Am I Really Losing Sleep Over Serenity Blue and Pantry Shelves?

DDIY[1]         Aaaaah, home ownership. A person’s stamp on the land when one can say, “This is mine!” It’s the American dream.

Until you need to update that dream.

Home renovations, a rite of passage. Or a form of 18th Century Mongolian torture. My vote is for the latter.

I am not quite sure why updating one’s abode is so painful. Like menstrual cramp while sitting in traffic with a child in the back seat repeating, “I’m not doing my homework,” painful.

Is it the general disruption in family life and routine? Is it the debris and dirt? Is it the amount of time arguing with your spouse over this shade of chrome versus that shade of chrome, when in reality, IT IS JUST A FREAKING DOOR KNOB!  Or is it the amount of delays in construction that leave you feeling helpless and confused?

This last one seems to be the hum dinger.  Home-Improvement-tv-22[1]

Months ago we chose a contractor. Picking a contractor is like picking a spouse: can you live with him through the good times? Can you show him your ugly demanding side? Can you give it up to faith when things are just not working out?

Our contractor is a great guy. Someone you can grab a beer with or share your bag of Twizzlers. His price is right, and more importantly, his work is phenomenal. Score for us. Good spouse choosing.

Much like a marriage, the remodel was off to a great start. Walls came down in a day, old carpeting was ripped up, and a whole host of oops, looks like we found some issues under the floor, came up.

MILESTONE #1 – Much like your first post-wedding argument, problems arose. No sweat, the crew worked through and fixed those issues and we moved on.

MILESTONE #2 – Then our contractor and his sweet wife had their second child.  Hip Hip Hooray! There was a slight lull in progress, but we did not mind. It’s a new baby! We sent them a gift and wished them well. Our contractor stayed in contact with us, and work on the house resumed shortly after.

MILESTONE #3 – Then our contractor went into the hospital, with a very scary “You need to stay in the ICU for a week to ten days,” issue.

Holy crap, this poor guy.

After the shock and worry and praying for our contractor, we experienced another emotion:

Holy crap, what the f&*k is going to happen to our house?  Apparently we had entered the in sickness and in health portion of our relationship.

Our contractor is a one man band. There is no right hand person to take over or help out.

Oh wait, yes there is: His dear sweet wife (now mother to a newborn and a four year old), began steering the work ship from her husband’s sick bed.

Holy crap, this poor woman.

Can you imagine? Having less than two hours of sleep a night, making sure your other child does not starve or go blind from watching too many La La Loopsy cartoons, giving orders and measurements to vendors and workmen (most likely in another language), all the while your life partner is out cold and hooked up to multiple tubes.

Only two words can sum up this situation:  Shit Show.

We were at a loss. My husband and I agonized over how to give this poor family their space, send well wishes for a speedy recovery, and yet still keep our work project going.

Let’s put it this way, there is no right way to say, “Hey, I’m so sorry to hear about your colon, but do you know when the toilets are going in?” I’m pretty sure they hand out awards for that type of behavior, in A$$holelandria.

MILESTONE #4 – Keep going. We did the only thing we knew; we started doing as much as we could on our own (sans nail gun). This we figured would take some of the pressure off our contractor, yet scratch our professional itch of keeping things moving.

I am happy to report, our contractor is out of the hospital and doing much better. He does have a long road to recovery, but hopefully in the long run he will be that much better.

While worrisome and frustrating at times, we are glad we stayed with our contractor. Just like two spouses in marriage counseling, our home remodel has slowed, but will be back on track soon.

I guess that’s what they mean by in good times and in bad.

Am I Really Walking Through a Hailstorm of Cat Tee Tee?


Because it sure does feel like it.

At the risk of constantly complaining, this year has been less than stellar for me and my family. I have been in a constant state of heart palpitating stress, stomach upset, and straight up sadness. All because sometimes life wants to hand you a sh*t sandwich. And when you’re starving, you take it.

With everything going on in the world today, I feel extremely self-absorbed writing this. I am not being gassed by chemical weapons; I am not trying to reconstruct my life after a major natural disaster; and I am not laying to rest a loved one who lost their life while serving this country. With yesterday being the heart wrenching commemoration of 9-11, I am pretty thankful for my crap sandwich.

But sometimes the stress is too much in my little bubble.

At what point can I look up to the sky and say, “Okay, that’s enough now. Perhaps today nothing goes wrong. Tomorrow is negotiable”?

Based on recent scientific observations (and by “scientific” I mean sitting in a restaurant and badgering my husband with ideas while eating my third taquito), I have categorized the source of stress into two main groups:

1)      Situational – Sometimes it is merely the nature of the beast that can cause life to go banana sandwich (Think: overflowing toilet destroying your child’s papier-mâché reconstruction of Iwo Jima). It sucks. Usually there are cries of, “Why is life doing this to me? Is it because I did not donate to the Leukemia Society, but I still use their return address stickers?” Depending on the severity of the situation, the amount of help you receive, and if you are a person who cries when you run out of Miracle Whip, can determine the stress level. While devastating at times, situational events allow us to pull up the boot straps and move forward.

2)      People – Some people are straight up buttholes. I think I found that quote in a fortune cookie. Personally, I like most people I meet and I can play well with others.


…. I have discovered this subset of our population who walk around the earth solely to agitate and cause woe for others. I have yet to decipher what payoff these folks receive, and honestly, I don’t have the energy to do so. Some folks like to say difficult people are my cross to bear. I get it, but some of these “crosses” seem to have elephantiasis. So I do my best to “bless and release” these folks…as in releasing them to Antarctica. But don’t wish ill on others, that is just bad ju-ju.

I wish I had some stress relieving tips that I would actually use and would actually work. Meditation seems like some form of Eastern European torture. People tout the benefits of positive mantras, so I’m going to pass along the phrase my father often uses, “Keep Going.”  He’s retired military, has fought in a war, and has generally seen a lot of crap. He’s still standing so I guess it works.

So if you are having a crap day, do like the General (aka, my dad) and put one foot in front of the other – just keep going.

Who knows, maybe there is a ham sandwich waiting for you on the other side of this tee tee torrent.