Monday, October 10, 2011

A Better Boat To Be In

Since I've been back home I have been scrambling to get things cleaned up and ready for the stormy Fall season that has already reared its ugly head enough to drop a big tree branch a little too close to one side of our fence.  Even after all the work that my nephews Dad did for me, there is still more to do.  (I once had a guy from Texas who had recently moved to the northwest ask me why people here never trim their yards.  He said it looked like some kind of unruly jungle.)  But it is much easier to deal with at this point.  I'm almost caught up and will get to some interesting stuff that we experienced during that wonderful trip that I just returned from and told y'all that I would share.  Meanwhile, indulge me as I let you in on what goes through my head while I'm out there in the yard trimming, hauling, and chopping away... 

When I was growing up there were many interesting patterns that went on in our household.  Being the oldest and the 'responsible' one I took on a sort of reaction that today we might call hyper vigilance (in psychology speak).  It was my unspoken job to make sure that things ran as smoothly as possible while trying hard to please people who were frankly not interested in ever being that pleased at all.  So patterns were very important.  I needed to be aware of who was about to have a blow-up, what was expected for holiday traditions (-you know the ones where certain people get drunk and ruin everything), which boxes to unpack first after our biannual moves.  That way I could at least keep our household boat afloat, even if the passengers on board were not necessarily enjoying the ride.

Now, as an adult, I try not to over think every little thing as I once did.  But, like most who have done something that worked for a very long time, it is sometimes hard to break a pattern. Even if it doesn't really work at all any more.

One day, while I had a contractor friend of mine over to help me put my faucets back in after we had granite counter-tops installed (cuz' you know you're supposed to hire a plumber to do that and I didn't realize how much of an extra cost that would be) I realized something interesting.  It's OK to celebrate half done projects.

In all my growing up we always did whatever we were doing until it was done.  No matter what.  Forget about breaking a project up into parts.  Forget about taking a rest.  Not acceptable.  And until not so long ago, I thought that was the best way to do it.  Be a hard worker.  Kill yourself to get it done.

And then my contractor took me aside and said, "hey, wait, let's just appreciate what we HAVE gotten done".  This was after I had successfully helped him to install 3 out of my 4 faucets, -one all by myself, and was feeling rotten because the last one wasn't working yet.  I wanted to keep working on that sucker until it was done.  No rest for the wicked.  It turned out the faucet had been broken upon its' removal and it needed to be replaced.  So I could have worked and worked and never would have accomplished more than we had at that point anyway.

This little lesson is what I was thinking about when I was out there dealing with the wind damage and saw that I would not be able to finish before days end.  The fence still needs a little work. 
Not my fence, but one that looks an awful lot like it.    Photo credit:  All Ways Fencing
Things are not as tidy as they should be.  But you know it's at least half way there and I actually think the quality of my work improves with a little time away and a second look.

Everything in this household may not be perfectly ship shape, but at least the passengers on this boat are smiling more often than not.  And hey, I can now install a faucet in about 20 minutes flat.


  1. Please come and teach my husband how to replace a faucet. He took a minimum of five hours.

  2. This was a good post for me. I am by no means "recovered," but I have made progress in my recovery. And I should celebrate that, be grateful for that. Thank you for that reminder.

  3. Wow, you're just all kinds of talented! You go girl!

  4. and this reminds me of weight loss, because these days everything does...remember to enjoy the journey. Thanks! And come replace my faucet...I fear for husband will be 'fixing' it this friday. lol.

  5. Who knew there were so many faucet issues out there?! Remember, I have had the benefit of learning from a contractor and helping a bunch of friends once they figured out I could do this. So....practice does make much faster. Good luck with those faucets Christine and Gini!

  6. Awe, the joy of begin the one to know which one will be drunk and ruin a holiday.
    Smiling passengers are worth more than a ship shape ship! ;-)
    Hey, I have some faucets that need replacing, since you're a professional now!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...