8 August 2006

Emotional ramblings

I think I just need to waffle a bit and get my thoughts down to sort out my head a little. First the disclaimer: I am so grateful for our home and for our abilities and all that we have planned and have been able to do. I'm thankful that we've had some money to be able to make the changes we dreamed of, and that we've been able to stretch the money as far as we have. That said ...

... I'm struggling with balance right now. DIY is consuming my all and distracting me from everything. I tend to get obsessive about things anyway (addictive personality, anyone?) but this is due to more than that. It's because every room is chaos right now, as well as the fact that I have great plans for every room, so that all day long I find I feel dissatisfaction and feel driven to make a change. Everywhere I look, all I see are things that must be done. Not even urgent things (I mean, how much will coving change my life?), it's not a sense of urgency, just like living inside a great big to-do list. I'm goal-oriented and perfectionistic so all the must-do's and haven't-done-yets are wreaking havoc on my mental peace.

I don't particularly enjoy the process of DIY. Some of it frightens me (although I am becoming braver) and most of it is just plain tedious. But that feeling on completion ... it's like a high! It is such a rush of satisfaction and pride and accomplishment. I love looking at the things we have done and feeling that bubble of pleasure and joy - sad, I know, but when I look at my pristine white front door it makes me smile. When I stood in Daniel's room after decorating it (before it got cluttered with junk temporarily) I felt good about myself. It's a feeling of "I did this" and "this is beautiful" and "it's just right". Not better than anyone else, or perfect, but how I had envisioned it. How I'd planned it to look to create peace and order in our home and to make us all more comfortable. It's not a worldly pride thing, it's an order thing.

Unfortunately, the things we have not done yet vastly outnumber the things we have done, and it's a drive to create a balance and to tick things off that keeps pushing me. Every single day I'm looking around and going, "What can I do today?" Juggling that and keeping my kids as a priority, baby-stepping back into business in the background and overall trying to keep the home running and everyone fed and try to keep a spiritual focus too is the massive challenge I'm struggling with. Especially when my mind is consumed with our plans, even when I'm doing other things. I'll be reading to Daniel, enjoying the time snuggling on the couch with him while Noah naps, and realise that I've not taken in the three paragraphs I've just read because mentally I'm debating window treatments in the bathroom, for instance. And then I feel guilty because I'm not there in the moment with him, even if he doesn't know it.

I don't feel driven to DIY all the time because I enjoy it, it's because I want to get it done, put it behind me and create some order in our home. I think I'd feel less driven if each room wasn't in such chaos in the meantime. The lounge is comfortable and functional and I can enjoy being in it even though we've not decorated in there, because even though there are kitchen plinths and flooring packs stashed there, they are behind the sofas so they are not in the way. But I feel the frustration and drive to DIY in all of the other rooms because they are chaotic. And the worst part is that there are chain reactions to occur. I can't sort our room out because there are bathroom fittings everywhere. We are busy with the bathroom but it's slow going. I can't paint and decorate Noah's room because we are waiting for the window to come, and then that will need doing. The landing has tubs of building tools and a ladder on it. Daniel's room holds a bathtub and basin and a chest of drawers and storage chest that are going into my studio should we even be able to build it (I just moved them out for the pictures I posted previously). The hallway downstairs is cramped due to a table that needs to go out into the studio, kitchen worktops, a wardrobe and door. The vestibule holds a chair and storage chest for the studio. The dining room is a mess of half-finished office furniture (which we can't complete until the worktop arrives), kitchen units, clothes horses, boxes and a coffee table for the studio. Never mind window treatments, I can't even get to the window. The kitchen is half new units, half old units with a fridge that is too small, opens the wrong way and doesn't even have a handle. There's a primed-but-unpainted stool for the studio, my sewing machine, the new sink, the new boxed extractor fan ... messy, chaotic and barely functional. Grant and I just feel that the harder we push ourselves, the more we do, the sooner we will be able to create some order in our home. Once the bathroom and kitchen are done we will be past the worst of it and we can take a long break and do the rest of the cosmetic stuff later, bit by bit. We'll need to anyway, as we've sadly come to the end of the money. We had agreed to leave a certain amount in savings, and if we are to keep that goal we need to stop spending like rightnow. *sigh* Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it!) we have plenty to get on with in the meantime.

So ... onward, shoulder to the wheel. The boys and Grant seem happy and fine, our marriage is thriving and despite the above meanderings I am in fact very happy myself, happier than I have been in years. So all is well and I'll overcome this challenge with quite a few lessons learnt I'm sure, for such is life and I'm grateful to be in it.

As the saying goes ... I'm "too blessed to be stressed."

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