Methodical Detail

I wish I could be more consistently methodical about details when performing mundane tasks. This came to mind a few weeks ago as I washed and detailed the ol’ Camry. Most often, the car gets a quick wash and rinse. Only once or twice each year, I go over the vehicle with obsessive attention to each area of the body and interior. The intent is to make the car look better than the day it rolled off the assembly line 21 years ago.

A certain amount of fidgety work brings me great happiness while doing it and later, while admiring the final result. The thing is, the urges to perform tasks perfectly only happen under ideal conditions. As I get older, those optimal times seem to arrive less often. In the case of the car, the weather happened to be nearly perfect–a rarity in Nebraska. During the rest of the year, we’re frozen solid or slogging through extreme, sultry heat.

Another problem is that I like to complete tasks promptly. Long, drawn-out projects challenge my attention span. This is why I sometimes require supervision.

A case in point involves the home improvement projects in progress right now. The window repairs are sporadic because they require multiple consecutive days of dry weather. This year has been damp and rainy. Thankfully, once the windows fixing gets underway, there will be no stopping. Each repair brings a certain amount of satisfaction. It’s similar to a chain reaction. Once the process begins, the process continues.

The bigger project involves interior wall and ceiling renovation. So far, I’ve been chipping away at the bedroom in the 60-year-old addition to the 100-year-old house. One of the walls was constructed of plaster and lath, the other three and the ceiling were finished with drywall panels. The repair work is time-consuming and messy. That’s OK because wall repair tasks are new to me. I love learning new things. There is a lot of methodical detail work needed in order to complete these unfamiliar tasks.

The bedroom walls are about half finished. The problem is that I’m running out of materials. I underestimated the quantity of mud (patching putty) needed for the job. I’m not willing to risk exposure to Covid 19 in order to purchase more pails of the substance. So, the project is more or less in a holding pattern, waiting for some semblance of normalcy to return to society.

After somewhat optimal weather returns, the urge to pay close attention to detail will hopefully return as well. I’m reasonably sure the desire will re-ignite because that is usually the case. I hate the feeling of having incomplete projects in holding patterns. I want to do them and I want to do them well.

The other missing ingredient is supervision. Due to the quarantine, there are no guests to observe my progress or lack thereof. When other people are involved, I feel more motivated. If it’s only about me, I tend to slack off. Obviously, this type of behavior requires improvement.

This year is one of delays, detours, and frustration for most of us. Everyone is chomping at the bit to get on with life. Let’s hope that the higher up decision making is methodical and detail oriented. Although I share in this eagerness, I reserve the right to exercise personal veto-power over my return to everyday normal life. I want to do it mindfully and well.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes author, interior designer, and television celebrity, Nate Berkus. “I’m not going to say paint is an easy spruce-up. It takes time, it needs touch-ups, and you have to be very methodical. But it is worth it, and it isn’t particularly expensive.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Hometown, Meanderings, projects and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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