Posts Tagged ‘projects’

Start Procrastinating

22 September 2010

Dear J-

“Getting started is the hardest part.” They sound simple and innocuous enough, but coming as they do at the end of the latest harangue about the general state of my desk I can’t help but feel wronged. If I had a place to put everything I wouldn’t be in this mess, but then again, if I had a place to put everything I’d be a lot less busy. Double-edged sword and all; I try to keep the most recent requests in a small pile, but that means putting off the rest of my work until next week and next week after that. It’s not always easy to devote the time needed to keep organized, but a few minutes a day wouldn’t hurt.

Likewise at home, the cleanout needs to start happening before much longer. If, as I’d projected, I would really want to pull up the carpet and paint the walls (and maybe even install a tubular skylight), all that takes time and money, which are in short supply at the moment; shepherd the resources, though, and I’m sure I could squeeze time out of the lazy bits I decompress during. An hour a day, maybe, that’s not bad, from now until the test; then afterwards, the time I spend studying can be spent fixing up the room and grouting the hallway.

Problem is it all sounds great on paper, but it’s the getting started in the intimidating face of reality — the room is so messy, my desk is so buried — that it’s easy to reassure myself with promises of tomorrow. Yeah, good time to start, right? After a while it’s already October and your time is eaten up by long hours at work, those best hours of your day spent somewhere else and not where you ought to. Enough. Today we’ll be able to take a baseline before and run it up against an after, to see whether this is truly possible, or whether I’m hoping for fruitless miracles here.

Mike

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New Balance

14 December 2009

Dear J-

When did it become so easy to procrastinate away the days? It seemed like it was just Thanksgiving and, having decided that we’ll have Christmas at our disaster of a house this year, I had resolved silently to surprise them all: clean up the common areas, set up some kind of organization/storage beyond the usual bookshelves and any-available-horizontal-surface scheme we currently use. Truth is that it’s too easy: to put it off another night (man, that day, no matter which day it was, sure was a long one), to acquire more stuff — amazon’s persistent cart is the work of an evil genius.

I also have the resolution to make up some kind of a play kitchen, which should keep the next ten nights and days fairly busy between getting more parts; theVet has threatened to head out to get a store-bought one, too. It’s a sure sign of progress, I suppose, when you can’t even bring price into the equation; now I’m pretty much stuck with the it-would-be-more-fun to do it yourself excuse.

Small household projects pile up, some as simple as hanging more lights, some as ambitious as getting a new roof sometime next summer. You balance convenience with time; if it would be possible to get figgy to help (safely) ideally we’d get to do all kinds of projects together, but as it is there’s more fun on both sides to see new things and places, which means letting other things slide. That’s fine; we’ll find a new balance as those things come up.

Repeated Themes

12 February 2009

Dear J-

Capture moments by stopping momentum; savor the time when and where you can.  We rush places because we’re convinced that there’s something better out there, but I’m not convinced — never convinced — that we don’t choose to leap prematurely.  Of course there’s also the dreaded paralysis of indecision that grips us when overwhelmed by choice; the open road, the next intersection, the nearest restaurant all pose indecipherable mysteries of their own.

Timing is key; once you’ve made the decision it’s a matter of waiting for the closest match, right?  Dithering about means, alternately, saving the time/money/effort versus the utility of what you end up with.  Call it cost/benefits if you must; it’s one thing to get a bargain and another thing entirely to correctly estimate the usefulness.  I keep believing that the right tool will unlock creativity when it’s a skill that’s nurtured through use, not crutches.

So where are we headed tonight?  More boondoggles?  My life is littered with well-intentioned projects ranging from the plastic models I got part way through or hurried to finish — and believe me, that’s a hobby that shows meticulousnes or lack thereof — to the proposed MythTV recording box that has yet to make it off paper.  I get older and questionably wiser, starting to recognize all the little tricks I like to play on myself to convince me into poor decisions.  Organizing life isn’t as easy as it seems, eh?

Mike

Changeling

21 January 2009

Dear J-

I keep thinking about interesting projects and not following through; I have yet to modify a bag for on-bike use, the Vest Pocket Kodaks remain intact, and despite lots of paper engineering, there remains little progress towards a “full-frame” video camera (I am kicking around another idea in my head which involves broken equipment and a semi-stealthy approach).  Regardless, everything goes on hold as there’s more important projects around the home, like replacing the kitchen faucet — though I’m still holding my breath over whether or not the shutoff valves will self-destruct once I start tightening them down — and planning for future hardscape within the house.

This morning I woke up too late for the vanpool and ended up, in my half daze, dropping a cat near the big dog’s food bowl, which resulted in some fur loss, a scratched nose, and a fairly steep drop in sanity as I stood there wondering what had changed.  Bean is now over twelve and becoming a bit foggy when it comes to distinguishing threat and intent; plus the separation anxiety is part of the impetus to replace carpet, which is unfortunately absorbent.  Life is just quiet enough that as we contemplate shaking things up, changes unforeseen and unexpected await us despite our efforts.

Mike