One of the things that I’ve found to be true in our house is that nothing ever really gets 100% done. It’s been so helpful to me to look back through these old photos and put together the room recaps, because the day to day reality seems a lot less productive to me. Thirteen years into this crazy story, I have finally acknowledged that there is no such thing as balance when it comes to renovating your house. We can not do it all. And if by some chance you think that we are doing it all… well then, you haven’t seen my bathroom floors this week.
I’m not going to call us slackers anytime soon, because we are anything but. Still, there are many, many pieces of this life, and I don’t think we’ve ever known a time when they were all in place at the same time. Work can get really, really busy and our dinner menu starts to look a little uninspired. Dinners can be works of culinary art, but the house may start to look a little dusty in the corners. We jump full force into a new project, and the paperwork and filing and overall number of piles start to creep up on us. We may decide that we all want to hang out and stay up an hour later together on a Friday night in the new living room, and so the day’s laundry isn’t folded and we push off bath night to the next night.
Sometimes it feels like a gigantic whack-a-mole game, and if I’m not careful I start to feel a little crazy nuts about how hard it is to keep up. I spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon indoors, on a ladder, doing the touch up paint on the walls and baseboard. The tasks are simple, but they require three gallons of paint from the basement, a run to the paint store for new matching paint for the walls, several trips to the sink to wash brushes and roller covers and trays between colors. The room looks so, so good, but it’s that last five percent that will kill you. I look at my pretend fireplace and see that last half of fake cast iron moulding that needs finishing. It’s a colored pencil drawing, for pete’s sake, but still – it’s another thing on the list of not-quite-there. Plus, I kind of think it needs some fake logs and fire too. If you’re going to go foam core with the fireplace for awhile, then you might as well go all out.
It’s Sunday night, and I’ve spent the first half of the day in church and meetings, and the second half of the day at work. We ate dinner together, and read our good night books, and now M’s doing work stuff at the dining room table and I’m trying to catch up on the laundry that secretly multiplies whenever I ignore it for one day. Someone, somewhere got the brilliant idea to take an hour away from us each spring, and when I find that person I’m going to give him or her a piece of my mind. But first I’m going to take a deep breath, look around for a minute and find one thing that I’m going to finish tonight, even if it’s just that last load in the dryer that I just heard stop. And then I’ll try to convince my brain that it’s eleven o’clock and not ten o’clock and try to get a jump on a good and productive week ahead. And let the dust bunnies live to see another day.