I LOVE working on projects, but it’s been brought to my attention–by my loving husband and close friends, too– that I don’t always finish what I start. For the past six years, my garage has been a constant reminder of my half-job problem. Stacks of lumber that I had grand plans for are beside a cluttered work bench. Craft supplies inside the house are barely used or worse, not even opened.
Back in 2011, I was coaching club volleyball and my player’s parent, who owned a brick paver company, called me up one day and asked if I would want 600 square feet of free used pavers that were in good shape. I have been thinking about doing a brick paver patio in my back yard, but at the time I knew I couldn’t afford it. Free pavers? Yes, please! So he had them delivered, and they sat in my driveway for an entire winter. Eventually, my neighborhood association kindly asked if I would get the pavers (an eyesore stacked on pallets) out of my driveway. My husband brought a bobcat home from work one day and moved every stinkin’ paver into the garage, which is where they have lived every since.
You’re probably thinking, “That doesn’t really qualify as a half-job, Stephanie.” But, that’s not the whole story. After the pavers were moved into the garage, I started prepping for a paver patio in the backyard. I dug for days. I ordered rocks and tamped them into a smooth surface. All I needed to do was move a mound of gravely sand from my driveway to the back yard and lay the stones and I would have a beautiful back yard patio. Right at that point, I stopped completely. My wrist– that I’ve now had five operations on– was bothering me. High school volleyball season was just getting started. It was so darn hot out. I had all kinds of, in my mind, valid excuses, so I didn’t move the sand. The pavers are still in the garage gathering cobwebs. My beautiful prepped area has grown weedy and is ruined. It could have been beautiful, and now it’s a disaster.
Why didn’t I go on? Well, I hit a patch of uncertainty. I wasn’t exactly sure that I have sloped the grade of my paver base correctly away from the house. Would water build up and cause huge problems? I worried about putting down the coarse sand and screeding it to a thickness of one inch using two-by-fours (all learned from YouTube). I was worried that I was not doing something correctly, and the pavers might end up moving around all higgedly-piggedly and the surface would be ruined. Most overwhelming for me was the fact that the pavers have a key-shaped structure, so there isn’t a continuous flat edge. Meaning, to begin the border for the patio, I would need to rent a large concrete saw to cut off a portion of each paver. Oh, and did I mention the pavers are 2 1/4″ thick? Each one probably weighs ten pounds. “How could I manage all this on my own?” I wondered.
So, I gave up.
As I am writing this, I’m eating an ice cream sandwich commiserating in my embarrassment and grief that my plans fell apart. I’m most upset because I was too afraid to move forward with a plan that could have been really great. Am I the only one who has run into doubt and stopped when I should have persisted?
Fast forward six years, and my garage has become a dumping ground for what could have been. To properly clean the garage space, I need to get rid of and organize a TON of stuff. What are your summer goals? I’ve always heard it’s best when you write goals down. It makes them concrete and not just a dream. If you share your goals with me in the comments, I’ll do my best to cheer you on and check in on your progress.
Alright folks, with trembling hands I type the next few sentences:
LISTEN NOW, EVERYONE… this summer, I vow to do something with those pavers! Please hold me to it.