What to do with unexpected setbacks

Last Saturday evening, a huge rainstorm swept through Atlanta.  I tell you this because Sunday morning, there was a very large POP sound (like a shotgun, so I assume it was a transformer) and the power had gone out.  Considering that I had been planning on spending my morning using a shop vac in the dining room, I was a little bummed at the unexpected setback.  But, since I also have about 200 unfinished projects around the house on any given day, I wasn’t deterred for long.

I swept out all of the junk in the upstairs hallway, cleaned off the baseboards, and whipped out the paint.

Sure, I could have used more light, and still wished the power was on (those smoke detectors run on both power and a backup battery, so that’s why you still see the light on there).

But before long, I was making progress on the first coat and the hallway was looking much brighter, with power or without.  Exactly the way I intended when I first picked the new paint color.

I’m sure that the coat isn’t quite up to the usual standards thanks to a lack of appropriate light to see mistakes, but I’ve often learned with this house that done is often better than perfect.  Because there are still 199 more unfinished projects to go.  And this little unexpected snafu in my morning plans didn’t mean that I had to stop making progress in the house altogether.

Have you ever worked on a project with no power?  What was it?  Maybe I should make a list of things that can be done for the next time this happens!

Comments

  1. says

    Good job! I would have taken a nap.

    It doesnt really count because WE shut the power off, but Sunday night found Matt and I in the basement with Flashlights hooking up a new outlet for the washing machine. It was relatively terrifying – I hate working with anything electric – even if I am just holding the light.

  2. says

    We have a tendency to shut off all the lights and stuff anyway, whether we are home or not. I think my husband would be perfectly content to live in a dark, dank cave as long as he had his flatscreen and cable TV.

    Unless I NEED a power tool, I generally work in a sunny spot with just my hand tools and crafty supplies. I like the lights off and blinds OPEN when I paint, so I can see how the natural light affects things. Doesn’t matter if I’m painting walls, a frame, or a piece of furniture. Sunlight is best. Maybe i should have been born a century-and-a-half ago.

  3. Suzanna says

    My husband and I bought our first house last summer. The first night we planned on staying in the house, Virginia got a super crazy storm that knocked out the power for 10+ days for many people and businesses (including, thankfully, the office building where hubby and I work). The extra week of “vacation” that resulted allowed me to get all of the painting on the main floor done before the house warming party that was set for just a few weekends later. Though it was pretty miserable painting, cleaning and unpacking in 100+ degree weather, I can only imagine how long it would have taken me to finish the projects if the power had been on and I had been needed at work. #thankfulforunexpectedblessings

  4. says

    Same thing happened to me last Thursday afternoon/ evening! 1. Thankfully the power came back on before The Office finale. Phew. 2. I opened up the garage door and painted cabinet doors (after 6 months, I’ve finally finished painting cabinetsssss!!), planted a succulent garden, and folded clothes.

  5. Courtney says

    Thanks for the reminder that done is better than perfect… I often let that stop me, which is strange considering how many half-a**ed projects I wind up being perfectly happy with just because I’m relieved that they’re done.

  6. Sari says

    I am able to read only the left two-thirds of your blog because your text and photos run off the right side of my iPad screen and will not allow me to scroll sideways. I get frustrated trying to cobble together what you have to say because, otherwise, I enjoy reading your blog. Is that problem fixable? I am reading on an Apple iPad in Safari and, up until a couple of months ago, was able to read without losing 30% of your content. I miss keeping up with what you have to say – you write well and have kept me entertained until this glitch. Let me know if there is something I need to correct at my end. Thanks!

    • Sarah says

      Hi Sari, I am sorry to hear you’re having trouble, and appreciate that you’re still trying to read the blog! I have double-checked the settings on the site, and iPads are set to use the MOBILE version of the site, which should eliminate the screen cutoff problem (I had the same trouble, and switched to use the mobile version for all mobile devices). I just tried viewing the blog on my iPhone and the settings still look to be mobile. Can you try clearing the cache to refresh the page load? Settings > Safari > Clear History and Clear Cookies are what is on my phone. Then let me know if you’re still having issues. Mobile can be so much tougher to troubleshoot, so I appreciate you reaching out about it!

      • Paula says

        I am having the same problem, but I read through Firefox on a laptop. I usually read through Google Reader so I don’t have any trouble there, but when I click over to this site, everything runs off the side….

  7. ces @ home design ideas says

    When electricity is out and computer battery down, what to do when an idea for a blog post is playing on your mind? Get a pen and paper and write! That is exactly what I did that one time when I felt like I’m going crazy if I can’t get my ideas in words. :D

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