Saturday, November 6, 2010

Up On The Roof

"This is the real secret of life: to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now.  Instead of calling it work, realize it is play."           ~ Alan Watts

My husband and I live and own an old Portland style house.  It's way too big for just two people and two cats.  Yet it suits us.  100 year old houses need constant care.  100 year old houses, like the one we have, where the former owners did things to the house that can only be best described as major "what were they thinking!!!" moments...need lots and lots of constant care.  We do our best to keep up.  Thank God for most of the house being structurally sound.  One area of the house that has been a problem for us over the years, is my studio roof.  It leaks.  With all the rain we have in Portland, it's a problem.  Broadside has made several attempts to fix this issue with little to no success.  Considering he hates any sort of home improvement project, he's done well with this roof.  I've let him handle it.  Even though, I grew up with my mother the Shack Flipper, and helping her turn trash into money, for some reason,  I didn't think I could handle fixing this roof.  Last week, when rain was dripping into the room and I was draping everything in plastic, I decided to get over my fear of not being able to fix this roof and do something about it.  It was time to get creative.
The first thing I did was do to some research on the Internet.  I knew that there must be products or inventions for this situation.  I know that I'm not the only person in the world to buy a house that when the former owners decided to do some renovations took heavy doses of LSD and then went to the junk yard or dumpster dived to find building materials.  Sure enough, my old buddy the World Wide Web had some answers for me.  I found what looked like a super great product that would do the trick.  The Universe was planning to provide me with at least two sunny 70 degree days. Time to jump on this thing.
I told Broadside, I'd like to see what I could do with this.  It was going to be my project of the week.  He said he did care and not to fall off the roof.  (It's a flat roof)  He also said. "That's a lot of work for one person and not very creative."
Those were almost like fighting words to me.  At very least, a call to action.  As I drove out to the only hardware store in town, that carries this product, I was thinking. "Yeah, it is going to be a lot of work.  But so is living with water rushing in my studio and not to mention dry rot. And how dare he say this isn't a creative project.  I'm going to have to be very creative to make this work."  Once I got to the hardware store, the clerk there was surprised that I knew about this stuff.  There were two contractor looking guys hanging out by the product and they were surprised I knew about this stuff.  All mentioned to me that they thought it was a lot of work for one person.  As I was leaving the store I heard. "Don't fall off the roof."  Comedians are everywhere these days.
I got home and put on my work clothes.  It was warm sunny and bright.  Before I started I thought. "How can I make this fun?"  The idea of  working with a new product.  The possibility of fixing this problem once and for all without falling off the roof, made it a fun challenge.  I wasn't even going to listen to the voices that told me it was going to be a lot of work for one person.   I gathered up my supplies and a radio (I'm not a huge fan of classic rock, but when doing a repair project, classic rock blasting is in order), I stepped out on to the roof.
For most of the project I was on my butt scooting along the edge singing.  The first thing was to lay down a sealing tape.  That was followed by this rubber acrylic stuff.  Which was amazing.  I think I discovered some reasons  why the roof might be leaking as I was doing this.  As I scooted along, I also took time for me to enjoy being outside sitting on a roof in Fall. The birds in my trees.  The views from the roof, I could almost see to downtown.  I watched a lady who lives in the apartments behind my house, hang out her laundry.  My next door neighbor taking his dogs out for walks.  He noticed me and just had to shout out. "Girl! Don't you dare fall off that roof!" I asked him if he would like to help me and he said. "Uh, no.  That's way too much work."
I didn't fall off the roof.   I fell into the moment on that roof.  And you know what?
Not only did I not fall off the roof.  I got the thing coated, hopefully sealed, and because I was singing and enjoying the didn't seem like a lot of work for one person.
The roof!  All sealed and clean looking!
Broadside kept saying to me. "It's not really a creative project. How does it fit your blog? Do you think people are going to want to read about you scooting on your butt on your flat roof?"
I'm going to answer all that.  1) I write this blog for me.  After all, the insights I get are mine.  If some else gets benefit, I'm thrilled.  If not, oh, well. 2) I had to really engage my creativity to hopefully make this repair work (it hasn't rained yet.  Fingers crossed, everyone). At one point I was applying this stuff with my gloved hand.  I was frosting my roof.  I also think I engaged skills I've learned from other creative projects into this one.  3)Most importantly, I learned that the attitude I take into to something effects the results I create.  The two days I spent on my roof were fun and really zen for me.  The time passed, yet I had lots of time to get everything done. The work on the roof seemed like play, because I created that with my mind set.  I didn't approach the work with the attitude of, I spending two wonderfully warm Fall days fixing my roof, and I'm going to bitch about what a waste of time this is.  Instead, I simply asked myself how can I make this fun.  It's not work it's fun.
I thought about this as I worked and I realized that I do this a lot.  I look at how to make a task fun.  Just asking that question, always brings answers with ease. 'Cause if the answer is forced...then it ain't gonna be fun.
Today, as I write this, I have a sealed roof.  We have a couple more days before rain appears.  I'm hopeful I got that sucker sealed up.  I'm a little sore.  Nothing I don't think a good scheduled massage won't help.
Whatever the outcome I feel good about what I did and how I created play.
So, play comes in so many forms.  It's always there for us to make our life lighter and brighter.
How will you make your next task, that might be a lot of work, fun?

Until next week...create to feel great!  Make some fun!
3 projects complete.  49 to go

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