Any job worth doing is worth doing poorly, at first. — Joel Salatin

Anything worth doing is ALWAYS tough. — Jim Woods

Last night, I called my father. He was upstairs. I was embedded in a recliner. I wanted chocolate milk. His phone rang on the couch across the room from me. My laziness thwarted.

I’m a product of my easy-to-get, come-so-quickly culture. It’s embarrassing.

When I was little, Dad used to tell my brother and I, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” His maxim – combined with the sweet bribery of ice cream and a dollar for each ‘A’ – pushed us to excel in school. His repetition of this sentence accompanied woodworking lessons and days planting seeds in the garden. If I had to pick a sentence that represents my father’s philosophy in life, it’s this one.

Yet, on Tuesday morning, Dad stopped me as I returned upstairs to fill my coffee cup. It’s a Cumbo family trait to read what we love out loud to each other. He picked up The Sheer Ecstacy of being a Lunatic Farmer and read, “Any job worth doing is worth doing poorly, at first.”

I like that, he said.

I do, too.

Every morning when I sit down to the page, I get this swimmy feeling just behind my ears. My head gets a little fuzzy, and I have to fight the temptation not to spend the day reading Facebook posts. Every morning, it would be easier for me to just vacuum or weed the garden or build a cathedral out of scrap lumber. Every morning, this work is hard.

It’s hard because I don’t do it well at first. It’s hard because in this recliner and remote control culture I’ve become accustomed to things being easy. It’s hard because I know how to avoid what is hard.

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first because to do anything right takes practice and effort.

Last night, at a commercial break, I got up, went upstairs, and mixed two glasses of chocolate milk.