Pondering to perfection

John and I move slow. Reeeeeealllly slooooooow. I don’t mean literally – we’re known to knock over amblers on the street – I mean in life. In decision making. We like to take our time, really ponder our options. Maybe sleep on it for a night or 400 (or 4000 in the case of deciding to get married). To us, every little task in life is like docking the space station: we must approach it at just the right time, at the optimal angle, and with peak efficiency or the consequences will be dire.

We might choose wrong.

Of course, most of the time the consequences are just that we might not get the best lamp ever made, or we might be forced to pick a new paint colour, or be subjected to a movie that didn’t move us to our very core. Horrible outcomes clearly, but not dire.

The irony is that we are immobilized more by the little things than the big things that actually could have dire consequences. We bought our home within days of hiring a realtor and haven’t regretted it once. We did our research ahead of time but in the end, it was largely a decision based on our gut and one we made in about 48 hours. But ask us to pick a rug for said home? Well that took months. I have a hard time making decisions, John has a hard time acting on them; turns out we perfectly complement each other in ensuring that we never get anything done.

No surprise then that the major projects in our home remain undone nearly three years after we moved in. That’s three years into the five that we initially planned to live here (though that timeline has likely been extended – turns out five years is not that long and we’ll need at least a couple of years just to decide to move).

In that time we’ve managed to tackle the small things. Things for which the decision making was relatively simple and the first step was clear. Pick a paint colour and then slap it on the wall. Remove the old door handles and screw in shiny new ones. Rip out old crap from the closet and install new shelves.* Not that it still didn’t take us forever to do all those things but we managed to overcome the hurdles because the decisions were at least limited. And we knew which decisions were there to make.

It’s not nearly that simple when you want to gut and replace an entire bathroom and most of your kitchen. These tasks actually start to resemble that space shuttle docking a little more. We have done research, we have talked to family members with renovation experience, we have gotten ourselves a clue, but we are not builders. We have never done this before. Half the time we don’t even know the right question to ask, never mind the terminology to make the question understandable to someone who doesn’t speak in whatchamacallits and thatmetalthingamagigs?

And digging right to the heart of our reason for stalling: What if we start but don’t do things in the most, bestest way ever? Or god forbid, what if we make a mistake? We don’t do mistakes. We ponder our way out of ever having to make one.

Which is why our bathroom has been sitting half ripped apart for the last two months.

But hey, you know what that means? We ripped it apart!! And that, my friends, is progress in our book trilogy.

* No, our closets still do not have doors. After many months, we finally gave up on the Doors from Hell and disposed of them. As for why we haven’t bought new doors, see the above post.
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Posted on April 18, 2012, in Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I can’t believe your closets still don’t have doors! I was actually wondering about that recently, for some odd reason…

    Your decision making process reminds me of my fiance. He REALLY likes to take his time to think things through. I’m kind of the opposite. I end up in this “hurry up and wait” mode, waiting for him to catch up to me. This is why I initiate (and execute) the home decoratin decisions in our household.

    Do you think the half-ripped-apart bathroom will motivate you to move on with the project faster? I can’t imagine how frustrating using that bathroom must be!

    • Haha, you’d think so but no. We only ripped apart the shower and since we have another bathroom with a shower it’s not actually that inconvenient. BUT we are getting on it! We are buying supplies this weekend.

      And sometimes I end up in “hurry up and wait” mode too… once I make a decision I am raring to go, but need to convince John to catch up. Actually that’s where I am now, but unfortunately he has a pinched nerve in his hip that is seriously slowing him down.

  2. Ohhhhh dear. This is going to be us when we get a home we can finally rip apart. I picture many years of happy living in semi-destruction.

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