Back when we were hunkering down for the January blizzard, we (and by we, I mean my husband, Steve) decided to start a bathroom deconstruction and renovation project. For a little bit more background on the project, read my previous blog, School of (Sheet) Rock.
Given that the colder weather had forced us inside, it seemed like the perfect time to start the project and the hope was that come spring break time, we would be enjoying a new bathroom. During the renovation, we would be down to one bathroom, so the motivation was high to complete the project. Well, our new bathroom has been slow to reveal itself. Life is as messy as the renovation project itself; things get in the way. Kids' schedules, work demands, chronic illness, and other curve balls make anything extra on the to-do list tough to get done. Plus, the cold turned rainy weather actually made things tricky when Steve needed the outside space to complete tasks (I thank him for not using the wet-saw inside).
Steve had a construction timeline in his mind and with each day lost on that plan, tensions rose, and the house and those in it started to crumble. You know the signs, the refrigerator is empty because no one has the time to shop, the sink is overflowing with dishes and the dishwasher is full, with clean or dirty dishes, who knows? Homework is beyond the regular Hell that it already is which then leads to yelling and staying up late and no one sleeping where they are supposed to. And, as time went on, well, things got tougher with one bathroom. I had to create a chamber pot for Anna because she just couldn't handle it anymore. I have to admit, I was quite impressed with my antiquarian ingenuity!
These are the moments that you have to dig deep and truly appreciate all that you have and the partnership that you've created with your spouse. Sure, during those exact same moments, I wanted to get in a car and drive to California never to be seen again, but, then, I'd never get to see the new bathroom!
I stumbled onto HGTV's "Top 25 Biggest Renovating Mistakes" - and compared to some of those, so far I think we're o.k. - fingers crossed. Anyway, one of the items on the list was, "Failure to Anticipate Chaos," One of the experts said, "I think it's really important to anticipate the time and the pacing of your renovation, you probably want to do that up front, get it over with and then you can slowly start to piece your life and your home back together." Emphasis on the slowly, real slow. Reminds me of the sloths at the DMV in Zootopia.
As Robin Roberts says, "Everybody's got Something" - we all have tough stretches in our households that require us to reassess and push the reset button. For me, I had to reflect on how we survived the tough times, the times when we weren't fortunate enough to have a house with a bathroom to renovate. Gratitude is a wonderful place to start when you need to re-evaluate how you're responding to a situation. It helped me focus in on what I needed to do to rally the troops (get the dinner schedule back in check, adjust bedtime routines, and change my approach to homework...o.k., this will always be a challenge).
Ever since the epic rain period ended, Steve has been able to make headway with the renovation. Hopefully, I can post a picture of the big reveal later this summer. We celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary on May 30th and ironically, we discovered that the traditional gift is porcelain. That's right, porcelain! Steve knows this ceramic material all too well and I can't think of a better expression of love than the day that man put our new toilet in.
It really is the bare necessities that make life grand ;-)