Sunday, June 21, 2009

Spontaneous Project

I've always considered myself a planner. I love lists. I love planning things. I love making plans and lists at the same time. Glen finds it humorous, I find it exhilarating.

With all this planning I do, you'd think I get a lot done, but the action part of the plan is much more elusive to me. Somehow overcoming  obstacles to get a project done, seems so elusive to me. The more hours Glen is working, the more paralyzed I become by those obstacles. I just don't want to do it myself and Glen just doesn't want to spend all his very limited free time to help me, so they just don't happen very often.

Take our basement project. We've hated the red carpets, the brick wall, the wood paneling, and the lack of storage space since the day we moved in. We could have fixed them right when we moved in, but we were way too poor then.

Fast forward 8 years and we have had a clogged pipe in our laundry room that flooded the ugly red carpet, unsightly water stains on our brick wall from several years ago, and way too much stuff everywhere. Now we have the money and the motivation to really do something about it, yet somehow the process seems so overwhelmingly daunting that all we ever do is talk about what we might do someday.

A couple of weeks ago a long lost friend ( a former missionary that served here) emails us with the news that he's coming to town and needs a place to stay. We're happy to see him, so we agree, but immediately panic as soon as we say, "yes". In my mind, my family knows all my foibles (being disorganized and paralyzed by big projects) and they still love me anyway, but having a friend hang out in our basement for 10 days in its current state seems positively mortifying.

Meanwhile Glen goes out of town for a two-week-long business trip to Asia, scheduled to return just before Father's Day and his birthday.

This is where I completely lost my marbles and with my sister AnnaLisa decide to heck with waiting for Glen to help us, that we could surprise Glen by doing the basement ourselves AND it would be ready for Elder Read's visit too.

After a few days of spending hour after hour sorting through everything, liberally tossing and donating whatever I could, I quickly realized that there was absolutely no chance of finishing the basement in that short of time, so we modified our plan. Instead of painting and recarpeting ourselves, we would just have the basement emptied out before Glen's return, so he and I could decide together what we wanted to do next.

Of course, I had neglected in all my lists and plans to take into account that we were working through the last two weeks of school. That meant that EVERY single day I either had a party, concert, or award ceremony to distract me from my work. I also decidedly did not plan (monetarily or time-wise or emotion-wise) the effect of Spencer breaking our big front window in the middle of our endeavors.

After spending a week and half sorting, driving to the dump, donating to Unique, attending all the school functions, and still trying to maintain some semblance of routine for the kids I was EXHAUSTED!!!

So Glen was scheduled to come home this past Thursday evening, which meant that Wednesday night I had the distinct honor of pulling an all-nighter in an effort to finish off with a bang. While all-nighters have never been something I enjoyed very well even in my more chipper days in college, I was even less keen on pulling it after two straight weeks of getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night.  
After a drowsy drive to the airport to pick up my hot husband, I discovered that despite the 13 hour time difference that he was coming from in Tokyo, I was far more "jet-lagged" than he was. 

But we did it.  (Here's the same corner now.)

We still have a ways to go until the project is complete, but we met with a contractor on Friday morning (for drywalling and framing) and now we're waiting to hear a bid from him.  Hopefully soon all that red will be a distant memory.  

 Progress!  I love it!  


Steve-Rosanna said...

Ain't progress wonderful?!? Love the fact that you are finally getting that family room organized.

Hopefully you are going to build both a new 12' x 10' bedroom, as well as a small 5' x 10' food storage room where the toys used to be stored. Your favorite room will be the food storage room with shelves all the way around-one that you can walk in and easily reach anything.

Like you I am a list person-making myself a new one every day. Greatest thing since sliced bread!!

K said...

I can't believe how much progress you've made in your basement! I hope you get some sleep soon!

Chelsey said...

love it! Everything is better when you take pictures to prove it!

Annette said...

Wow, I am very impressed. That is a ton of work to get done during the last two weeks of school.

Ah, basements. I miss basements. We don't have them in Florida.

Andrea said...

I like making lists too. Way to go on that project! It's amazing what a person can really do on so little sleep. Hopefully you can catch up on yours soon.

Charlene said...

I can't wait to see the new basement done too!!! If we tell you that we are planning on coming to visit you soon and need a place to stay, would that help you get more done??:)

Deanne said...

Wow! Very impressive. I have to admit I think I'm a lot like you. I love planning and making lists, but don't always execute very well. Plus I tend to put things off until necessary and then have to pull late nights to get it finished. So I can relate. All the more reason to say, YAY! for finishing. I know how hard it can be sometimes! =)

Can't wait to see what you do with the remodeling!

Mirien said...

Good for you! Sometimes, the only way to get things done is to lose sleep--at least I can't figure out a better way! That looked like a huge job to accomplish during such a busy two weeks. I'm so impressed. And wondering when I'll be motivated to tackle the hidden clutter in my house.

angela said...

Nice work! It will be so worth it. Maybe I can come visit next?

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