You seem very caught up in this work for works sake thing. Which is a bit odd on an early retirement site. But we each have our own life story.Building patios for food money that one knows will not be subsequently used fills the belly, but probably doesn't provide satisfaction. Building patios for free that will never be used is work for works sake.
The relevant part of building a patio is the learning and the doing, and the repeating. Not whether someone else uses it. If you learn to build a fire by rubbing sticks together, is that an empty experience because the fire burnt up all your carefully crafted materials? Is it empty because of the invention of matches? Before that, I was someone who knew that fire could be started by rubbing sticks together. After, I was someone who COULD start a fire with sticks.
The fire is nothing special, but I am changed. What I am describing is a system for identifying the change to make.
I will be the first to say that mindfulness and meditation makes no sense to me. Each time I hear somebody describe it, I seems I'm completely missing something, or missing everything. But for me, washing dishes (my least favorite chore) or resting (at the time I wrote that, I was specifically thinking of standing in my living room, looking out the window at nothing much) would be nearly the same line of thoughts. Neither requires my attention, so my mind wanders... But, some people think very differently when doing a task and doing nothing. I was hoping to catch the activity that leads to a wandering mind. That speculative mindset.1- Washing dishes is the kind of activity that allows you to be present without having your mind jumping around
2- Resting is a status in wich you either disconnect your mind (by switching on tv, for example) or you let your mind jump around
So, when you are freely speculating, how happy are you? If the answer is not as happy as you want to be, then you have to figure out why.
For me, it was that I wasn't who I wanted to be, that I hadn't done what I wanted to have done. So I started doing those things, and learning those things, and in the process, became who I am. I'm not done, but I am happy.