20 Years of Perfect Grammar

This week, one of my highly esteemed coworkers celebrated her 20th anniversary on the job. She’s been at it for *almost* as long as I’ve been alive, and she’s still going strong.

Not everyone has a positive key word that describes them—most of us are checking in somewhere around “present,” “trying not to fall asleep,” “mediocre,” or “making it up as I go along.”

But her word, without a shadow of a doubt, is excellence.

Two years ago, as I was the new editor on a team of A-list players, I remember feeling nervous every time one of my pieces was slated to land on her desk. Proofreaders get paid to make sure mistakes don’t get printed, and she’s no exception. She spends all day every day combing through different types of marketing materials, finding and correcting errors. Because she’s laid eyes on the entire spectrum of quality, from A+ to don’t-even-bother-coming-back-to-class-you’ve-already-failed, she knows what’s good when she sees it.

Acting as the senior editor for a monthly devotional, she understands the work that goes into making something truly excellent—and month after month, she continues to do it.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.
— Aristotle

Still practically wet behind the ears, I made my fair share of mistakes. But the first time I got a compliment from her on my work, I grew an inch in stature and a foot in confidence. I knew that if she was willing to recognize something I’d done as good, I had to be doing alright.

She’s 20 years in and still striving hard for excellence. Let’s all start working on what we want to be known for in 20 years.

Of course, 20 years deserves lots of celebrating!

Of course, 20 years deserves lots of celebrating!