Project # 1 — Refurbish the decks before summer 2015 and accomplish one thing that’s a fair chunk of some much needed house tending. Today was a construction work day – until the plan changed.
Just to be fair, even if it is Arizona the calendar still says the end of December with the temperature too cold to apply a new deck finish. I don’t even want to attempt what could turn into a significant electrical re-wire right now. Even so, there’s still a lot of the project to be done as long as the sun is shining and the temperature is more than freezing and less than broiling. So while I have some time off over Christmas we are going to work on the decks from the top down. Overhead ceiling upgrades, lighting changes, finishes and trims, furniture touch-ups, any significant decking repairs needed before the stain goes on later in the spring.
Purchase the needed materials, check. Timeline and work goals set, check. We know what we are going to get done today.
While we wait for the morning chill to lift we will winter mulch one tree and pull most of the weeds on the north wall. Then we will tackle the new ceiling over the patio door, get the trim up and change the light. That is a good day’s work with a couple of days left over for… well to be honest the ‘left-overs’. The parts that took longer than anticipated, didn’t go as well as we thought, needed one more run to the home improvement store for any forgotten pieces or parts, etc. When we plan we always laugh because whatever we plan takes three times longer than we think it will.
Then we get the early AM call from our daughter. Is anyone else not feeling well? Son-in-law is sick enough not to be left without a driver available in case he gets worse, daughter has to be at work. So in the car we go to spend a very quiet day just waiting for the worst to pass from what thankfully looks like a short but virulent bout of gastro-upset. The phone beeps with text messages on patient progress. Changing the Gatorade from room temperature to chilled in hopes it will be more palatable while playing board games with the granddaughter turns out to be the major accomplishment of my day.
The work planned for today will be tomorrow and again, a la Woody Allen, God laughs.
How many times has a situation short-circuited my day and frustrated me because of something still delayed on the running to-do list kept in my head? Perhaps too often I do feel frustrated about situations but usually know when looking back I really wouldn’t change my response. In hindsight I can recognize what is actually frustrating me is not the situation but the thwarted to-do list. People come before things or even things to do. I don’t believe spending time with or helping loved ones and friends can be measured against dusted furniture and swept floors. At the same time I recognize if the scale tips too far the end result is still that I struggle with what seems like a constant shifting of the too long to-do list. It just keeps playing like an old scratched record in my head whenever I really look around. Need to call for the roofing estimate, got to get to that, crack in the plaster under the bedroom window, got to get to that, old holes where pictures were moved, got to get to that, caulk the shower, got to get to that…got to get to that…got to get to that…got to get to that, got…to…get…to…that.
And so 2015 has become the year to get to that.