Okay, yesterday’s post was a little dry. From the two comments I got (my wife and brother), I guess I spent a little too much time talking about feeling sick. So shoot me. You see, that’s the beauty of blogosphere. It’s a little less formal, and I can write pretty much whatever is on my mind. Besides, in blogosphere you can’t really shoot me. Thank God!
So today we’ll boldly go where no man has ever gone before. The “honey-do” list. Yes, it’s Friday and that means two days around the house, surrounded by unfinished projects and the other things I need to get done. Like getting a haircut, cleaning the basement, and sorting through the piles of unopened mail on my desk. I think some of them are bills.
You see, I have two “honey-do” lists. There’s the one my wife keeps track of, and one I dreamed up all by myself. And to be honest, my own list is much longer. Care to guess which one will get the most attention? If you’re married, you know the answer to that question. Neither.
That’s the problem. I go into the weekends with great intentions. For months, I’ve talked about moving my office back into the basement and putting a guest bedroom where I’m sitting right now. But first I have to put a new floor in the basement.
I even bought the new tiles. Three months ago to be exact. And to my credit, they’re still in boxes stacked neatly at the bottom of the basement stairs where we can trip over them until I finish the job or find a better place to hide the tiles.
I was all set to start on the floor when our youngest asked if she could move back in temporarily. As much as I’d love an empty nest, my grandchildren will always have a home as long as I do. And if their parents have to tag along, I guess I can’t complain too much.
Now she’s moved back out, but the basement is once again full of things that weren’t there a few months ago. My daughters are no different from anybody else’s kids. They move out and set up a home of their own, but the room they were in becomes a storage locker for the things that won’t fit in the new place.
My wife and I have decided to buy plastic totes so we can box up everything they left behind. We may throw in a few things we’ve been wanting to get rid of as well. I’ll start with these stacks of unopened mail on my desk.
Before I can finish cleaning the basement, I need to move the washing machine to its new location next to the dryer. And in order to move the washing machine, I have to cut into the drain pipe and install a drain for the washer. Then I have to shut down the water, install new valves, and hope I can get it all working with no leaks in time for evening showers.
In order to make the washing machine fit next to the dryer, the dryer has to move about 24 inches to the right. Except that space is crammed full of Christmas decorations. Well, it used to be. Now it’s crammed full of other things, and the Christmas decorations are at the foot of the stairs next to the boxes of new floor tile. So I have to sort through all of that and either carry it to the trash pile or stack it higher. Or I can put it in the new totes and let the girls worry about it. Possession is nine points of the law.
Then I can install the washing machine on its pedestal, which has been sitting in a box next to the stairs for the past six months. When that’s finished, we’ll be left with an open drain pipe and two unused water valves where the washer sits today. Rather than close them off permanently, I think I’ll install a laundry sink. Another project – see how this works?
After that I can clean the other side of the basement, which as I recall had some nice carpet on the floor. I haven’t seen it in over a year, but I’m pretty sure it’s still there. The one thing that’s remained sacred in that room is my pool table. Nobody would dare set anything on it. Besides, they couldn’t reach it anyway.
Once all of that is done, and the bags of trash have been carried out, I’ll be left with two dozen new totes that didn’t used to be there, all neatly stacked in the room where I need to install the new tile.
Oh, I’ll get it done. I’ll just move everything to one wall, rip up the old tile on half the room, install new tile, then move everything to the other wall and repeat. At my current pace, that should be done sometime in 2018.
Then I’ll disassemble the bed and get ready to move it upstairs. Except I can’t move it yet, because there’s no room upstairs. Remember, that’s my office. The one that’s too cluttered with unopened mail, along with remnants of every household project I’ve attempted in the past two years. So somewhere along the line, I need to clean this room up as well.
Which brings me full circle – the unopened mail. I guess sooner or later I’ll have to deal with it. Don’t worry, the bills are getting paid. Well, the ones we know about. We pay most bills online, so mail is just a “friendly” reminder and a chance for creditors to stuff my trash can full of offers for things I don’t need, like credit life insurance or stackable plastic totes.
Notice I haven’t said a word about cleaning out the garage, finishing the bathroom, installing baseboards, painting the front porch rails, rebuilding the storage shed, or any of the other projects still waiting to be done. And somewhere in the middle of all that, I’d like to squeeze in a little time to live. Is that too much to ask?
