The Blog

| October 21, 2016

Number 190

‘Tis a Poor Carpenter Who Blames His Tools

Excuses are exhausting. 

I think everybody makes excuses at some time or another, right? But, usually, excuses don’t change the fact that something didn’t happen the way it was supposed to.

We’ve had a list of house repairs that have needed tending to and we had a short list of possible tenders. We’ve had that tender list a long time now and the other list, the one with the repairs, obviously longer. Months have gone by with various excuses being supplied by the possible tenders, as to why they haven’t been able to begin – weather, health, forgotten obligations, double bookings, lost tools, misplaced courtesy, Tuesday fell on a Tuesday…you get the picture. Perhaps it or something similar has happened to you. What am I saying…of course it’s happened to you!

Obviously, some excuses are valid. Stuff happens. But ongoing and constant shirking of responsibility is just really annoying. House repairs and hired services are only one category where excuses are a frustrating pain in the butt, so in my world, one of the best things anybody can be is responsible. Own your s**t, as they say. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. Not complicated. If you forgot to do it, say,”I forgot.” Not complicated. If you said you were going to do something and you forgot and you say,”I was going to do it, but I needed a doowhackey to do it and mine’s in the shop and the thingamabob that I did have, I didn’t think would do the job properly, so I decided to wait.” Very complicated…and annoying. And stupid. If you needed the damn doowhackey to do the one thing you agreed to do, then why don’t you have a spare doowhackey? Huh?

Unfortunately, a lot of people use the doowhackey defense in their daily lives, I think. “I was going to lose ten pounds, but the doowhackey (self-control) was broken. I was going to read that book, but the doowhackey (any possible interest that I thought I had in reading the book) was lost. I was going to learn French, but the doowhackey (it’s too hard and it takes too long) prevailed.

How about this? I’m not going to lose those ten pounds – you know it and I know it, so let’s celebrate with cupcakes! Or I’m not going to read that book because I’m waiting for the movie – you know it and I know it, so let’s celebrate with a cocktail! Or I haven’t learned French because it’s intimidating, so I signed up for a course and we’ll see what happens! Mais oui, bien sur! Much more fun, and better conversation, and honest and owning it!

There’s always stuff you think you’re supposed to do, but you know perfectly well, you’re never gonna do, so why not let yourself off the hook and move on, instead of wasting your time and brain cells trying to come up with convincing excuses? And if you really want to do something, or accomplish something, then stop with the irritating excuses that aren’t fooling anyone, least of all yourself, and just do it. Then check it off the list. Accomplishments beat excuses ever time.

So, last week we met this guy who came by to help me with an art-related thing, and, as we’re talking, I came to find out he also does house repair and carpentry stuff. I learned that on Wednesday, on Thursday he called to talk about it, on Friday he gave me pricing, on Saturday he scheduled the start of the project, on Monday he showed up bright and early when he said he would, on Tuesday he came back and did more, which brings us to now and the work is a quarter of the way accomplished. No excuses, no “something’s come up.”

Apparently his doowhackey is just fine.


He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else. 
– Benjamin Franklin

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