Friday, September 28, 2007

Confession #47: Temporal Deficiency

Yes, I must confess, I am temporally deficient, especially when it comes to home repair projects. My wife, Tracy, will confirm this. Emphatically. (Repeatedly.) (Justifiably.) Thus, this week's project, painting the exterior of our condo's nine basement windows took longer than I expected.

I figured, oh, no problem, there's not much wood to them, and half the paint has already been worn away (the windows are in pretty bad shape). I'll be done in a couple hours. It's a one-weekend project. It never really works that way . Instead, the paint scraping took a lot longer (and a lot more energy) than expected. Then there was sanding. And vacuuming. And washing. Caulking. Repairing the window glazing. Minor repairs. Taping. Finally painting (I still have one coat to go).

It's not like I'm a bumbling newbie to home repair. I've owned eight houses and done lots of work on all of them, so this is common ground. Yet, for some reason, this great groundswell of optimism (and self-delusion) tends to swirl around me when it's time to guess how long a project will take.

So far, I've always been great about making writing deadlines, but as I try to land more writing freelance jobs, I'm going to need to make sure I get my time estimator gene whipped into shape. I'd had big plans this week for the new freelance job exploration, but a lot of that got eaten up by painting and school projects. Next week will be different. (Right?) I've also been fighting a bit of an emotional slump--but I that's closely related to finishing up the draft of my new novel last week. Even though there's still more work to be done, the emotional release of a major draft completion often leads to a blue period. Being a bit at sea for how to handle the new job/freelance stuff makes it trickier, but I have a feeling it was all unavoidable. Next week is a new week.

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