Starting this guest bathroom renovation a few weeks ago seemed like a great idea, even though a few people warned me. Surely I would be able to handle the holidays while managing this project since our bathroom is just a modest 25 square feet. We’re just going to gut, tile, nail some wood on the wall and put a sink in. Fast forward one very productive week and the only white on the few Christmas decorations I've found time to put up is a dusting of plaster as opposed to my favorite manufactured snowflakes. I’ve spent more time shopping at Home Depot than the local gift shoppes. So yeah, if a screwdriver is under your tree, you now know why!
Come to think of it, this same rationale of plowing straight ahead relates to many things in my life. Take marriage for example. You find the person of your dreams to love, respect, listen to and live happily ever after with, right? If Cinderella managed it, why couldn’t I? How hard can marriage be? Quite hard actually, especially if you are committed to staying together. No wonder there was never a Cinderella 2!
Then there is parenthood. With my kindergarten teaching background I poo poo’ed how hard it would be for me since I had been a “mom” to 27 children by myself. Plus, there wouldn’t be so many humans in this world if it were that hard, would there? It seems I was wrong here, too. Parenthood never stops. It is the most exhausting and demanding job of all time. Your heart overflows with more emotions than you can fathom while your mind explodes with what if’s and the like. There is nothing easy about it, but nothing as rewarding either.
If my memory serves me correctly I recall thinking teaching was going to be a pretty simple job as well. I not only loved being with kids, but the job was 8-3 with nights, weekends and summers off. Never once did I take into account the hours preparing before and after my students were in class. Nothing easy about those mandated graduate classes and homework after a long day of teaching or during those “free” summers.
This blog thing applies as well. I shook my head at how silly I thought people were when they warned me about the challenges of writing a weekly blog. “People, writing is my therapy”, was my mantra! The writing part is easy for me but the challenge of conjuring up a topic worthy of 700 words and your time … well, not so much. So a big thank you to my daughter for "taking the load" last week with her heartfelt blog. To say I was so proud is a really big understatement!
Clearly I have a strong tendency to underestimate the difficulty and depth of situations. Topped with a foolish process of disqualifying the advice of others and failing to heed their warnings. Maybe now I will slow my roll and contemplate that I just might not KNOW IT ALL and understand I can benefit from embracing the blood, sweat and tears of others who care enough to share with me.
Moral: Much smarter to listen when someone speaks than to just hear!
your listening friend,
A little update on our bathroom renovation: The concrete countertop I was planning takes far more time to cure than we have. So I then spent hours walking through a factory of endless slabs of gorgeous marble and granite in search of that perfect piece … nothing! That night I tossed and turned thinking of other options until I finally just gave up and went downstairs to start my day... at 4 a.m! As I switched on the light there was the answer I was searching for. Sitting upon our beverage center was the Flagstone step I bought at the rock quarry a few years back. After a few calls and some research I learned a step like that could indeed be transformed into our bathroom counter. Not only was it just what I had been looking for, but it was half the cost of the marble. Winner, winner chicken dinner!