from me. Furthermore, given my faith, I can be super detailed about what I am hoping, desiring, and expecting from my God. In fact later that day, post the disrespectful house offer, I did just that. I write down exactly what I hoped to walk away with post the sale of my house and exactly what I intend to do with it over the next 12 months. Yeah, how you like my details now?
This week if you find yourself just wishing for a good day, a new job, a new boo or things to go better with your current boo, I dare you to be specific. I dare you to define what a good day would look like and to set out to make that happen. I dare you to be specific about the job, shucks if it’s a job you really want or maybe you’re seeking a career? What are you really hoping for in a new partner other than being able to say you have a partner? What’s really going on in the current relationship and what exactly would make it better? If its sex then say that and if it’s the frequency or position(s) say that too.  I don’t know anyone yet who’s died of death by detail. I know plenty of folks for whom life is being sucked out of them because they are on the extra general all-encompassing anti specificity don’t dream in color life plan. If that’s you, I promise it’s a slow miserable death. Do you really want to go out like that? I hope not.  In fact I am adding all types of detailing to my life, including applying for a scholarship for an online business school for the modern entrepreneur. Click here to view my entry, spread the word,  and wish me luck! Happy detailing!


Photo courtesy of We Heart It.com

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