Working / Not Working

We are enjoying beautiful, early Autumn weather this week as school buses return to the neighborhood. Our sunny, but cooler days have been wonderful for the workmen that have been doing exterior projects on our house.

We’ve had the whole house painted for the first time since we built the house 12 years ago. We also had some water damage / siding that needed repair around an upstairs window. That meant workman around the house all week.

Related: Is Your House Falling Apart?

I find it awkward when people are working on our house and I am home and … not working. The painter, handyman, and I are all about the same age and they have very physical jobs.

All week, I see them climbing ladders, swinging hammers, and getting things done. At the same time, I might be on the porch reading a book, playing with our new puppy, or in the kitchen grabbing a snack.

It’s like they are in the workweek and I am on the weekend.

I’ve even found myself drifting out to the garage and taking care of heavier projects I’ve let wait. Fixing the wheels on the lawn mower, installing a couple pulley lifts for the bikes, fiddling with the hardtop on the new Jeep, and doing some cleaning/painting in the garage myself. My wife was surprised with my sudden burst of productivity!

Do you find it awkward when other people are working around your house … and you aren’t?

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6 thoughts on “Working / Not Working

  1. Chief,

    You may have missed a major point of the tradesmen who were about the same age working on your home. Back in the late 80s, I acted as my own General Contractor to build my house while working a corporate job at the same time. I even tackled the electrical and HVAC setup work myself. Several of the trades were friends of mine. I remember one of the comments that one of my friends made after seeing some of the corporate people I work with in action. He told me, “I have never seen such a lying, backstabbing and unhappy group of people, as the corporate pukes you work with. You should go into building houses and build one house a year and live off that.”

    Many of the tradesmen you saw in action probably enjoy what they are doing and have a feeling of accomplishment when they get to look at what they have done at the end of the day. I bet you didn’t get as much joy out of turning in the perfect marketing budget spreadsheet. The only limitation to them continuing is how long their health holds out. Think about the crew of “This Old House” for the duration. They seem to be a great group who would be good to work with.

    One of my former coworkers had a father who was an Italian immigrant who worked as a high end plasterer who did fancy design work. Her father worked until he was 90 and he lived to be 104. Physical work where he didn’t injure himself probably contributed to his longevity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good points, Bucky –
      Our painter and handyman have both been working with us for a long time. The painter estimated that he did his first job for us almost 20 years ago! These guys do enjoy what they do, although we also talked about their retirement plans and what they wanted to do next. Their health varies. One is very fit – teaches yoga in his spare time. The other isn’t in great shape (climbing steep ladders anyway) and said he plans to ‘trim down’ over the winter.


  2. I have the same feelings as you when people are in the house working. I’m not retired yet, but work from home. I know that what I am doing looks like “work” (and is in fact what my family calls what I do), and I do try to either not be in the same room or do what you did and head to the garage.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I especially feel funny when our housekeeper is here and I’m lounging. I wonder is she’s thinking “why can’t you clean your own house “!

    Liked by 1 person

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