Archive for ‘The big picture’

July 27, 2009

The NBC film crew comes to my house

Today, there was a film crew at my house to shoot a story on my roommate.  He’s a military veteran from the war in Iraq and recently got a new job through a program called Helmets to Hard Hats.  The piece they shot will air on the NBC Nightly News in about a week or so.  I’ll post again when it does.

So the crew wasn’t here to shoot me or my house, but it felt that way, at least at first.

I’ve lived in a lot of different places and this is not the best of them, so I wouldn’t have chosen it to be on TV. But life doesn’t always give you the easiest of the options, but it often gives you the one with the greatest lesson.

My first thoughts were of embarrasment.  This house is a rental and not well cared for by the landlord.  There are a lot of things that I have done to make improvements, but it still remains a well-worn house from the 1950’s.

One of my friends, a guy who works in the TV field, kindly pointed out to me that I will be the only one who sees my house at all; everyone else will only see my roommate.  Great advice which helped lessen the stress over my house being on TV.

But that left the fact that people that I didn’t know were going to be in my house.  And regardless of who they were — and wether or not they carried cameras — there were a few things that I felt I had to do before they were here. 

How to choose?  I didn’t want to go overboard, but I did want to do something. 

My solution was to create a short list.  To pick the things on it, I used these criteria. It had to: 1) be already on my list, I couldn’t create any new projects just for this occasion (like remodeling the bathroom or such), 2) cost little or nothing, 3) have a good bang for the buck (or in this case, since I wasn’t spending money, good use of my time), and 4) be something that would embarrass me if it wasn’t done.

Surprisingly, once I figured out the criteria, it became rather easy to choose my items: clean the carpet (with 3 dogs, it was a disaster) with my mom’s carpet cleaner (no $$ outlay), weed eat the front yard (didn’t need mowing since the grass was dead), and de-clutter one of the front rooms.

All three items took less than a day total to do and cost nothing but my time.

Want to know where they actually shot?  There are a lot of times in life where we spend a bunch of energy on something that turns out to be a waste, but that wasn’t the case this time.  They actually used my rockery out front (where I can carefully cut down the weeds) instead of going to a park (!) and shot a piece in the front room that I de-cluttered.  They also used the dining room and back yard, neither of which I spent any time or energy on.

It would have been so easy to focus on the little things, like making sure the windows were clean, or the closets organized, or a long list of little details that no one (with the exception of my mom), would ever notice. Instead, I stayed focused on the bigger picture and came up with a win-win, even without knowing what the crew was going to choose.  From my perspective, even if they hadn’t used a single location in my house, I still felt good about what I had done.

UPDATE: Here’s the video from NBC.