Sunday, February 7, 2010

The homestretch

Being a man with projects has it's ups-and-downs. For one thing, you have the very warm satisfaction of doing things yourself, and generally having a pretty unique piece; on the down side, having a pile of projects to do also means that you are constantly bombarded with conflicting signals as several of them at a time will fight for your attention.

The trickiest bit about home projects is finding the motivational energy to get things done; while its fairly easy to get going when you're, and the end result is always satisfying, the "blank page" state is always a pain, since that while you may have all that is necessary to get the job done, you are still assailed with constant doubt about your ability to get it done. Its easy to see all the things that could go wrong, and they can very easily step in your way, pushing you to get busy doing non-important stuff, like watching TV, cause there's no effort required.

Once the project is started, things get a little easier; if anything, I have to keep myself from barging ahead, not taking the time to do things properly. Back in days of kiddom, I was an enthusiastic model assembler. The job got done, but not very nicely, because I was far more intent on seeing the end product than doing the job properly, so I would just put parts together, without painting, without letting the paint dry, or taking any care about putting the stickers on right. So the model was done, but a little askew.

Its something you learn to watch out for later. I think that cooking has taught me that important lesson, that things just need the proper time to get done right, and the end result is so much better. Mind you, taking your time also means that things sometimes get unfinished, partially completed and set aside and forgotten. You assemble it just enough to use it, but you know that its not finished, and it bugs you... so you go watch TV, or dick around on the computer.

And then, when a project has been sitting there, sometime torn apart, after a few years, something happens. You lose track of where the parts are. Well, I do anyways. I know that I still have the damn thing, but where? Given the amount of projects, parts, leftovers, rebuilts and so forth, you end up with several containers of all kinds, containing and your little bits and pieces. But which one has the part you need?

The hunt for the proverbial treasure has a side benefit: while digging around with one target in mind, you often uncover other items that will lead you to another project, sometimes related, so you end up spending time now to save some later. It doesn't necessarily help the project at hand, but it just might keep you morale up to get you going.

And then, you find the little piece, and discover that its actually a few. Not a big deal, when you have all the pieces, but it still leaves lingering doubts, "have I got all the pieces that I need?"

But you let it go, take out the drill and carry on.

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