And because I'm not there to do it in person, I'd like to thank everyone helping right here. Driving or flying to Utah to spend a whirlwind weekend doing all the work (which is what i did last year, with some help from a few local family and friends) was not going to work out very well for me this year, so instead, we're using the money I would have spent on gas or plane tickets and rental cars etc and putting some family and friends to work.
First, let me say that not going was emotionally pretty hard for me. I knew the house needed a lot of work (the old tenants left kind of a mess), and the "If you want something done right, do it yourself" portion of my brain wanted to drop everything and drive to Utah for four days and just take care of it. I was feeling a little embarrassed about asking other people to do the work for me, a little apprehensive about putting other people in a position to deal with what I considered MY problem, and a little self-righteous about my own ability to "do it right2."
However, after thinking it over and weighing the pros and cons of the situation, we decided that the best thing for everyone involved would be to ask for help.
And I'm so glad we did.
Thank you Cristi and Mike and Aubrey and Amy and Caleb and Jason and Beau. Thank you for painting and fixing drawers and cleaning curtains and gross bathrooms and running junk to the dump and mowing an Amazonian lawn and patching holes and doing a better job than I ever could have on my own. Thank you for your time and your work. I feel humbled and grateful and relieved all at the same time.
1. well okay, not right this minute, and we aren't really speaking, but you know what I mean.
2. How do I explain this feeling? It wasn't that I didn't think someone else could do the job correctly, more that I was afraid of the risk involved in asking someone else to do something for me, and I was afraid of having to ask people to do something that might expose me to judgment. Having tenants leave under less than favorable circumstances is a little like going through a bad break up. There are hurt feelings and left over messes and unpaid bills and unmet expectations and the potential for rumors and murmurs and gossip. Part of me wanted to just go up to Utah and take care of everything so I wouldn't have to have someone walk through the house and see the mess that the tenants left. It would be admitting that maybe we'd made a poor decision about who we chose as tenants. Of course, this implies all kinds of unfair things about anybody that I might ask to help--but isn't that what self-consciousness is--a hyper-awareness of all the negative things that another person could possibly think about you--even if you really know they won't?