Well, August is over. I’ve had a couple of other months this year during which I didn’t feel like I got very much accomplished, but August was a compete dud for me. As far as house projects go, August was, by far, the worst month so far this year.
Let’s see. In the whole month of August, I got one project completely finished. Only one. One single, solitary project.
I got my entryway credenza finished. You can click here to see the before and after.
I did also make some fluid acrylic artwork for the entryway wall.
But it’s not finished. I still need to frame them and hang them. It’s such a simple project, and yet these have been sitting there for a week-and-a-half and they’re still not finished.
You can click here to see more about this project, as well as six additional liquid acrylic paintings I did with these same paint colors.
So what the heck happened in August? I could blame it on my neck/shoulder/arm nerve issue, but that only had me out of commission for about a week to 10 days. I had plenty of time left to get things done.
The fact is that I had absolutely no motivation or desire to work on projects. I’d wake up in the morning with projects in mind for the day and the best of intentions, but around mid-morning, I’d find myself sitting in bed with my laptop and I’d lose another day binge watching something on Netflix.
I desperately wanted projects to get done around the house, but I couldn’t bring myself to do them. When it came to actually putting effort into working on projects, I felt so apathetic.
And this went on day after day after day.
Then last Sunday, I had a conversation with my brother about it. I said, “I just feel like I don’t care anymore.” But I knew that wasn’t exactly how I felt. I did care. I desperately want this house finished. I just couldn’t bring myself to actually put effort into it. I couldn’t exactly pinpoint how I felt. Lazy? Apathetic? Lethargic? Indifferent?
And then I thought, “Am I depressed? Is this what depression feels like? Do I need therapy to get out of this funk?”
So Sunday night, I made up my mind to fight it — whatever it was that I was feeling. I determined that I was going to have one task the next day. I was going to install the new outdoor lights that I bought to flank my front door. I was actually quite excited about tackling that project.
I got started Monday afternoon right after lunch. I was still excited about tackling the project, and even more excited about the prospect of actually getting something finished.
And then about two hours later, my lights still weren’t installed, and I found myself once again sitting in bed, laptop in hand, watching Netflix.
But this time, I knew exactly where things went sideways. I needed to run a new wire through the wall and to the light on the left side of the door, and I was having trouble getting the wire where it needed to go, so I stopped to get my fish tape to make the job easier. I have two of them, and yet I couldn’t find either one of them. I searched and searched for probably 45 minutes, and couldn’t find either of them anywhere. So in complete frustration, I gave up, grabbed my laptop, sat in bed, and turned to Netflix.
And as I thought back through the last two month, I realized that this is the same frustrating scene that has played out each and every time I’ve tried to work on a project. I spend hours just looking for tools.
I’m not suffering from depression. I’m suffering from a severe lack of organization, and it all started when I hired some guys to clear out my garage right before the garage-to-studio conversion started. I intended to do that job myself, but I was still dealing with my nerve issue at the time, so I hired them to clear out the sunroom, and then box up stuff from the garage and organize it in the sunroom so that my garage was completely empty.
The problem is that they were working so fast, and I couldn’t supervise all of them at all times. I had instructed them to put all medium- to small-sized tools in one set of boxes, and all miscellaneous non-tool items (e.g., books, frames, decorative items, etc.) in another set of boxes. Large tools (e.g., miter saw, air compressor, etc.) were supposed to be lined up against the wall in the sunroom.
What I ended up with were boxes filled with a mishmash of things — vases, picture frames, screwdrivers, extension cords — all thrown in together. There was no organization to them at all. For some reason, it didn’t dawn on me that five men wouldn’t know the difference between “tool” and “vase.”
Not only were the boxes themselves completely disorganized, but for some reason, they didn’t all make it to the sunroom, and neither did my big tools.
So ever since then, working on a project has included spending half my time digging through boxes to find that one tool I need, and it ends in frustration every time. And somewhere along the way, I gave up on my house projects and decided that I’d rather spend my life watching Netflix. It wasn’t exactly a conscious decision, but that’s certainly how it was playing out on a day-to-day basis.
Needless to say, I’m relieved to finally understand the root cause of my apathy and complacency (and my Netflix addiction). I’ve spent the last few days trying to get things more organized around here. I’ve never been a super organized person. In the past, others probably would have had a hard time detecting any type of “organization” in my madness, but it was my own organized chaos, and somehow, I knew where to look for things.
But this time, I plan to do much better. I’m aiming to improve upon my organized chaos and strive for actual organization. I’ve installed six long 12-inch-deep shelves in the sunroom, and I treated myself to this beauty.
It’s the Husky 52-inch tool chest from Home Depot. I’ve wanted one of these big tool chests for many years now, and I’m so excited to get all of my small tools organized in it. Heck, I even borrowed my mom’s label maker, so I’m serious about upgrading my organized chaos to actual organization. 😀
So that brings me to this month’s goals. There are a thousand projects around the house that I’d love to tackle. I still have about 25 things left to do on my list of 2017 house goals, and four months to get as many of those done as possible
But I’m in the mood to build, and I’m feeling motivated to get organized. And those two things go hand in hand. I think I’m ready to tackle my pantry and the hallway cabinets. To be honest, it scares me a little to commit that to writing, and to put it out there for all of you to see. I think I’m a bit intimidated by the pantry project, and after taking it easy for the last two months, the idea of tackling the pantry seems a bit daunting. But I do like a challenge, and I’m ready to have a usable pantry.
P.S. — Thanks so much to everyone who checked in on us during the last week. Waco is about 300 miles from the hardest hit parts of the Texas coast, and 200 miles from Houston, so we weren’t affected by Harvey. But so many of us have friends and family who were affected, and we’ve all seen the images online and on TV of the devastation, so please do continue your prayers and support for the victims. Please keep in mind that monetary donations are the best way to help, and it’s always best to give to organizations that have been thoroughly vetted to be sure that your donation will actually make it to the people who need it. This article from Consumer Reports gives great info about various reliable charities, as well as other ways to get involved.