Finishing Drywall and a Conversation
Liz and I worked a lot tonight on getting the drywall in the living room finished up. While we have a few more areas left, the majority of what we can tackle got finished tonight: two smaller pieces, and one larger piece with a precise cutout for a return vent.
At the close of the evening, Liz and I had a long, long talk. Tonight was a Friday, and as soon as I came home… I mentioned something about how I wanted to just finish our work and be done. I was tired from the day and week, and wanted to finish our house task so I could try to get a little relaxing in.
Looking back over the course of the last two weeks – I’ve not been very pleasant to work with. I’ve largely been taking on a “let’s get this done with” kind of approach, and it’s brought about a lot more friction as Liz and I navigated the intricacies of our work on the living room.
Tonight, I realized that we were falling into a pattern – that I was prone to a particular pattern, of skewing negative and approaching our work as a burden that needed to be weathered and endured.
From Liz’s point of view, she talked about how these moments were us spending time together. More than just tasks, they were chances for us to be together – albeit working on the house. And that in the last two weeks, that time together has not been enjoyable.
We had a long talk in the kitchen. And I made a vow (as I’m doing here) to try to shift my thinking. Yes, we have a lot of work on the house. Yes, we have a lot of things we want and need to get done. But these moments of work are also moments we are together, and that should come first.
For me, I’m needing to shift my thinking. To remember that we are, first and foremost, spending time with one another. And we also happen to be working on the house. That our work and collaboration should be enjoyable, and everything else comes secondary and after.
Liz helped drive things home for me in our talk: it benefits us nothing if we get all our tasks done, but are unhappy while completing them. We haven’t done date night in a while, and in a lot of ways… the nights we work on the house together are our date nights. For me I think I need to worry and fret less about the tasks to be done, and focus more on enjoying the time we spend together. That’s been my big takeaway.
Most of the drywall done around the windows.
The tricky last bit of drywall (on the right), with a custom cutout for the vent. This made us pretty nervous putting it up (note the thin piece on the far left). But after all our work so far in this room, we got the piece cut, dry-fit it once, and then put it on right after.
After we got it screwed into place, I remember thinking that we’ve gotten pretty comfortable and adept with the process. What I should have done, really, was voice these moments of positivity. Because that wasn’t coming out at all, over the course of the night.
Sadly, tonight should have been cause for a big celebration – we completed putting up a lot of drywall, ever since our return from vacation. But instead of celebrating, we had a big talk about our approach to house work – and my approach in particular. I’ve been letting the stress and work of the house lead me to a very negative outlook, and after tonight… I’m aiming to change that point of view.
From here on out, I’m going to try to view house night as time spent with my wife. And if we happen to get some house work done, well that’s great. But first and foremost, it’s us spending time together as husband and wife. Hopefully, from there, we’ll fix up a house along the way.