I often feel almost like I’m a scientist observing my own behaviour. Today is a good example.
I’ve been run down mentally for about six months, finding it increasingly hard to get my mental reserves back up, and while post-Xmas was a boost, a couple of colds and things were annoying me. I felt good for about a week in January, like there was a light I was moving towards, partly as I’ve figured out some of the reasons for the drain, and the realization that the only way out is through. So a beginning of a new game plan for the year.
Then I got a cold for a couple of days, relapsed a week later. Then this past week, some sort of food poisoning. This one hit me and my digestive system hard, but it seemed to be flushing itself out. Between Tuesday and Thursday, I was sleeping about 60% of the time. I thought I was doing okay until Thursday night when I tried real food again, and about 90 minutes later, that was no longer a viable way forward. Stomach is still sore, but living on toast, crackers, soup, and jello plus water and electorlytes also doesn’t exactly fill you full of energy.
Fast-forward to this morning. Andrea’s sink is clogged and has been on and off for about a week now. I was waiting for her to decide if she wanted to completely replace the taps as the stopper lever has had to be fixed a couple of times, other adjustments, the tap leaks, it’s a pain in the patootie. She’s decided just to remove the stopper, put in a hair-catch, and we’ll unclogg the sink. Well, I should be able to handle that.
Of course, here’s where the brain part kicks in. I have very little patience for home repairs. I hung the towel rack in my bathroom, and it’s not great, I can see the flaws every time I look at it. I built some functional shelves for the basement, but that was relatively simple, they’re not great looking, and I had the wood for almost 8 years before I did it. I am really not good at this stuff, and it rarely works out. Ikea shelves are about my speed. And after spending several hours working on something, only to have it look like a monkey with a hammer did it, even if it works, is incredibly frustrating. Hence why my patience is limited.
Each project that I try to do requires a fair amount of mental energy to even start. I have to accept that I’ll give it my best, I’ll spend time on it, go slow, do all the things I’m supposed to do, and it may still completely go to shit anyway. I replaced a simple light switch in our bathroom recently, about a five minute job for most people that took me almost an hour (not including the trip to Home Depot to buy the right switch, with help). It didn’t go smoothly, but it got done. And then when I was almost finished, feeling almost satisfied, I put the one screw in too far and split the faceplate. Always something.
Back to the sink. First, I need the stopper lever out, my father-in-law showed me the hooks underneath, so I’m feeling relatively confident. Two things to do — remove the stopper, snake the drain. Except the drain snake is nowhere to be found. It’s in the garage, and I have to get the car out to do a proper search. In mitts and heavy coat, boots, stomp around out there for almost 30 minutes. I’ve fought with the thing three times in the last year that it was in the way, I cleaned up greatly in the summer, should be able to put my hand on it in 30 seconds. Nope. Two shelves emptied, no drain snake. I’m pretty sure it’s in a small black cloth bag now, but I’m looking at everything to be sure. Nada. Okay, well, if I take the lower pipe off I should be able to clean it out without the snake.
Yeah, hmm. Me and pipes doesn’t sound like a simple level 1 fix. Okay, I’m run-down, I’m sick, I feel like crap and having trouble concentrating, and I just annoyed myself that I can’t find the damn drain snake that should be right THERE. But I’m going to try level 2. Okayyyyy…
I can’t move the connector, need bigger wrench or probably visegrips will do it. No problem, tools are sorted, the visegrips are right … umm. You have got to be kidding me. 20 minutes later, no vicegrips. I have no idea where they are. I found the box they’re supposed to be in, but they’re not. I’d dump it all out on my workbench but that is covered with stuff from the summer that I can’t get rid of yet.
I’ve spent over an hour, and I haven’t even DONE anything yet. Yeah, that’s probably a good thing. The likelihood of my doing a good job when I can’t even find the fucking tools? Not likely. Screw it, I’ll write a cheque to someone else who makes a living off useless tools who can’t do this shit themselves. In the meantime, I’m going back to bed.
Yeah, I can find the right tool — it’s a pen.