"Do you think I'm lazy?"
We'd been talking about a friend of a friend we both think is unmotivated, and I became suddenly curious of what she thought of my work ethic. I'd never asked her, and she'd never offered her opinion. And since I value what she thinks, I asked.
"Lazy? Not at all. You work really hard," she replied. I turned away, feeling satisfied with the response, when she said it.
"I think that sometimes you half-ass things. But you work really, really hard."
I stopped, caught my breath and began to form my argument. And then I remembered:
During the summer of 1980, when I was 15, I was given the responsibility of weeding the strawberry patch that was planted near our garden. It was a medium sized patch, and it took a lot of time to maintain. At 15, I didn't have a lot of time to weed; I was too busy running here and there, and talking to him and her.
I let the strawberry patch be taken over by weeds.
One Saturday morning, as my dad was preparing to go to work, he instructed me to have the strawberry patch weeded by the time he returned.
He was tired of my ignoring it, and wanted it done quickly.
I had other things in mind.
So, I did those other things until 3pm, about an hour before my dad was due to return home. At 3pm I pulled out the lawnmower, filled it with gas and headed toward the garden. I passed my grandma along the way.
"Why are you taking the lawnmower to the garden?" she asked.
"Dad told me to weed the strawberry patch," was my answer. I cranked up the mower, and mulched the patch up. Real good. Weeds, strawberries and all.
Dad arrived home after a long day in the coal mines, and was not amused. For several weeks, I was forced to work off that mistake with sweat equity.
"I think that sometimes you half-ass things," she said.
Maybe she has a point.