February 2nd 2014
I consider myself a tenderfoot. I'm on my 3rd house remodel, but there is still so much to know and learn. I am probably a hybrid of sorts, in each of the house projects I've managed the remodel and also done much of the unskilled labor. In between that I've painted, caulked, nailed and participated in other parts of what it means to rehab a house. But no matter what I learn it seems like there is so much more to know.
I am not a Carpenter. A day after closing though I found myself DIYing a eighteen foot length of gutter. This was my first gutter. I figured I was going to ruin the gutter. I figured I'd try to do one thing that day and gutters were the priority, so I started there. Gutters aren't hard. They come in six and ten foot lengths, you have to cap the ends, they have to be predrilled and glued. If you're joining lengths together they have to be riveted and glued. It's not horrible or complicated, but you can do a good or bad job. I did a bad job on That first day.
There is something about the process of carpentry, you have to think out what you're doing but once you get started you can only focus on the thing you're doing, you can't think ahead, you can't rush, you just have to go about your action and do it right. The first day, whatever you're doing is a sacrificial lamb, you will butcher whatever you touch. On that particular day I butchered that gutter.
But the first day for me is an agreement of sorts. I know I have to journey into a place where I can't think about a dozen things. I have to get my mind around executing on just one thing.
So while project managing is nothing but multitasking, doing good carpentry is one thing. I'm not good at one thing. My job is nothing but a constant juggle of fires and emergencies. Carpentry is just executing on one thing, then move on to the next.
So I knew my mind would drift and I knew I would have to give some offering to the gods and I did. I find the work side of doing houses to be both immensely satisfying and incredibly daunting.