Beneath The Surface

Congratulations, you own a house!

It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Image credit:

This is your new house, and it’s going to be moved into your name completely free of charge, though you’ll still have to pay to take care of the necessary repairs that the home may need. And those repairs…they’re kind of the catch to the whole deal. See, this house is in quite the state of disrepair. The kitchen is missing a stove…and a refrigerator…and a microwave. The house does have heating and cooling, though it’s in the form of a kerosene heater and a benevolent ghost-like spirit that only visits your den on Wednesdays, respectively. It’s a three bedroom home, however only two of the three bedrooms have covered by a roof. Oh, and your bathroom? There’s technically a bathroom, however there’s a distinct lack of plumbing running to the toilet that’s currently sitting in the middle of the floor. And that’s just the things you know about at a quick glance.

Sounds fun, eh?

So…where do you start?

Okay, after the drink where do you start? Image credit:

There’s two schools of thought as to where to start with a problem as far-reaching as the issues with your new home. You can either address the issues that are the most pressing right away, or you can be patient, research all of the issues that the home has, and then work to prioritize them in order of those that will provide the most benefit to your future repairs. Both philosophies have their positives and their negatives. After all, installing your shitter seems like a great way to answer pressing bathroom issues, however if your floor is termite infested, there’s a small chance that your newly installed commode will fall through the floor — possibly with you on it. Likewise, I doubt that you’ll be able to make it the entirety of the three weeks you need to assess all of your home’s problems without taking a piss. Oh…and everything needs to be fixed in five weeks. Good luck.

Seems like an insurmountable issue, right? Perhaps the problems are so wide-reaching that you’re even considering turning down the offer of a “free” house. I couldn’t completely blame you. There’s a lot of shit to do on a lot of different levels, and the expectations aren’t exactly the most manageable. Yet, it’s what you need to do in order to get your reward — that house.

If it was up to me, the solution would be simple. I’d go hole up in a hotel room for five weeks while I’m in the planning and fixing stages of the process, start from the home’s foundation, and build up and out to the home’s roof. However, if there’s anything that I’ve learned in life, it’s that a large majority of people disagree with me.  The general human reaction is to make sure all of the little fires around the house are put out before cleaning up the kindling and open flames that caused the problems in the first place. I get it, I really do. If you’re being burnt by an open flame right now, it’s easier to spray the fire extinguisher at your feet to calm the flames around you. Personally though, I’d rather take three steps into the fire and burn just a little longer if it means that I’m activating the sprinkler system.

Your house could probably use some fire prevention items too. Image credit:

I realize nothing in life is a complete cut-and-dry scenario where the solution is one option or the other. When The Clash asked whether or not they should stay or they should go, they missed the obvious option of leaving and coming back later when things have cooled down. If nothing else, that likely would have been the best long-term solution for all involved. That very thing — the best long-term solution for all involved — is what I seek out everything in all I do. I have enough content to publish an ebook right this second, yet I also realize it would be a foolish action for me to do so, as the content is not edited well enough to be consumed as part of a larger publication. I’m in the process of trying to locate an editor, however while doing so I’m doing editing myself, as well as continually writing new content with the belief that there’s always the possibility I could write something good enough to be added to that ebook (or even to bump something else out of the book).

Let’s say that you’ve been presented with the house deal I mentioned at the onset of this article. What would your plan of attack be to solve your dilemma and remove the home from its state of disrepair? Why would you act in that way? Sound off in the comments.

  1. I admit I’m the type of person who dives in and tackles all the simple-solution tasks first, and then steps back to see what’s left…at which point I do what you do with the hard tasks, start from the bottom up and set a pragmatic plan of action. I’m actually trying to get better at this. The OCD is a significant burden when it comes to task and priority management because it is SO easy to get overwhelmed, but I’m really improving even with it. Breathing exercises help, even in relatively minor situations like “I have 4 tables, and should probably get the newest one’s order in the computer and the oldest one’s check out before getting that other one to-go boxes, because priorities, even though to-go boxes are easy.”

    1. I’m not the best at dealing with stress. I’d like to think I’ve come a long way from where I once was when it comes to stress, however I know there’s still a lot I struggle with. I feel like if I can get through the chaos of the next few months, things will calm down a bit for me. With that said, I’m very reliant on looking at things from a large-scale perspective, whereas the majority of people I interact with think the complete opposite way. I think that contribute to my stress more than it should.

  2. First — you can get free houses? What is this shit? I want a free house.

    Second — I had posted this quite some time ago on my old blog, however I felt it was an appropriate time to share it here thanks to some things I was going through myself. It has always bothered me when people look for the quick fix rather than the long term solution to something.

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