unfinished weekend house projects
Photo: Serge Bloch
My plan is to finish a project this weekend. That's the plan.

That is often the plan. The reality, compared with the plan, looks different. Actually, the reality looks sadly the same as it looked last week. That's the problem.

How hard could it be, really, to finish a project? Far bigger projects than mine get finished every day. The Great Wall of China. They finished that. Of course, if they had only worked on it every third weekend between the kid's soccer games, when it was warm outside, it would have never gotten done either.

I start projects all the time. My projects range from the mundane and necessary, like transferring the now near-dead flowers from their little plastic nursery tubs into the ground (this is known as a time-sensitive project, a project that needs to be done by a certain time, otherwise the plants become insensitive to any amount of water), to the visionary, like putting the garage on wheels so we can move it to where we need it.

To understand how projects don't get done, you have to understand weekends. Weekends are like little sacks of gold that they hand out on Fridays. That's what they mean when they ask how you "spent" your weekend. Unfortunately, like any sack of gold, it's never big enough.

The most immediately satisfying way to spend a sack of gold, of course, is to blow the whole thing at once—say, on a spectacular weekend at the beach. The less satisfying but more boring weekend investment method is to diversify, dropping a coin here and there, over the course of the two days free from paid work, hoping to ¬≠gather a few less-than-spectacular things—maybe a nap, a televised sporting event, or even a done project. But everything has a cost, even lying around, and everything you buy with your gold (lying around) is something else you can't have (a done project). The system is very hard on people who want everything.
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