Before my involuntary renovation, I thought my obsession with hotels and restaurants before a vacation was bad. I don’t want to waste money so I do what I do best: research and plan and research and plan and when I’ve done that sufficiently enough, I double check my research and make another backup plan.
For the past few months, I’ve been thrust into a renovation of my living room, kitchen, and bathroom and the amount of time I’ve spent Googling white subway tile is embarrassing. I’ve spent so many hours searching for the perfect 60” gray vanity online, every Website I visit is advertising a version of it to me. Don’t even get me started on faucets – for the bathroom AND the kitchen. There are too many choices and they’re giving me a headache, and yet I won’t just randomly pick one. At least with a vacation, it’s short-lived; these are longer lasting choices! Imagine if I hadn’t noticed the black button on the front of the faucet, rather than behind the faucet where it belongs! I would spend eternity focusing on a black rubber circle, rather than on a beautiful, swan-like silver water dispenser.
The decisions (and the dirt) are never ending. It’s not enough to pick your floor and wall tile, there are mortars to consider and dozens of variations in grout; sanded or unsanded – and who knew grout came in a rainbow of colors? I thought I was being bold with gray!
The amount of “stuff” my husband and I have accomplished in the last few weeks has shocked us. This morning, on yet another Home Depot run, we sat in the car silently for a few minutes and then took synchronized deep breaths. “Shit, we have a lot going on,” my husband said. “I realized it must be bad because we’re actually so quiet because the things on the “to-do lists” in our heads are too loud.”
When the renovation is over, I will have dozens of hours gifted to me. How could I have possibly complained of merely running a small business, having two children (with schools in two different states!), cooking, cleaning, blah-blah-blah, AND writing every single day? Why did I think eight loads of laundry was anything? Now I imagine how much I will be able to get done when my mind isn’t deviated towards plumbing, electricity, carpentry, and masonry? I never envisioned when I committed to writing a deconstructed memoir, an essay a day, that life would throw me a surprise renovation?