What I have learned and why you want to listen.

Let me back up to November…

We are renovating the kitchen, and getting new floors in the basement family room and bedroom.

It’s an exciting, busy, messy, hectic, workmen and noise, loud and chaotic, did I mention messy?  

Time has been tricky to manage throughout this journey. 

I severely underestimated how much extra time and energy on top of “regular life” it would take. My innocent naivety has been replaced with a steep learning curve on staying outrageously happy while under renovation.

I work from home, as a writer and coach, (helping frazzled professionals who are running on autopilot become Outrageously Happy) so it was a real invasion of my space. I clearly covet silence, peace, calm and quiet to create my best programs for you, my reader and client!

First came the initial time involved in choosing the flooring, the tiles, the new stove, the new countertops, and paint color. Apparently, I am not a natural interior designer. 

I absolutely love the finished result; the sink is literally built into the countertop and has no edges anywhere. What a blessing!

The overhang counter is perfect, and turned out better than we imagined. 

Then there’s was tile time, and thank goodness for Tile Town. Once again it took numerous trips and numerous samples to make a final decision. One fine day, we made a hope-filled choice, but we needed to see a bigger piece of tile to be absolutely sure. Now, I also had to drive to the distributors to pick up this piece of sample tile to take it back home. Only I didn’t really notice or pay attention to the fact that there was black (not silver) in some of the Mosaic, until I got back home on Friday at suppertime. 

Now we had to wait until the following Monday and do the whole thing once again. Had I been paying attention I would have saved myself the extra trip, bother, frustration and yes time.Once again we are very happy with the result of our choice of tile! 

Next came the blind auditions. Apparently, we have very large windows (which I love). Mostly I am a blinds-up person. I’d like as much light as possible. My husband finally found some lovely white blinds at one of the home stores which would just fit our windows. YEAH! So we were able to save quite a few dollars by not having to get custom.

The installation of these blinds literally took us an entire weekend.  More time! Who would have thunk it? Originally if I’d given it a thought I might’ve said two hours max. Blinds just pop in, right? 

Time is carrying on and moving forward closer and closer to Christmas. Did I mention that we’re having 35 people for Christmas Eve dinner? 

The floor guy calls, he can’t come exactly when he said he would, it would be one week later (yes that’s right one week even closer to Christmas). The floor guy shows up punctually at 8 am, he is gone by 8:15 am. He cannot install the floors we have chosen unless we level the basement floors with cement. This was not an option I had even considered, I was completely floored! 

How would it be possible to get a cement contractor three weeks before Christmas and then get the floors installed while planning Christmas eve dinner for 35 people while the entire contents of my daughter’s bedroom were now in the family room and she was up in the guest room which I would need for my in-laws.

I could feel time slipping away and the edge of panic slipping in. It took days to even get someone to come and look at it to give us an estimate. Ultimately we decided to stop pushing against the flow. We decided to re-carpet her room which could be done relatively quickly. We took the timeto go carpet shopping get a couple samples make a quick decision and get it installed within a week. 

We will deal with the rest of the basement in the spring. Oh yeah that 2000 pounds of flooring we had to carry it back up the stairs, load the van and take it back to the store. 

Some of the craziness and chaos is passed with the renovation, or so I thought.

The rest of our renovation experience consists of the following:

  • Successfully replace the laundry shelving units only to discover our washing machine broken a few days later and order a new one with more custom adjustments to the shelving units.
  • Replacing the wooden folding on the closet doors .
  • Replacing our lighting with full spectrum bulbs (they help support mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, especially during our long and dark winters).
  • Re-upholstering the kitchen bench seat to match the dining room table cushions/

Nearing the end of our renovation journey it’s December 21, last on the list is the new gas stove. We had to get all the gas fittings done and a new venting system installed. The stove is delivered on Friday December 21 in the afternoon, they take away the old stove and we are meant to install the new gas stove ourselves.  

Fortunately, I was prepared for supper with the crock pot (wise thinking on my part).

However, I neglected to fully inspect the new stove before signing off on the delivery and allowing them to take my old one away.  I simply trusted that the new stove would be fine. Of course, it wasn’t.

Now it is late Friday three days before we have 35 people coming for Christmas eve dinner. I am panicking!

Calls to the manager of the store ensue, and we find we must go back in to shop for a different stove because this was the last model of the one we had chosen. Really time pressed now we make a quick decision and luckily for us they arrange delivery for December 22. 

Ultimately, we let go of the idea to complete the reno, by Christmas! We did not finish painting and have a few other bits and pieces to tidy off. It’s helpful to notice how our arbitrary deadlines may not be conducive to our sustainable happiness! 

Over all it was a challenging time and as I look back I can see how I my attitude and response to the multiple challenges were not always helpful. 

Christmas Eve party went well, Christmas day dinner was lovely! Boxing day not so much! Both my husband and I woke up with the flu which lasted an entire week.

I am sure the stress of it all took its toll on our immune systems. Health and happiness are inextricably linked. I am always learning and finding a stronger path to sustainable happiness. Overall, I love the space we have newly created. In the spring we will contemplate the basement flooring again. 

Yours,

Elizabeth