Friday, June 6, 2008

Finishing Projects

I started painting my gazebo the other day and then it rained. My gazebo sits -- half white, half brown -- waiting for my attention. I have big plans for the space, formulated while whitewashing and dreaming, enjoying the sounds of chirping birds and scoping out my gardens. As I painted, and was eaten alive by the biggest mosquitos I've ever seen, I began considering screening in the space. I also envision flowers dripping from flower boxes hanging on the rails of the gazebo. I will fix up the roof, which has loose tiles. I will somehow get up to the dilapidated cupola and replace missing panels. At least while I used my powerwasher on the space, no creature came flying out! (I had feared there were bats in there.) I also hope to place a nice brick patio-like area in front of the gazebo steps. But now, after a short break, I wonder how much of this project I will actually finish.

First, I consider how wise my ideas are to begin with. For example, what is the point of screening in a gazebo on the edge of the woods? When you open the door, won't all the bugs go flying in and wait for you inside? I picture them poised and ready when I am not on my guard. There I will be thinking I am kept safe by the screen, while really it will only provide a false security. I then consider how much time this will take. Do I have time to do this on my own? Will my daughter allow me the large increments of time I need to finish my duties over the summer? How much time will this take away from planting, weeding and my regular garden activities? Also, do I have the talent to get this all accomplished?

I think about the garden visions I've had over the years. How many have I accomplished? I was able to line my whole driveway with rudbeckia at my last house before I left. But I was never able to get anything growing in the backyard, spending all of my time in the front. I also think about my non-gardening projects. My master bathroom has been screaming for attention for two years. I've done as much as I can without spending a lot of money, with my limited tools, and my limited demolition skills. In the rest of the house, I envision retiling the hallway, sanding the wood floors, etc. etc. How much will I actually do? will my priorities change over time? which projects should I tackle first?

I have grand visions. Perhaps dreaming up new projects is part of the fun. Or, is it just a sign of an overactive imagination that is never totally satisfied? I am somewhat disturbed that thus far I have never fully achieved a total vision for my living space. I wonder how others feel about their own ongoing projects. How long does it take you to finish projects once you start them? How many project plans do you have on your plate? Do you ever feel close to finishing your list?
Do you try to accomplish your tasks on your own or do you hire "experts" to help you?

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