Deliberate productivity and the curse of overwhelm

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So, intermittently I’m overwhelmed by the magnitude and number of jobs ahead of us. We still need to:

  • Build the rest of the kitchen shelves
  • Paint the brackets (and associated screws)
  • Install the shelves
  • Build the dining area shelf (plus attach it’s light)
  • Install that
  • Finish trim in the main bath and the en-suite
  • Trim around the built-in bookcases
  • Put skirting in both bedrooms, and half the dining room
  • Install the pantry pullout frame
  • Make the pullout drawers
  • Install them
  • Make the bedroom shelves…
  • …and install them

And that’s before we get to: “oh yeah, and make the bedroom, furnace, coat cupboard and office doors…and install them” and “oh yeah, and build the deck.” Oh, and of course, there’s maintenance. Stuff needs painting, stuff needs cleaning, grass needs trimming. Oh yeah, and we really should put up a fence that isn’t T-posts and rusting chicken wire.

It feels endless – and the reward is (mostly) worth it. Occasionally I am just stunned – absolutely and totally – by how much we’ve achieved. About how different this space is that we crafted from the rotting, filthy, mouldering shack that we bought.

And sometimes, when I’m overwhelmed I have no idea what to do. Sometimes I can find myself stunned into immobility, contemplating the enormity of the tasks without any kind of notion of where to begin. And sometimes, today being one of them, I can manage to tame that beast and ride the fucker. Today I

  • Did the washing up
  • Loaded the dishwasher (and set it going)
  • Cut the lawn front…and back
  • Went to lowes to get the stuff to mount the shelves
  • Sprayed the backs of the brackets
  • Sprayed the screws I just bought
  • Ran to the co-op to get the odds and sods we need for the week (and some other odds and sods we don’t need)
  • Paid the utility bill
  • Planted a bunch of plants
  • Mulched around them…
  • Changed the broken monitor arm
  • and…
  • Sewed up some holes in a skirt.

I am *tired* but I feel like I have achieved much. The brackets are ready to go up tomorrow, so we might – just might – have a shelf. Which would be frankly amazing and make me feel like I’ve really made some progress.


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.