And therein lies the problem. When I look at any one task, I know that’s just the beginning. Then I begin to see the whole enchilada, and I know there’s not enough time in a single weekend (or a year of weekends) to do it all. So I stare at it a while, pour a cup of coffee, and turn on the TV.
This weekend, I’ll try a new approach. Instead of worrying about the big project, I’ll start with one small job and finish it. When I’m done, it won’t look like I accomplished much of anything, because there’s so much to be done. But next weekend I’ll do it again, and the weekend after that, and so on. Sooner or later, we’ll start to see some progress.
And that’s my message for the day. We eat dinner one bite at a time, and tackling a big project is pretty much the same. Whether that project is spring cleaning, landscaping, fixing a broken relationship, or paying down your debt. The process is pretty much the same.
Do what you can do, starting with the most pressing need. And if smaller chores are standing in the way, take care of them first. As you complete each task, give yourself a pat on the back. You’re that much closer to being done. And before long you’ll see that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. A word to the wise, though – if the light sounds like a diesel locomotive, run!
Copyright 2011 – Dave Glardon
Dave you sure do have that one right! There are few jobs in the world that you can start unless you do something else first.
About the only one I can think of right off the top of my head is using your PHD: For the uninformed, that stands for post hole digger.
Thanks for the laughs
PHD – I love it!!! Of course, for you folks in Montana, you can’t just jump right to that either. First you have to plow the snow …
That’s pretty funny, then again I guess it’s no surprise seeing you are a writer, speaker and stand-up comedian 🙂
I was most impressed by the skills you seems to possess, fixing this, cutting that and laying the rest! I come from a household where my wonderful husband can fix anything… with a dial of the phone! DIY to him means Dial It Yourself!
Our plumber has fixed everything for us from shower heads to dishwasher, we had our builder in to build (put up) a shelve! I mean the only serviceman we don’t have on our book is a chef!
Oh hold on, nope, we do have takeaway menus!
Don’t get me wrong, we are not rich (very far from it) and hubby is not useless, he just lacks the “assembling genes” and common sense. He tried to do a bit of mortaring once and in the 5 minutes that he “tried”, the wall looked like it was stuck in the middle of a cow dung shooting war! It took me ages to fix and ultimately I ended up the one to mortar the entire wall.
Same with flat packed furnitures, if I were to leave him to build it, it’ll end up flying across the living room followed by heavy footsteps (like a child) and foul language.
Oh and don’t even get me started with technology, Mr “NEED all the latest gadgets and toys”, but wife must be programed to know the working of the devise before passing on the secret of how it functions!
Bless him, I can’t complaint as he is the most wonderful man I have ever known, best husband a girl could ever imagine exist! Which goes to prove that despite the fact that you have a pile of stuff stacked up which you may never get round to do, or that you’re hopelessly useless at something (not you specifically)… love is all you need! 🙂
(I think that was the point, my apology, I found myself ranted on at my leisure and forgotten the point!)
Annie, of all the responses I’ve had to any of my blogs, yours is the absolute best! Sounds like you and my wife are in good company. Oh, and by the way … I don’t REALLY know how to do all that stuff … I just fake it. 🙂
My Spousal Unit starts the week-end with a blank piece of paper. He writes ‘Honey-Do List’ at the top. Then he goes off and does something. Doesn’t matter what. It could even be a nap. Then he goes back to the list, writes what he did on the list, then crosses it off. Then he does something else, writes it on the list, crosses it off. At the end of the week-end he has a list of accomplishments, and feels very happy with himself…
Margie, I think that’s the best strategy I’ve heard so far. Thanks!
And in one blog post, you’ve neatly summed up why I have NO interest in ever owning my own home! I’d rather go out and DO things than be stuck endlessly puttering around doing repairs I don’t really know how to do (even though the women in my family ARE the “handy” ones). So as long as I have to call someone in to do the fixing, I might as well even delegate the calling to my landlord/-lady, I figure! 😉
And yes, I did just find your blog tonight and am catching up on the last few posts… why do you ask? 😀
Hey, the important thing is you’re here. Did you subscribe? I sure hope so. And tell a few friends!
You’re on my Google Reader list!
It’s a lot of work, no doubt. But as I recall, I had a pretty big “honey-do” list long before we bought our first house. Funny how that works.
I can handle other such tasks; just have no interest in actual home repair/upgrade. 😉