It’s a very good possibility that I take my home too seriously. Don’t worry, I have already over analyzed this for you as if you wanted to know why….
Briefly, my theory goes something like this…I come from a broken home and when my dad left, my mom had to work her ass off to keep our house. It was not easy for her, especially with two daughters on the cusp of teenage angst (more on that later). But she did it. And not only that, but she took great pride in her home. The inside, the outside, everything from the furnace to the Christmas lights. All of it. We were all falling apart when our family broke. It took years to completely fall apart and be put back together (some of us are still finishing up on construction), but our home was always a lovely and safe place to be. No matter how chaotic my life was emotionally through those years, I always had this physical refuge of home. And so my home has always been very important to me. It’s my haven, my safe place. And I want it to be lovely.
So like my mom, I keep a running list of projects that need to get done on the house, I keep my house tidy, and I decorate and redecorate and redecorate. So that when I walk into my house, I feel relaxed and I’m surrounded by the people and objects that I love. I feel at home.
When we moved to Idaho, the search for our new home was paramount to all else (at least for me). We had spent the previous seven years fixing up our house in Portland, so I was no stranger to a fixer upper. We purchased (after dramatic negotiations) a 1967 rancher with daylight basement on 13 acres of forested land that we fell in love with on a beautiful ridge line right outside of town. We’re in the country, but it only takes five minutes to get to Safeway. It’s kind of the best of both worlds. The master bedroom had been expanded in the 80’s and still had bright blue carpet. Almost every square inch of the place was painted mauve. There was very outdated (and not in a good way) wallpaper in both upstairs bathrooms and the kitchen. Removing wallpaper is top on my list of despised home projects. I thought I had paid my dues in Portland, but apparently I was wrong. I got right to work with the money we had saved for the move on replacing the worst of the carpet in the upstairs bedrooms. We decided to keep carpet in the bedrooms since it gets so cold here in the winter. Zero degrees is REALLY cold. The rest of the flooring upstairs, which is the main living space, will eventually be replaced with hardwood.
There’s a sunroom off the living room which I keep changing my mind about. Should it be a game room? A meditation space? An extra living area? It’s not really going to be anything until we fix the flooring. My dog destroyed the emerald green carpet in there by pissing all over it, so I pulled it all out one day thinking I would just slap some paint on whatever was underneath and be good for a while, until we had the time and money to tile it. Unfortunately, underneath the carpet and padding was some sort of linoleum which some dumb ass glued a layer of foam down on, which cannot be entirely removed. I scraped as much as I could off (and inhaled a shitload of it into my lungs), but you can’t even walk in there now without getting your socks covered in smelly gray foam particles. It’s been at least six months since I started that little project, but it has turned into a sort of pandora’s box which will most likely involve ripping the entire front porch and decking off to rebuild it correctly so that water drains properly and doesn’t leak into the sunroom. I have a sneaking suspicion that we’re going to find a host of other problems when we finally dig into that one. That’s one thing that really sucks about a fixer upper. You have to spend all of this time and money on shit that’s not even fun. Or pretty. It’s like replacing the plumbing or the roof. Necessary, but LAME!
The biggest challenge I face today in regards to my home is patience. Or lack of it. This is also something I struggle with in almost all aspects of my life. My natural state is not one of patience. I want every project on my list done. Yesterday. I want unlimited funds and a contractor at my beck and call. I also want a new car and a beach house, but this is not my reality. No matter how many times I wish upon a hay truck. We have been in our house for three years now and almost all of the major projects on our list remain unchecked. Because major projects are expensive. And I suppose I have not learned enough of patience yet to set aside money little by little to save up for these projects. So wallpaper has been removed, walls have been painted, furniture has been moved and moved back, and I have acquired many things that I love to decorate my home with. And someday the projects will get done. All of them. You should see the version of my house I have in my mind for the future. It’s so great. I can’t wait to show you, I can’t wait for it be a reality. But I will wait. And I will practice what little I have learned of patience until we get there.
What’s your biggest challenge with your home right now? I’d love to hear your comments below!
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