ORC Week 3: ADHD, Messing Up, And Conquering Hard Things

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Whew! We’re already here! Halfway through, and honestly — I’m feeling mostly great about this project. I do have one question though: how do designers DO IT?! This is just re-affirming I could never professionally design rooms. I change my plans as I go. It’s probably stressful to some but it’s fun for me!

ADHD + ORC = WTF AM I DOING

As you know, I’ve been building that BIG desk for my office. It’s a process but it’s been incredibly fun. Or I’m mostly having a lot of fun, anyway. Jake is stressed from the sidelines and I’ve stumbled a few times, but overall it’s been an incredible learning experience in how to work with wood and also how to conquer fear and how my brain works. Even just the basics, like woodworking terms! There are so many I didn’t know until I had to, like dado, full overlay, cup hinge, track saw.. the list goes on.

I do mostly keep the world updated on my ORC happenings in real time on my Instagram stories, but in case you found me on the ORC Blog, then just know this: this week was full of both failure and triumph.

When I started cutting the pieces to make my drawer boxes, I felt an intense feeling of overwhelm since I had to use my new Kreg Rip Cut guide. I have ADHD so learning a new skill on my own can be a daunting task, especially when I have to read, process, understand, and execute with no one’s assistance but my own.

I read the directions (five or six times, I might add) for how to assemble and operate the rip cut guide. I got flustered after my last read-through, and then walked away and sat around my basement for a minute. I could sense that choked-up feeling I get when I’m frustrated with myself, screaming why can’t I just comprehend what I’m reading the first time? at myself in my head. Then I put in my noise-cancelling headphones, literally said “I can do this” out loud, and put on a Spotify playlist I found called Music for Concentration (which I’m currently writing this to).

It did the trick. Within a few minutes, and without all of the distracting sounds from my backyard where I was working, I was able to re-read the directions, assemble the rip cut guide to my circular saw, and I got to cutting.

If you’ve ever had to rip plywood with a circular saw, you know that it can be a time-consuming project without the help of a tool like the Kreg rip cut tool. When I cut the pieces for the cabinet bodies a few weeks ago, I was using my old method. This week, with the help of this tool, my cutting time was probably a fifth of what it was before. especially considering all of my pieces needed to be the same size for the drawer boxes. No more incessant finagling and measuring and repositioning my straight edge to line up with my saw blade correctly. This tool did all of that for me.

Once my pieces were cut, assembling them into drawer boxes was a breeze. They are just boxes, after all. Using my now-irreplacable Kreg pocket hole jig, I assembled them in just a few minutes per box. And then I climbed inside for this dorky photo op.

And then…. I realized that I had messed up. It wasn’t until I went to do a dry fit that I realized I had placed the width piece on the inside of the two length pieces, which left me with boxes that were too large for the opening in the cabinet bodies. I needed the width pieces to be tucked between the length pieces to allow for them to open properly, not outside of them. So I had to disassemble each box, wood glue and all.

I’m proud of myself for how I handled this though. Jake came to the basement where I was working right when I realized what I was going to have to do, and he goes “this is why I hate projects,” and I replied with “at least it makes a funny story!”

That’s genuinely how I feel about this too, I’m not lying to myself. I think if I wallowed in my own self-pity for too long I’d be super angry at myself for messing up, especially with something as easy and trivial as this. Plus this is my first time building anything with wood and I’m building an entire freaking desk!

Yes, I did waste some time, but I got it done and the drawer boxes now fit perfectly in their new homes inside of the cabinet bodies. Hopefully this upcoming weekend, I can attach the bottoms to the drawers and then add the drawer slides to the boxes. From there, it should be decently-smooth sailing to install them. Fingers crossed/knock on wood. At least for now I can pat myself on the back for making them fit.

I also fell in love this week. More than once.

…first, with that Kreg circular saw guide. Up until this past weekend, I had been using a straight edge clamped onto my plywood pieces to rip cut them (rip cut means to cut fully across a piece of wood). It was a mostly-good way to rip wood into the pieces I needed, but due to my confusion, some cuts were left crooked and going wayward near the end. Especially if it was one of the longer cuts. This saw guide completely eliminated that possibility and for that, I am eternally grateful. All of my cuts came out damn near perfect.

I also fell in love with Urbane Bronze, the Sherwin Williams Color of the Year, and especially in this room by Mandi of Vintage Revivals at their mercantile-turned-home. The greenish-bronze hue that this color exudes mixed with the light accents from the wooden tones… SWOON. swoon all the way til I melt into the floor.

I fell in love with this color so hard and so deeply that I think this is exactly what color I want to paint the office. I’m still debating whether or not painting the ceiling this same tone is the move or not, as I’ve been deeply inspired by Shavonda Gardner‘s use of this exact color in her sister’s bedroom where she took it up the walls and fully covered the ceiling too. It’s a MOOD. Jake and I have a completely-black bedroom and we both absolutely adore how the room feels at all hours of the day, so the deep tone isn’t my hesitation here. I think I just need to think the ceiling thing over for a few more days — perhaps I’ll have an answer for you this time next week.

But, ugh – can you imagine this color in my cozy little office, layered with trailing plants and the stunning white birch tone of the desk? And that light fixture I keep mentioning in previous posts? The color looks like velvet, and mixed in with all of these other elements? I’m ready.

I hope this next week goes as smoothly as I anticipate it going. Cross your fingers for me, will you?!

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