I had a crazy-awesome weekend. Not awesome in the sense that I went to a fabulous party, or saw a great show, or volunteered at the SPCA (which would have all been really awesome things to do, and I should probably jot them down on a list somewhere), but awesome in the sense that I finally put my head down and got some things done.
We have been redecorating our family room for over 2 years now. I know; it’s pathetic, really. I love this room; it is half-way upstairs, over the garage, so most people don’t even know we have a family room until we show it to them. It’s like a secret. Except, ever since we bought this house, it’s been more like a dirty little secret. The room is hideous! The previous owner was evidently a Debbie Travis junkie; when we moved in, there were stencils and pastel faux finishes and wallpaper borders (I wish I was kidding) everywhere. We got rid of most of it, but for some reason, we never got around to the family room. We knew we’d do it someday, but since it was a room people rarely saw, it slipped to the bottom of the priority pile.
Over time, the ugly got worse. Old, unmatched furniture moved in. The green plastic mini-blinds came down long enough to put in new windows, but then went up again when we realized that we weren’t buying nice curtains any time soon. When the carpet started getting damaged by the computer chair, we threw down an old area rug that had been hanging out in storage. Add to that the unrelenting detritus of 2 primary-school-aged children and, well, you know.
A little over 2 years ago, I finally got fed up. After all, even if strangers rarely saw it, we spent a lot of time there, and didn’t we deserve a beautiful space? Gee was completely on-board, so we hired a decorator to help us out with the room. Apparently, after our first meeting and big promises, she completely forgot about us, and when we finally tracked her down and got her to bring us the plans, they were awful. We dutifully paid her the $1300 for her services (yes, you read that right), and then stewed in our own disgust for several more months, unwilling to move forward with her plan, yet afraid to abandon it and completely lose our investment.
So we lived like that, with a paint chip and a file folder full of furniture ideas sitting (among all the other crap) on our desk, and tile and stone samples leaning against the walls, for about 20 more months. Eventually, I realized we had to do something, and so I bought curtains. Lovely panel curtains that contained the colours we’d been talking about. It was my HGTV ‘jumping off point’, and it got us back on track…sort of.
While shopping for couches we met another designer, and in exchange for a promise to drop a huge wad of cash in her store, she went over our plans and refined them – that is to say, made them into a room we will actually enjoy. We excitedly ordered the furniture and… <crickets>…
The store called last week to tell us the furniture is ready to be delivered. The whole room. We still hadn’t arranged a painter, or electrician, or tile-setter. We’d basically done nothing since we put down the equivalent of Tee’s education fund as a deposit on the furniture.
Which brings me to this weekend. Faced with desperation we went to the building supply and picked out the stone for our fireplace. We stopped at the electrical store and chose the spot lights we’ll need to fill the 7 new holes in our ceiling. We called 3 painters for estimates and selected a painter who will start work tomorrow. We stripped the NASTY wallpaper border off the wall (my god it was easy…why did I wait 6 years to do that?), filled holes, sold all the old furniture.
And just for fun, we also squeezed in a long-overdue appointment with our financial advisor, as well as a drop-in to update our life insurance.
I’m telling you, it was crazy-awesome. I have writers cramp from crossing so many things off of my to-do list. I’m also wondering why I procrastinate so much. We knew we had to do all these things. We know that it will take just as long, and just as much effort to do them at the last minute as it might to do them right away. And yet still we wait. Why is that?
I’ve always been like that; I can screw around at work like nobody’s business, but give me a deadline and you will have what you need, and it will be pretty great, too. I send birthday presents out late all the time, even if they have been sitting on my dresser for weeks. When I finally send them, I wonder, ‘why didn’t I do that before?” My dad used to scream at my sisters and me for always leaving the car with just a little bit of gas, “If you’re going to drive around on a quarter of a tank, you might as well drive around on the TOP quarter!”.
I procrastinate. I know I’m not alone. It’s interesting really: why put something off if it is going to be done eventuallyanyway? Why not just do it and be done? It seems like a good idea; I think I’ll work on that.
(Right after I write this post, on Wednesday, about how productive I was 5 days ago…)