pulling back to strengthen the foundation of our business (and our lives) part I

I may just be talking to myself with this one, but I have come to realize as we fix up our little house in preparation of selling it

(although the selling it part is looking a little uncertain right now)

we have spent years adding some kind of new or some kind of more or some kind of something else to this house without a clear plan for how all of these fixings work together.

Throw in a woman who loves a good project and a man who hates to finish one and there is the potential for some real trouble here.

(I am convinced hubs inability to finish things is the perfectionist's trap - if something is actually done he needs it to be perfect, it will never be perfect, so it is better to move on to something else less his work get judged and of course my own part in this little dance is that I continually take on projects that I cannot finish without him - which is a whole hell of a lot of stuff actually - I lift weights, sort of, but can't even hold a curtain rod over my head for more than 30 seconds without getting shakey arms? wth)

Those little unfinished things that I used to walk right on past and never even think about, my head being full of new and more things, well, I'm thinking about them now. They are staring out at me from every corner with red eyes that do not look very friendly actually and calling my name with a deep Tony Soprano accent when I try to sleep.

"Hey Cat, it's me, the carpet in the extra room - the room the cat got trapped in that one summer night and tried to claw her way out - I don't look too good. I'm down here."

"Hey Cat, it's me, that hole in the wall from that time you partied like it was 1999 and instead of fixing me you covered me up with that ugly painting, well the new buyer probably won't want your ugly painting Cat - I'm over here."

"Hey Cat, it's me, the laundry room tiles that were never replaced under the washer and dryer so the old ones are still down here. Does Home Depot still sell those tiles Cat?"


I can see now how our very foundation has been unstable for years with the weight of all this unfinishedness.

It's made our lives top heavy (and not in a good Dolly Parton kind of way either).

It's made us wobbly.

Wobbly people do not make good decisions. Wobbly places do not support us.

This works the same with our businesses.

For those of us who have been doing this a while we may have allowed our business to grow in unintended directions - we may have dropped so many oars into the water they are dragging down the boat - we may have been depending on the temporary fix instead of shoring up our foundation.

Part II the foundation of our business - back to basics (part II may be after the holiday- if so- enjoy the weekend everyone!)


DancingMooney said...

Recently we refinanced our house and when we found out what our new payments would be, we started looking at this little house as our long term home, rather than something we originally intended just to flip.

With that, we're in the middle of remodeling the bathroom, and sometime after that will come the kitchen, and a few other things... by the time we are done with all of this, I'm thinking we'll just want to stay and enjoy it, rather than move along, but who knows.

For now I know we are staying put, and making the best of it, and in a way, we've learned to live really simply here (only 820 sq ft), with low expenses and low maintenance, and I have to say, it's kind of nice.

We too always had the vision of more, bigger, better, but somehow, with a little tweak in things, and a realization that we do have what we need... it's all starting to feel as it we were meant to be here all along.

Catherine Ivins said...

Hi Janell - I've been following your bathroom model- it's going to be great. I love how you are feeling about meant to be here - for us it's not about bigger or better either, just something new and different really - as much about the place as the house, but who knows we have a lot of memories here and everytime I fix something I like this place a little more - we just put a split rail fence along the front- we live on a busy street and now it feels like we have a front yard for the first time in 20 years, it doesn't just run into the street anymore- we just let a lot of things go when life got busy and the to-do list feels endless ...

KJ said...

In the past two years I let go of 1000 pounds of stuff and 4000 pages of documents which I personally scanned into my computer. I still have too much stuff. I am already planning for the next move. All of which is a great cure for wanting everything I see at Target. (Damn, but they are mighty fine at marketing.)

It is, only in part, about the physical. "Home" needs to be comfortable, functional, and pleasing to the eye. I cannot tell you which of those is most important.

I am unusual in a lot of ways, one of which is that I embrace change. In the end, change is what this discussion is about. Which brings me around to the important point- I embrace change a bit too readily. I am not flighty, but over the long term I have not found the right balance. We should all be aiming at keeping that which works, provides comfort, pleases us in some way and jettisoning those things which weigh us down, take away from our lives rather than add value, things we no longer need but just have not gotten around to pushing them out the door. Change may also be internal- do you love who you are, what you spend your time doing? How do you become better? happier? content?

Balance should always be the goal.

Catherine Ivins said...

Hi Kathy- yes, change is what this is all about and balance as always is the goal. When I was a kid we moved every year, our situation was always precarious, and this lack of roots and structure has definitely contributed to me wanting to stick with things (to the bloody end dammit!) which of course has its positives and negatives for me. I think being able to embrace change as you do is a gift - change is not an option. And I agree it is internal and external - as within so is without in all things - my internal changes are forcing the external .. maybe my cracked soil won't hold the roots, maybe the roots are strong enougth to sustain the erosion ... I guess I'm going to find out - xo to you

lynn bowes said...

I'm afraid that if I finish, I die. So finishing COMPLETELY is never an option.

On a more lighthearted note - we have been in our brand, spanking new house for over four years now and still don't have handles on any of the kitchen cabinets or drawers. Those things are ex-pen-sive and I'd rather spend $$$ on chrome polish for my motorcycle or something.

How does all of this fit? Not a clue. Just talky today.


Catherine Ivins said...

hmmm fear of death eh? remember that scene in moonstruck where olympia dukakis(?) said men cheat because they are afraid of death (or was that steel magnolias?) - anyway- sounds like that could be george's thinking, too Lynn - about the finishing not the cheating (let's hope) - I'm with you on the chrome polish, too- who needs door handles when you've got that bike- you are proabbly never home to open drawers anyway! xo