August 14, 2004

Everybody's Working for the Weekend

I can't remember who sang the song of that title, but it's running through my head right now. Can't say I ever spent any time analyzing the meaning of it as it always seemed like just pop fluff. Something to sing along with when it played on the radio, rather upbeat and positive. Basic interpretation: get through the work week so you can enjoy your two days off. Good times. But now I think of those words in a different way.

For about a year now, ever since Wendy and I bought "This Old House", we've been working on the weekends. Most weekends anyway. If we had to work every weekend, we'd be raving lunatics. And Bob Vila didn't come as part of the deal. We're pretty much on our own. I think we've struck a good balance mostly.

We work better with a deadline. Setting a deadline usually goes something like this. "The Boy will be home for {insert college break here} on {insert date here}. Let's get {insert home improvement project here} finished by then." Hey, whatever works, right? Motivational objectives are inspirational. They motivate and inspire. Which is why we call them that.

Since we got back from our vacation, we've been working like crazed lunatics. Or rather focused lunatics. Working nights even, after we get home from our day jobs. The purpose and motivation is a different brand of the purpose and motivation we started with last year, however. It has a different flavor somehow.

I think last August when we started it all had a "desperation" flavor. An "oh my god let's get this place in some semblance of order! MUST HAVE ORDER!" flavor. Kinda reminded me of jalapenos, but I can't tell you why. Now it has a more mature taste. Still spicy, yet mellow. Because basic items of an immediate nature relating to comfort and quality of life have been completed. Our comfort zones are established and orderly. What a difference that makes. For Wendy and me anyway.

This time, however, and for the first time I should add, we are not going to meet our deadline. The project slated for completion by the time The Boy comes home will not be finished when he arrives. Even if we work night and day and day and night. It's just not physically possible to get it done. And, oddly enough, I'm okay with that. Not just resigned, but really okay. We lost too much time over the summer. The motivation and inspiration deserted us. And returned too late to meet our deadline. Pieces of this summer were just plain hard.

I've been known to advise friends to "give themselves a break". I think over the past year I may have learned to give myself a break. Turns out it's pretty good advice.

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