Your Best


We built an addition on our house. Contractors did the bulk of the work, but to save money, I did a lot of work on my own. I did the siding, including the original part of the house. I put down the parquet flooring in the new section – 1000 square feet of it. In front of the fireplace, I glued tiles that matched the color of the blue stone.

The old part of the house was done in paneling. I replaced it with sheet rock and did the crack filling too. I sanded wood, painted walls, and cut and nailed moldings and baseboards. In the new master bathroom, I cut and glued Formica.

It took more than a year to get the house the way we wanted. I wasn’t a carpenter or a builder. I didn’t have a clue how to do any of it; however, there were how-to books to study and friends to ask.

I made many mistakes during our year of construction. Above the kitchen cabinets, was a portion of sheet rock I couldn’t reach with my drill. A section of it dipped down from a piece beside it. I cracked-filled the gap as best as I could, but it was visible to anyone with a keen eye. To cut the moldings for the windows and doors, I used a wooden miter box. It isn’t as accurate as the modern miter saws the builders use now. I made mistakes and cut some pieces too short. One corner of a window or door would have a gap between the moldings.

There were areas around the baseboards, where gaps could be seen, because I failed to cut the parquet flooring correctly.

‘Michael!’ Georgia would yell, ‘You made a mess of that!’

‘Hun, it’s in the corner! Who’s going to notice? If someone sees that, then they’re too nosy. No one is going to notice!’

Five years later, I was living in a different city. Georgia was back home, trying to sell the house, so she could move to be with me. Potential buyers would come, see our house and notice the mistakes. They walked away. My mistakes were small. I thought no one would notice. They saw every one of them.

We lead good lives and do good jobs, but we make mistakes. Will anyone notice? I thought no one would notice mine, but they did. One day we are going to be judged. We’ll have to admit, we didn’t do our best.

Are you settling for less than Your Best?


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