Did I mention we’re remodeling our kitchen?
Well, mostly we’re hiring other people to do the actual work. MM and I are not really DIYers.
(MM thinks of himself as handy, but when it comes right down to it, he’s much more into watching videos of other people doing handy things than he is into doing handy things himself… And I don’t even pretend to be handy.
Though we did hack together an awesome standing / treadmill desk for me a few years ago!)
Anyway, last week we were clearing out kitchen cabinets to get ready for the kitchen to be demo’d on Friday, and discovered…
(cue the horror music)
BLACK MOLD in the ceiling!!
This triggered a frenzy of emails and phone calls to mold remediation companies, and though there was little sleep that night in our household, miraculously we were able to get a mold remediation company out to assess the situation, and they were able to remove the offending drywall that very day!
Which, of course, suddenly bumped up the need to clear out our cabinets on the urgency meter, because in order to do the remediation they sealed off the kitchen with plastic sheeting.
They they did the remediation, and then set up VERY LOUD dehumidifying fans for the next 48 hours.
It felt like we were living inside a 747. Fun, fun, fun! 😉
Ah, the joys of renovation! This is what our downstairs looked like:
And the view into our kitchen:
And from the other side:
The good news is that, even though we were $1800 poorer (waaahhh!), the mold is GONE, and we were able to stay on track with the Friday demolition — yayy!!
Meanwhile, our wonderful plumber tracked down and fixed the leak that caused the black mold (which originated in the shower handle of the master bathroom, of all places) and swapped out the leaky valves in the kitchen…
AND I was able, on very short notice, to find a contractor to install (lovely blue denim) insulation, AND put up drywall, so our wonderful cabinet installer can start putting our IKEA cabinets together on Friday.
(Did I mention that playing the part of general contractor for a kitchen remodel is a FULL TIME JOB? Ahem. Yes. It is.)
Currently, after the lovely blue denim insulation was put in this morning, our
kitchen cavern looks like THIS:
Yeah, it’s not much for cooking…
Our refrigerator (which is in the dining room with everything else) is functional, but for heating food we’re making do with a toaster oven, and a brand new electric kettle.
THANK GODDESS FOR THAT ELECTRIC KETTLE!
I had no idea how much I rely on my ritual of three mugs of morning tea until there was suddenly no way to boil water.
I swear, two mornings without a way to boil water almost cracked me.
Amazon Prime to the rescue!
I did some quick research (i.e., I read a bunch of Amazon reviews), and had an electric tea kettle (aff) before bedtime on Saturday, and that one small thing has been the single thing keeping me grounded while my environment is flying off into chaos.
Seriously, I had no idea what a sensitive snowflake I am when it comes to my environment!
My husband, on the other hand, is taking this all in stride.
Perhaps because he’s the son of an Episcopal priest, and moved around constantly as a child, sort of like a military kid, whereas I lived in the same house my entire childhood — my parents still live in the house where I grew up!
Nothing like a major remodel to teach you about yourself.
And here’s the lesson:
Apply the Golden Formula: self-awareness + self-compassion = the key to everything good
If you are a sensitive snowflake, this does not mean there is something wrong with you! This means that it is time to figure out what you need, and how best to give it to yourself.
This kitchen remodel has taught me, in no uncertain terms, that I am extremely sensitive to my environment.
I sort of knew that before — I mean, I’m the one who cares about aesthetics (hey, I’m the artist in this family), and who gets cranky when something is patched haphazardly, without an eye for design.
And I’ve noticed how positively I respond when I’m surrounded by beauty and order and tidiness, rather than chaos and clutter…
…even though it’s historically been very challenging for me to achieve and maintain the former (but I’ve been making great strides in the past few years!)
The level of chaos and clutter that the kitchen renovation has brought about, however, is approaching Biblical proportions, and THAT, combined with the stress of having to manage all the various contractors and their schedules has had me on edge, big-time.
I could respond to that by saying, “Gee, Melissa, what the heck is wrong with you, you FREAK?!”
Which would be phenomenally unhelpful.
OR I could respond to that by treating myself with compassion.
By reminding myself that I’m human, that I’m not the only person on the planet to get stressed out in this kind of situation (even if MM is a cool cucumber right now).
I can forgive myself for being human, rather than super-human!
I can treat myself kindly, and give myself what I need.
Like an electric kettle.
And patience, when I’m not able to get as much work done as I’d like (because, did I mention that being general contractor for a kitchen renovation is a full-time job???)
And a little bit of Creative Sandbox playtime every day.
And a little bit of meditation every day.
And a little bit of yoga every day.
And forgiveness if I fall off the wagon, because falling off track is NEVER the problem — the only problem is never getting back on.
Remember: the most important practice is just getting back on the wagon.
And doing so with gentleness and self-forgiveness.
That is all. I hope this is helpful.
PS — Pssst! Know someone who might benefit from seeing this today? Pass it on!