Sorting out my weekend

house-scaffoldI’ve got a bunch of stuff I need to do around the house, this weekend. A number of things are leftovers from past weeks, when I didn’t follow through and do what I was supposed to. A number of things are leftovers from past years, when I was too “taxed” to get it all done.

And it needs to get done.

I’ve got to clean. I’ve got to organize. There are things I started over the winter, that I planned to finish up… and then never did. My basement is almost un-navigable, because of all the stuff I left out. I re-organized and re-boxed a bunch of items, and I left just a handful of things out on a table, to wrap up later. But for some reason, that never happened.

So, it’s got to happen this weekend. I have to be able to walk through my basement. Especially because I went to so much trouble to clean it up, in the first place. Now, it’s even harder to get through than before I “fixed” it. And this will never do.

Just gotta suck it up and dive in. Just do it. Start somewhere – anywhere – and make at least some progress.

There are a lot of things I have let slide, or just didn’t do thoroughly, because I wasn’t systematic about it — or disciplined. I get tired, then I get distracted.

And things fall apart.

And then I feel like an idiot (yet again).

And it seems the world is re-confirming that I’m really not all that competent, and any sane and normal person would be able to do what I can’t, so what the hell is wrong with me?

What the hell is wrong with me?!

Of course, this sort of self-talk is all very counter-productive and pointless. It’s not a good use of time, and I know it.

So, rather than getting caught up in that, I’ll do something about the situation. I’ve got my list of things I need to do on the house, and I’m going to take them one at a time.

That’s the way to do it – one thing at a time, with complex things broken down into smaller sections. I am a very visual person, so I can “see” how it should all happen. It’s just translating that vision into action that gets me.

It’s made me feel stupid for far too long. Time to do something about it — just get going, and be proud of myself for simply starting.

Onward!

Another day working at home

Sort of what my water heater looked like - not quite, but close.
Sort of what my water heater looked like – not quite, but close.

Over the past few days, I had an interesting thing happen with my water heater. I have the temp set to just below “normal”, because I don’t want to scald anyone who runs the water. But since last weekend, the water has been HOT(!) for no apparent reason.

It happened on and off for a few days, then it was always HOT.

I finally went downstairs on Sunday night to see what was up. I thought maybe the dial had gotten bumped. But when I got down there, the dial was in the right place — while the air vent was incredibly corroded, there was water pooling on the top, and there was a line of water going down the side and pooling on my basement floor.

I mopped up the water and turned on the dehumidifier (I turned it off, because it was making strange noises, and we probably need a new one, anyway), and then wrote myself a note to call the company that had installed it in the morning. I wrote the note on a bright pink stickie note and put it up on the kitchen door, where I couldn’t miss seeing it. That’s my go-to for things I have to remember — notes written on garishly colored stickie notes and put at eye level in a place where I always look — out the back door to the yard, to see how the day is going.

That was Sunday night. Why didn’t I call sooner? Because it was Christmas, and I frankly didn’t want to have to deal with it — or call the repair guy out on the holiday. And it actually didn’t occur to me to check on the hot water heater until Sunday night — might sound strange, but if something doesn’t have my full attention, it tends to not exist in my mind.

Anyway, Monday morning, the note worked — it caught my attention — and I called the repair company. They sent someone out later that day, and by mid-afternoon, it was fixed. At first, the repair guy thought I needed a new tank, full stop, but then he found out he could just replace the top well and the temperature sensor (the old one was fused, because it was sitting in water and rusted out), and I should be good as new. He left the top mechanicals unattached, so they wouldn’t get damaged by a possible leak in the tank. Then I’d have to get everything replaced all over again.

I’m to keep an eye on the top well for the next few days, and if it stays dry, I’ll call them and have them come out to replace the top mechanicals, and we can all get on with our lives.

So, that was yesterday. I worked from home, as nobody is at the office, anyway, and I had no meetings. Same thing today. No meetings, nobody is there. It’s practically a vacation week for everyone who’s officially working, because nothing — but nothing — is happening.

It’s time to review the past year, do our year-end assessments, account for our actions, report in on what we got right, where we need to  improve, etc.

It’s weird, because our company is getting acquired, so there’s a general sense of “what’s the point?” to all of this. Even if we do great work, we could get let go, because we don’t fit with the new vision of the company. Or if we do good work and we get kept on, the direction could change, so our accomplishments won’t mean anything. And it’s all just an exercise.

Well, it’s actually a good exercise. It’s not just about justifying my existence with my employer. It’s also good for me to look back on the year, see where I got things right, really appreciate the progress I’ve made, and look forward to what’s next. Seems like the usual for year-end, whether it’s for work, or it’s for me.

So, it’s all good — and I’m actually enjoying the process. It’s great to have the leeway to just breathe and think my way through everything, instead of rushing around like a crazy person. I have a few classes I need to take before the year is out — I have all of three days to do it, which is more than enough time — but I’m still cutting it close. I’m using the pressure to get myself to focus, as I often do.

So, after thinking I was going to go into the office this week — it’s quiet, after all — I realize that I really don’t feel like it. I can get everything done (and more) at home, and I get a break from the bad air and the deodorizer in the restrooms that covers me in an obnoxious layer of scent. The chemicals set off my spouse’s allergies, so I have to keep away from them until I take a shower, and it’s a huge pain in the ass. Of course, it’s a bit of a challenge for us to be in shared space all the time, for days on end (we’re old fashioned – we get on each other’s nerves). But we’re making do this week.

The weather is rotten, and I haven’t been feeling well — migraine again, for the past several days — so it’s safer for me to stay home, we both figure.

So, here I am. Again. Warm and happy and with plenty of discretionary time to use as I please.

And it’s pretty cool.

Onward…

Fixing what I couldn’t fix before

It’s time to replace the hydraulic lifts on my hatchback. They’ve been out of commission for several years, now, and my garage quoted me $140 to replace them. Really? A hundred and forty dollars?

Heck, the squeegee I carry with me to swipe off rainwater does the trick nicely. It’s just the right length to prop the hatch open.

But lately, I’ve become paranoid about the handle breaking. The hatch is not light — it’s a heavy sucker, and it seems to get heavier, every time I lift it up.

So, before I go out and run all my errands, I’m going to replace the lifts that I ordered online last week. They’ve been riding around in the back of my car for all this time, neatly packed in their box.

Time to do something about this. I don’t know exactly how to do it, but I know how to go about figuring it out. Then, when I’m done with that, I can get on with the rest of my day.

This is a new thing for me. I used to have so much trouble figuring out what things went in what order. As recently as 5 years ago, I literally could not figure out how to fasten a sagging curtain rod. I just sat and looked at the rod… and then got up and walked away, because the whole thing about seeing the process through from beginning to end was beyond me. So understanding what tools I needed to gather to get it done (just the correct screwdriver and a step-stool) was out of the question.

Looking back, I can’t believe it was that hard for me. But it was. Then, one day, I realized that I knew how to fix the sagging curtain rod, and I did it. In 15 minutes. Triumph.

Little by little, things like this are coming back to me. Stuff that used to baffle and defeat me, is slowly but surely becoming exercises in patience and persistence… and learning. Learning, learning, and learning some more.

Now it’s time to stop talking and get on with taking care of this  Onward.