Our Best Effort


Have you noticed these tiny machines in my office? They are miniature replicas of steam engines. My grandfather built them from scratch after he retired from being a machinist. I don't know exactly how he stumbled into this hobby, but once he found it, he became a bit obsessed. 

The funny thing about these tiny engines is that they really work - my grandfather insisted on that. After he crafted the parts himself, he would sometimes spend weeks tuning them until they'd run. And then, he was done.

Up on the shelf the engine would go, and he'd immediately start building another. Grandpa didn't care about displaying his collection. The display cases were my dad's idea he went along with. In fact he became bored with them, and was ready to throw them out a few years ago, when I offered to give them a new home.

A few years ago Grandpa's health really started to decline. We moved his tiny machine shop into his room, so he could take naps when he got tired from his hobby. This week Grandpa's work here is finally done. He passed peacefully, in his home in the mountains, surrounded by loved ones, and the tools he loved so much. Of course this week I've been reflecting on his life, and what he's passed on to me.

Work was always a central theme in every interaction we had. From a very young age he encouraged me to work hard, and whenever I could to work for myself. He showed me it was important to be proud of my work, but most importantly, to get it done. Our work is never going to be perfect, but it should work. Those little engines have tiny flaws if we look closely - but they work.

So this week, find that project you've been working on and push it one more step toward completion. If it works - call it done. 



Michael Stanclift, ND

Naturopathic Doctor - Carlsbad, California