As it turns out, I was able to pretty much complete the impossible in the last four days. I spent 35 hours, in four days, painting the last 211 pieces of siding.
It was ridiculous.
Sometimes I get wrapped up in an obsession. I have never been the type of person who procrastinates. Having something, anything, hanging over my head on my “to-do” list makes it difficult for me to relax. In my old age (haha-I realize I’m not that old), I have learned to delegate and prioritize, but I just prefer to not have several projects ongoing at the same time.
I’m like this with many things. When I read a book, I prefer to read it in one to four days tops. I become obsessed (if it’s a good book) with finding out the story. This is the same for some of the work I do. When I have to compose/or arrange the percussion book for marching band, I do it in in three full days. I do nothing else, but write and re-write and write and re-write. When I move somewhere new, I LOATHE slowly packing and moving boxes one at a time. I would rather take two days off of work and do it all at once.
Perhaps it’s impatience more than a hatred of procrastination. But I reach a zen-like state when my focus is very strict.
This is what happened with the siding.
Painting siding is kind of really ridiculously terribly boring. It doesn’t require much brain power. However, I felt indebted to the kind person who was lending us the space to paint. And I didn’t want to take up his time, or his space beyond reason.
The plan was to paint all 282 pieces of siding in three weeks. Based on some preliminary math, this seemed reasonable and feasible. My math did not take into account the lumber store’s screw up with our paint order. So what started out as a week of painting 79 boards and having to stop because of running out of paint, became four weeks of only having painted 79 boards and waiting for paint.
In my eyes this was unacceptable. So I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to figure out how to paint the remaining 200+ boards, with only four cans of paint in less than four days.
I was a woman obsessed.
I did nothing, but paint. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I took a twenty minute break around noon and a twenty minute break around 5pm. And I painted every other single minute of my time. I ate an apple while I painted. I answered my phone while I painted. I developed a system for layering on the least amount of paint possible to aid in the drying of the pieces of siding so I could paint more AND so that I wouldn’t run out of paint.
Sunday was the craziest. I started painting at 7:45am and left at 7:45 pm. I painted over 60 pieces of siding that day. Was covered in bruises (I’m not sure how), looked like I had possibly murdered someone (from my red paint-stained clothes), and could barely move my shoulder.
I was able to get through it thanks to the FABULOUS Podcast called “Serial” (Produced by Ira Glass of “This American Life”) and an awful lot of Michael Jackson music.
Monday I had a work meeting, so I got up and painted from 8am-11am, showered to clean up the paint to be presentable for work, and then stopped at a gas station on the way home to change back into paint clothes and painted from 3pm til 5:45pm-when the last board was red.
The last board.
I painted the last piece of siding.