Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Perspective, Or Not

In the ongoing saga of renovation burnout...

I went out this weekend with some friends, and we ran into some other friends, who of course asked me what I was working on at the house.  My answer?  A roll of the eyes and a loud "GAH!" 

To which our friend Steve replied, "Uh-oh", and then sat me down for a heart-to-heart.  He told me mostly what I've already heard:  that I should ride out the lack of motivation because it will return someday, that I should do what has to be done before winter and wait on the rest, that everyone with an old house goes through this at some point, and that if I have something small and not too expensive I should hire it out to improve my mental state. 

Then The Magnificent Greg chimed in and pointed out something that should have been obvious to me:  When I was working on the house down the street with my then-boyfriend Mare, we had help.  Lots of it.  We knew three or four other couples who were also renovating/restoring old houses and we took turns helping out each other.  (All of those couples but one have since split up, by the way, which probably ought to tell me something....)  Working on an old house mostly alone is wholly different from working on an old house with the help of 6 or 8 good friends.  For some reason, that didn't occur to me before now.

And then a woman who lives down the street (who is half of the only couple to have stayed together) said, "Taking those shingles off the house is the best thing you could have done for it.  Every time I go by there I just say, WOW."  That prompted an friend from high school who I haven't seen in years to ask me about that, and I told him the story of tearing off the outside of my house, whereupon he let out a low whistle and said, "Holy shit." 

So I went home that night feeling a whole lot better about the house and my mental health in general.

That, in turn, prompted me to get off my hiney yesterday and decorate the porch and the parlor windows for Halloween.  Picking a project that will pay off in terms of appearance, as Karen Anne said.  (Photos next time because I can't find my USB cable.)  After that, I took Milah's good advice about a fall cleaning doing wonders, and I scrubbed my floors and cleaned up the house.  All of which brightened my spirits considerably.

And then, as I sat in my nice clean second parlor, the phone rang.  It was my favorite local realtor, the guy I would entrust to sell the Kelly House if it ever comes to that, and he said, "I heard through the grapevine that you like a little house on Highland."  I heaved a big sigh and said, "Oh yes, I really, really do."  He told me that he's sold it a couple of times, knows a lot about it, and would love to show it to me.  I resisted the temptation.  For now.  Oh, how fickle is my supposed love for my house at this moment....


  1. You said no? Good for you. Now that's willpower.

  2. I can relate to everything you've said. I just restarted working on my house after taking a very long break. It became overwhelming trying to get everything done on my own with a limited budget. After going through that funk I have come back with a renewed excitement about my home and less pressure on myself. I love reading your blog!

  3. I am arriving VERY late to this party, but am no less THERE. My new employment arrangement, together with Ozzie’s condition AND trying to cope with the insanity that is the house is, in a nutshell, killing me. Sometimes you just have to tell yourself that it’s OK to shirk here and there. (I can tell myself that but, unfortunately, it doesn’t always fly very well with the mother.) You are so right about focusing on what MUST be done ahead of Ol’ Man Winter’s arrival … and going from there. Amen, sistah!