Renovating a house (with ADHD)

It is not about finishing projects. Okay, I guess it is. But I can’t think of it that way.

Let’s start over. I was telling the end of the story first.

The house doesn’t have ADHD. Well, maybe it does. That could be one of the things that appealed me to it in the first place. I have a vision on how it could look like.  “Look at how it could be, not how it is right now,” I would tell everyone. And yes, it has great potential. It is just a long path to get there.

The house likes to have lots of little projects for me to start. Or maybe that is just me.  A section of the wall in Will’s room comes down when I would rather focus on other projects. It did the same trick, but with a section from the ceiling of Ben’s room several years ago. Things like a leaking steam valve in the hallway (I just turned the radiator off – one of these days I’ll get supplies and repack the valve). Or pocket doors that don’t fully function (which may be good, the doors are heavy, I”m sure the boys would have smashed themselves between the doors if they worked). All projects waiting to be started.

But I’m making progress. Or I should say, we are making progress. I’ve had lots of help from Susanna. My dad has helped me make huge steps in several of the more challenging projects. Both my parents, friends at work, and Susanna all spend lots of time talking about what to do with the house.

But like I said, it isn’t just about finishing projects. Although it kind of is. I like to start projects. New projects are fun and exciting. And this house likes to give me new projects to start. But after a while, a project isn’t new anymore. Then it gets boring, and it can be too easy to look for another new project to start. So, for me, it comes down to not starting new projects. If I get bored with a project, I can take a short break. But I can’t start a new project. That strategy is important in more than house renovations. I use it in the workshop. I don’t yet use it for the sailboat, but I should.

I think we are both doing better (the house and me). The outside is half-way painted (and looks fantastic), but that was Susanna’s project – and she doesn’t have the same problems finishing things that I do. I did finish Ben’s room after many years. The kitchen is finished (for now, until we do a full renovation). Will’s room is coming along. Now I should stop writing and get to work on Will’s room (speaking of getting distracted – I almost didn’t finish the previous sentence – good thing I proofread this).

For a different perspective of life here, check out Susanna’s blog at

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