Thursday, November 21, 2013

Quantity vs Quality

I have posted about my friend Dana that I met a few months ago, and her new baby girl Leah. Dana writes a blog that you can find here.

Yesterday Dana wrote such an incredible post that I asked if I could re-post it. So glad she said yes. But before we get to the nitty gritty, here are some very important pictures:

And now onto Dana's brilliant words:
Brian told me a story the other day, one that he heard during one of his many trips this past month. I believe it's an actual study done at some school, somewhere:

There were two groups of college students who were asked to make pots that would be judged at the end of the competition. One group was told the judging criteria would be based on quantity of pots, the other group on quality (at this point in the story I had Brian clarify what they were making... not pot as in weed, pots as in pottery, duh. Although I'm sure that would have made for an interesting competition).

The quantity group got started right away. They made short pots and tall pots and small pots and big pots. They just kept turning them out, one by one. The quality group, however, started by researching pots. They checked out pottery made by ancient Greeks and other cultures that withstood the test of time and beauty. They took months to complete their research and finally, days before the end of the competition, they made their pot. They placed it carefully in the kiln and waited for their perfect piece. Meanwhile, the quantity group just kept making pots.  They made wide pots and narrow pots and deep pots and shallow pots. They made lots and lots of pots. 

When the time came to judge the pots, both groups were told they would be judged not on quantity as one was originally told, but on quality. And wouldn't you know, the quantity group made the better, higher quality pots. You see, in the time the quality group was researching, the quantity group was doing. They were practicing. They were perfecting. 

Now, this story isn't exactly surprising. At some point while Brian was talking, I actually figured out what was going to happen.  While he had to finish telling the story before relating it back to our lives, my mind started doing that somewhere in the middle.

I can read all the books and ask all the questions I want, but I'm not going to learn what works for me or for Leah if I don't start doing (don't get me wrong- I will still read and ask because it's what I do, but I cannot take it as gospel).  Sitting at home in my beloved Kansas sweatpants because I am exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated is not going to help me become acclimated to our new normal nor will it allow me to learn from my experiences at home or in the community (except for maybe what show is on what channel at what time).

I need quantity.  I need to remember that it's not going to be perfect every time (or maybe at all) because it's all new for both of us and I need to practice.  I need the opportunity to struggle and fail and troubleshoot.  It's the only way I'm going to learn, and it's the only way Leah is going to learn.  And you know what quantity leads to?  Quality.  I will be a better mom raising a better daughter to have a better life.

So here's to screwing up, not being on schedule, and disastrous trips to Target because we will learn and we will get better.

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