Optimism Or Idiocy?

This week, I’m diving into uncharted waters – again.  It seems for every new situation that arises in my business or personal life, I acquire another three skills I never wanted to have.  But does that make me say, “Oh, wait, I don’t know how to do that; maybe I should get some help”?

Oh, hell, no.

’Cause that would be sensible.

No, my response looks more like this:  “Sure, I can do that.  No problem.  Is Wednesday okay?”  *scuttles frantically away to research arcane topic*

Last week, I learned basic ASP programming in an afternoon.  It wasn’t one of the more enjoyable afternoons I’ve ever spent, but I got my web forms working.

This week, I’ve been reading up on discretionary trusts, crash-safety specs on 2012 SUVs, and how to get rid of pocket gophers.  Frankly, rodent eradication has been the most relaxing and enjoyable part of my research.  Those little bastards have been decimating my carrots.  Messing with my garden is a killin’ offense.

…aaaand now that I’ve invited flaming hate mail from gopher-lovers…

Most people would consider my jump-in-with-both-feet approach to be at best, a liability, and at worst, sheer idiocy.  I prefer to call it “optimism”.  After all, I’m living proof that too much prep time isn’t necessarily a good thing.  My only colossal failures occurred after years of training and/or preparation:  my first career and my first marriage.

I dated my now-ex-husband six years before I married him, and my bachelor’s degree in interior design took four years to acquire, plus the extra two years it took for me to wrangle my failing thesis through the appeals process.  As long as I cheerfully disregard the delicate issue of innate competence (and I do, oh yes I do), the cause of my failure in both cases was obviously “too much preparation”.

Since those massive failures, I’ve flown by the seat of my pants for everything from becoming a computer geek to installing granite floors to developing the optimum recipe for banana bread.  And everything has worked out pretty well (including my second career and second marriage).

Thank goodness for my enabler:  that source of great wisdom, pure bullshit, and occasionally, useful instructions – the internet.  With the internet on my side, it’s actually possible to take on a ridiculously unrealistic challenge and come out smelling, if not like a rose, at least not like a skunk cabbage.

Problem is, I’ve been cursed with an unholy combination of do-it-yourself-ism and perfectionism.  I don’t just jump in and do it, I jump in and want to do it well.  I expect to come out smelling like a rose.

Which brings us back to that “optimism” thing again.  Some may use the word “delusional”, but… pshaw.  What do they know?

I realize this approach sets me up for more colossal failures.  I can sense their vile miasma hovering just behind my left shoulder.  Fortunately, I’m right-handed.  My plan is to keep moving so fast that failure doesn’t have a chance to catch up.

And I don’t mind if people call it idiocy – I’m happy in my delusional little world.  ‘Cause it has nice granite floors…

The house Delusion built.

27 thoughts on “Optimism Or Idiocy?

  1. I remember those stairs! A lot of work went into those but wow they sure turned out nice. But personally, cherry hardwood on a 45 degree across the living room is much prettier.


  2. Delusions can be awesome! Look at that awesome floor! I sorta just go with the flow…kind of relaxed…hoping to come out of it smelling like a rose…you method works better..lol


  3. Diane, the thing about setting yourself up for an epic fail is how fantastic you feel when you don’t! In a way, you’ve actually failed in the fail, but the good feeling about doing what you set out to do without failing, even though you set yourself up to, far outweighs the negative. Or maybe I’m just looking too deeply into things again…


  4. I do the same thing, Diane. I fly by the seat of my pants on most things. Thank goodness for the Internet to look stuff up. Otherwise I’d be screwed.

    Meanwhile, radioactive counters?? How did that happen?


    • Yeah. We picked out this beautiful dark green granite with flecks of gold and pearly quartz and got it installed just a couple of months before the big news broke that some types of granite are radioactive. And the dark green ones are the most frequent culprits.

      So I left Hubby’s dosimeter on it for a month (don’t ask why he has the dosimeter), and sure enough, the counters are radioactive. But not crazy, glow-in-the-dark radioactive. Just enough to make me worry about it. Grrr.


  5. The picture “seems” to look good. I can’t really make up my find until I see the final quality inspection 🙂
    Just one curious question. Did you also use a caliper when you did your first flooring project? lol
    Hey, I hear gophers make pretty good jerky 🙂


    • Okay, you got me. Yes, I actually measured each tile with a digital caliper.

      Before you throw yourself on the floor laughing, I’d like to mention that we got a screaming deal on the granite – it was cheaper than putting in cheap vinyl flooring. We soon discovered why: there was a huge variation in tile thickness – every single one was different. I nearly went insane when I first started trying to install them and nothing lined up. So we ended up measuring each tile, writing the thickness on it, sorting them, and laying the tiles in order.

      You wanna believe that dented my optimism for a few days…


      • lol, I went throught the EXACT same issue when I decided to do my countertop with cheap granite tiles, too! I’m at a point where its not worth my time and anger any more. I only work on my cars now and I leave everything else to the pros.
        You are an extrememly patient lady to keep on trooping on like this. I know I probably would have eventually set the house on fire, if I continued down the same path…lol


    • Ooh, yeah. I hope you downloaded the entire article before you started cutting. I hate it when you get to the part where it says, “This is extremely important…” and the next page is blank.


  6. Granite floors? That’ll be to stop the gophers I guess? They also probably make a useful surface to bang your head on when you’re trying to get anything working in ASP 🙂

    That’s a pretty stellar hallway!



  7. I am of the opinion that certain non-endangered rodents like gophers and beavers are worthy of local eradication, especially when de-foresting you back yard or denuding your garden.

    I’ll have to ask the caretakers if I can get granite floors installed in my cell to improve my delusions.


    • Good plan. I’m pretty sure the radiation in granite augments delusions.

      I wish I was joking about this – our floors are okay, but we discovered *after* our counters were installed that they were radioactive. I’m still trying to decide whether to sacrifice several thousand dollars and rip them all out, or just put up with the second nose that’s developing on my forehead…


  8. I was gonna advise you on my methods of dealing with pocket gophers until I read further. You meant *those* pocket gophers. 🙂

    For the carrot-eating kind, I suggest: http://gopherbasket.com/

    As long as food is available (not barricaded) new gophers could potentially move in, replacing the one you’ve relocated or killed. They’ll move out of your yard permanently when they don’t have a food source. 🙂


    • Yeah, I don’t think I’d like to completely eradicate the *other* kind of pocket gopher. 🙂

      I like the idea of the gopher baskets, and I much prefer fencing critters out to killing them. The only problem is, I’ve got a really big garden. I’d need nearly 600 feet of mesh to enclose it, since he’s into my potatoes, too. That’s a lot of digging. For me, not for him. Grrr.

      Guess I’ll get my workout this weekend…


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