Tesla and I spent yesterday afternoon washing and waxing the cars (his car, my truck). This isn’t the usual Easter fare for our household, but after a very nice morning at church and some quiet reflection at home, Tesla wanted something to do and asked if the cars were an option.
I’d planned to spend the afternoon reading, but the ham needed little supervision (ah, the joys of Honeybaked…) and I had no real reason to refuse. I could use the exercise and the truck could definitely use the attention. The sun was shining and with all the rain we’ve had lately it did seem wasteful to stay indoors. Most of all, I hadn’t spent much time with Tesla over the weekend and he was due for some quality time.
Out we went, buckets and sponges in hand. Two hours later the car and the truck were washed, waxed and looking exceptionally good. (We even used rain-x on the windows, though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.) We packed up the buckets, washed all the towels and called it a day – and a productive one at that.
This morning it rained.
Not just sprinkle rain, either. Real rain. Black-sky-and-pouring-water rain, the kind that makes the cats curl up on the comforter and the rest of us want to stay in bed too. This morning it was also the kind that makes me laugh. I wouldn’t normally wash my car on Easter. I’d rather spend the afternoon reading and studying in a quiet place. But Tesla is important, and his needs overcame my selfishness. The time with him made the afternoon well spent, regardless of the rain. In fact, the rain is a good reminder of what’s really important to me.
Clean cars are nice, but that’s not what defines yesterday in my mind, any more than the work or writing I do today will define me. It’s relationships and attitude that matter.
Don’t let a little rain spoil your outlook, regardless of what it does to your work. Focus on the part of the effort that lasts – its impact on others and what your work does in their lives. The car you wash today will still need cleaning again next week, but the effort you put into making others feel important will last – regardless of the rain.