Finding Balance in the Details

by Brenda Kortekaas, Community of Practice Coordinator

Engage Delaney receive many compliments in our training exit surveys regarding our “attention to detail”. We set up with colourful paper, toys, fiddle activities for the active person, breath mints for pasty mouth, and a little chocolate treat for the 3 o’clock sugar low. Preparation for each course starts with a two-page list of all the required trainer’s materials, which fill five to six boxes for a five-day iap2 Foundations course. Lots of little details for one course!

A big part of my job is to order and gather all the materials that the trainer and participants need and ship them off to the various venues. Valerie and I want the trainers to be able to show up for a course refreshed and worry free. Read Jessica’s blog “You Matter in Your Practice”.

Being a mother of four has taught me that details matter, but I cannot be hyper focused on them either. Each child’s wants and needs are different and come at different times in their lives. Craziness does not last forever. Many people talk about having little ones in the house and revel in it because they grow up fast. So true, but it is also such a blessing to watch them grow up and become successful members of society. It is nice to have them come for a visit and then return to their own places to “mess” up. I kind of like a clean house and to not have so many pairs of shoes at the front door. I like to look at my own shoes there sometimes. Truthfully, I still have a 16-year old at home, he only keeps two pairs of shoes at the door, but they are size 13, not much smaller than a kayak.

Details can bring us down or give us joy. If I dwell on 30 pairs of shoes at the cottage door and all the sand that I must sweep up, I might miss the beautiful moment my family is out playing volleyball and badminton, kayaking and swimming at my Mother’s 75th birthday party. On the other hand, the details of food for the weekend will bring much joy for those who are hungry, and heaven help us if we forget the vodka. Will I enjoy myself or will I dwell on everything that needs to be done? Will I let others help to make it enjoyable for ALL of us, or will I obsess about the next meal?

The details can be overwhelming or promote calmness. Some of us need calmness in our lives. I personally like crazy and quiet. I am looking forward to the next weekend when there will only be two pairs of shoes at the cottage door and not a lot of details to think about.

There are two sayings regarding details. “The devil is in the details”, which may lead you to believe that details are a bad thing if you do not know the real meaning; “an idiom that refers to a catch or mysterious element hidden in the details”. I do like “God is in the detail”, which means “expressing the idea that whatever one does should be done thoroughly, i.e. details are important”.

What side of the line do you walk on regarding details? I would like to walk in the middle.

As for our training details, thanks to all our iap2 Foundations and Facilitating Engagement participants for noticing. It means a lot!!