Detailed Planning Isn’t Really My Thing

Yesterday morning I decided to build a lumber storage area.

After writing my post for the day, I headed over to our land and planned out exactly what we needed for materials, then added extra to that.

I always add extra. If a job requires 4 2x4s, I buy six. You always need more 2x4s somewhere, and it’s no fun to run out in the middle of a project. One box of nails? How about two. A wombat? How about three.

You get the idea. It’s useful for a carpenter to have a ready supply of materials to draw from rather than always having to take time out of his work to purchase more bits and pieces. If you use something regularly, get more of it. Doing the same in the pantry is a good idea. Why buy six cans of tomato sauce, knowing you’ll need to go get more in a week? Get 12 cans.

This mindset is also particularly useful in a place where shopping is inconvenient and goods are not always available. Stateside, shopping is ridiculously convenient. You can get everything you need in massive quantities, often from just a single store.

Here it’s not uncommon to visit three hardware stores in search of the pieces required for a job. One might be out of router bits, another may be sold out of varnish, a third is lacking the screws you wanted – but don’t worry, a new shipment should be in before next month some time.

Grab what you can when you can.

Back to the relative lack of planning on my part.

I realized two things yesterday as I was headed out to measure and then purchase materials.

1. I needed more materials than I could comfortable lash to the top of my underpowered minivan

2. I needed to set the corner posts of my planned lumber storage lean-to in concrete

The second realization means that if I dig holes and set posts one day, I need to wait until the next to actually build the structure. The first realization also meant a delay, as it requires me waiting for materials to be delivered via truck to my humble jungle abode.

All that to say, instead of building the lumber storage area yesterday, I decided instead to measure and get all the materials required – plus extra – and then return home to the house and do some writing.

I managed to write 1585 words on the novel I am writing for NaNoWriMo this year, then my phone quit working and I realized I needed to pay the bill before the office closed.

Yes, it’s that planning thing again. It gets you.

I decided to take the children and Rachel to a nice beach near the office and go swimming, which made it a more pleasant trip. We did get stopped by an officer on the way there who checked my for my license and insurance – I had the former but couldn’t find the latter – which almost kept me from making the phone bill payment in time, but I told him I was running late and needed to go and he let me.

Easier to deal with than most US police!

And so we got the bill paid and went swimming in the beautiful tropical ocean until the sun set.

Today my mom arrives from the states, in preparation for the arrival of our new baby, who is due in a couple of days.

And right now, I am waiting for a call from the driver of the delivery truck to let me know I need to drive up to our land and unload the makings of a lumber storage area.

…and he just called. Time to run.

I don’t mind not having all the plans work out as expected. Any day that ends at the beach is a good day.

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