About a month and a half ago, on the run-up to SXSW, I was considering my bathroom. I got my master bathroom plumbed and functional in time for SXSW the previous year and then, aside from getting the floors redone, basically nothing happened with the house in the intervening twelve months. I patched some drywall in that bathroom, and had electricians install lights and the guys who built the master closet hang some medicine cabinets. But that’s all. So for the past couple months, I’ve been increasingly aware of my 80/20 problem.
A lot of really big stuff happened in the first few months I owned this place, and then progress kind of trickled off. For months now, since the floors, I’ve been describing it as mostly mostly done, meaning that most of the rooms are almost complete. They need trim, they need caulk, they need paint. They need new light fixtures and new hundred-year-old doors installed. But they have walls and floors. They have functioning closets. The have plumbing, they have carpet, they have paint. I kept thinking I would find the time to deal with those miscellaneous outstanding items.
I began a new job a month ago, and it’s one where I work exclusively from home. I mean, I can go to a coffeeshop if I want to, of course, but I do not go into an office during a normal week. This is amazing. It’s something I’ve wanted forever. But it’s also something I assumed would happen around the time I got my home office finished and furnished. My dad is giving me the giant, solid desk that belonged to my grandfather as part of the large shipment of furniture that’s been waiting on me getting through with remodeling to be sent down here. I realized I wanted that desk now, I didn’t want to wait. I realized that being able to point to a piece of crown moulding and say I installed it was less important to me than that the moulding be installed and fucking done. That my house become livable. That I stop sitting on the floor. That I have the option of eating a meal at an honest-to-god table. That I unpack my possessions. That I finish the goddamned outstanding 20% of the work that’s taken me 80% of the time to get around to.
So I hired a general contractor and gave him my laundry list. Subcontractors will take care of all these little jobs, I’ll be left with some things, but mostly caulking and painting. Not things I need to put a lot of planning into, just annoying, mundane tasks. And it won’t feel as satisfying to say, “I caulked that window!” as it feels being able to say, “I framed that closet!” but fuck it. I’ve carried around the weight of almost-done plenty long enough and I’m ready to move on.