Monday, May 25, 2009

Family Skunk Work...

C coined the phrase "skunk work". It is the brainless type of work that must be done. There is no way around it.. there is only through it head down .. one. step. at. a. time. until. it's. finished. It's called skunk work because skunk work stinks.. or so they say.

Our stinky project was removing the wall paper from little c's little girl bedroom so we can turn it into a tween heaven. Everyone has their own system for removing paper I found. We tried several of them. None of those systems take large swaths of paper off in one swoop.. all systems remove paper one small piece at a time. So, after 12 hours effort, we were three quarters finished.

My sister and my niece came over to help and we sat covered in old wall paper glue and wet paper gunk and swapped stories and laughed most of a blue skied Saturday. C thought we were overly silly. Brain dead work can do that to you.

Finally after a few hours we got to laughing about our chore, little c said, this isn't wall paper removal.. this is "lame loser work" (my apologies to all professionals.. we do not really think this.. mostly). "This" My sister Christine laughed and said, "This is what I'm doing with my illustrious university education.. 'lame loser work' AND answering the phone for my son's ring-a-ding friends!" That's not really true, but we had a great laugh.

But, you know after all the wall paper was removed, (not that I wish it back on the wall), I have to say that what we were really doing did not stink like a skunk nor was it 'lame loser work,' but instead we were doing something simple together. It was a day of joy. Really.

Skunk work can mean different things to different people. If it's really that bad, I say don't do it. I love to iron, some people hate it. I hate cleaning bathrooms.. I take it back you have to do some things. I like to do the dishes. It only takes 15 minutes and then the kitchen is clean. There are few things in life worth doing that can have such happy and successful results in such a short time.

There is skunk work in most every job. I love to paint boxes, but don't always enjoy the sanding. I have learned to find a sense of accomplishment in it however, because I know what I want the end result to be.

So many times we say that we will be happy when. I do this all the time. I will be happy when I accomplish this or that, when my house is finished, when my child sleeps through the night, when I am able to exercise more. Worst of all, there are those of us who will be happy only when we make it to heaven. But how will we find joy in heaven if we have no experience with it here. But, when we can find the purpose and joy even in the skunk work of life, then we have found happiness now.