Archive for June, 2010

Mission accomplished, but it was a sweaty task

June 5, 2010

At the beginning of last week I set some internal deadlines for getting needed work done on my book. I also promised to post here with the results—or lack thereof.

I’m happy to report I did indeed get an outline completed and have a much clearer mental picture of what the book will look like. I survived and even flourished during long periods of no face-to-face human contact; my most productive times were the most solitary, not surprisingly. (Although my phone interviews were nice excursions into lively interaction.)

I set up shop in the den of the house where I was dog sitting, and made myself comfortable, despite the annoyance of a recurring migraine during the first of my days here. So far, so good.

But life has a funny way of taking you down the side roads. Around lunchtime on Memorial Day, I looked up from my absorbing work with the realization that I was pretty darn warm. The thermostat told me it was 81, despite the 76-degree setting. I called the number of the service company the homeowners left me, and naturally no one arrived till 5:30. By that time, it was 87 in the house and I was cranky.

The serviceman diagnosed a bad breaker, which he declared himself unable to fix because of liability issues. So I packed up my canine charge for a night in a cooler clime, and returned the next day to meet the electrician I’d finally managed to corral late the evening before. You will perhaps have already guessed that my hot environs were NOT due to something as simple as that bad breaker. No, it was the AC compressor.

So now we’re deep into a second visit from the service company, a new diagnosis, estimates of repairs, overseas calls to the homeowners, ordering of the new units, day-long installation processes—oh yeah, it was all that and more. The process took three more (very hot) days. Did I get much book work done during this time? No I did not. Do I feel guilty about it? Yes I do.

But a lot of life seems to happen on the side trips, so during these inevitable off-road excursions, I try to manage my expectations and not let my irritation take over for too long. But it was hard this past week. I’m juggling myriad management problems involving my property in Texas (it needs repairs before I can rent it out again), and so combined with the unexpected issues during house sitting, I became overwhelmed by the sheer number of projects I was responsible for shepherding to completion.

But you know what? I realized even in the midst of it all, that it was a phase. That it felt really bad, but that it wasn’t going to last; one way or another it would pass. And I was right. Today, Dusty and I are enjoying the efficient air-conditioning of a new unit, and two days ago I found a handyman to tackle three of the most pressing issues I was worried about on my Texas property.

It’s all good. With the sweat of my brow, I got through the worst of it.

And now. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some book work to get back to!

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