Tuesday, August 19, 2008

7 Going on 6 Seasons for a 3 Season Porch

We've had this three season porch for about 7 seasons and this is the first time I have ever sat in it and done anything. Granted, if I subtract the two winters I am only left with five possible seasons in which I could have been working, reading, writing, reflecting, talking or just chilling.

But, up until today our porch has been filled to the brim with junk: many boxes, broken chairs, wooden shoe lasts, a fender twin, a giant wooden easel, a ceiling lamp fixture, ice skates, a cedar chest, canvas stretchers, and an American flag with an empty bottle of Vidalia onion sauce for a stand, just to name a few things.

This porch has been a mess for as long as we have lived here. In fact, this porch was a mess before we ever moved in. I distinctly remember spending hours cleaning the porch first. Why I did that I will never be able to explain adequately. Sometimes when there is a big project such as cleaning an whole apartment I space out and spend too much effort on some meaningless aspect of the project. In this case I got the porch nice and clean so that I could use it for storage. I am wondering if maybe my detailer's remorse regarding this has kept me from finishing the job of making it habitable until today?

One explanation is that the basement was full of other people's junk and the landlord just had someone haul out the 7 extra washers and dryers that were having their own nostalgias and cleaner's remorse. I am sure there is nothing worse for a machine built to clean than to be an agent of filth. Once those were gone, something in my brain clicked and I had a real vision for relaxing and writing on my three season porch. Now, there is still skateboard with camouflage grip tape and some PA speakers still keeping me company.

Another explanation is that last night I read this amazing interview with Derek Sivers from CDBaby that I found on Tim Ferriss' blog. They made me realize that my tendency previously to clean the porch before the house is something that plagues all aspects of life and business. We all have an amazing ability to misplace time and effort. The interview taught me that if I pick the one or two things each day that would make me feel as if I had accomplished something and start with those things, I will get a lot more actual work done and feel better about it.

Somehow, writing and researching SEO copywriting and social networking marketing techniques wasn't cutting it for me today. I was really just staring at the screen. Then I looked over and saw the porch and realized there is just enough summer left to really say that I only went 6 seasons without using our porch. That would be accomplishment. And heck, thought I, maybe if I was to do the porch first, my mind will open up to doing some writing anyway . . .

I always say to myself that I like the flowers of late summer better than those of spring and early summer. Well, today I and our porch bloomed.

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