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If tearing it all down took so long, how many hours will it take to put up new walls, including wall overlooking staircase? (Did I mention I'm afraid of heights?)
How long will it take to cut and place trim (baseboards, casing, crown molding, and a new window sill – I broke old one trying to pry loose a lathe strip)?
How long will it take to hang a new door? To sand old floor? To clean up big mess? To lift wallboard to second floor? To return to store for more nails or to replace lumber I wreck or to pick up a few dozen items I forget? To replaster corners I plaster wrong first time (and second and third and ...)?
I sat my wife down for a heart-to-heart. "Honey, we have a business to run, a toddler to nurture, family members to help, a house to clean on occasion, and a jungle that will need mowing one of these days. We need ductwork to thaw our bedroom this winter, foundation needs crack-filling and this nursery would take Hercules many long days of hard labor to complete. I don't know if we can find time for all this before baby is born."
"Maybe we should put something off," my wife suggested.
"Great idea!" I said, looking at my agenda. "Now, let's see. How long do you want to delay delivery?"
I ducked just in time.
The easiest thing to reschedule turned out to be my sleep. Right now I have a house to upgrade. There'll be plenty of time for sleep next year. That is, if I don't grow too old in meantime and need to be torn down myself.
The author is David Leonhardt, The Happy Guy. To receive his column weekly in your inbox, sign up at http://TheHappyGuy.com/positive-thinking-free-ezine.html or sign up for Happy Class at http://TheHappyGuy.com/self-actualization-happy-class.html . Visit his home page at http://TheHappyGuy.com .