A journey of the soul began with a home renovation.
Change. It’s always on the move, and it’s always… well, changing I guess. It brings about newness and freshness, this is why some hunger for change; but with every new beginning there is also an ending of something, and in it is in this ending of things that we enter the tension of accepting or resisting change. At the end of 2015, we entered into a phase of life that would bring many new experiences, and would also test our ability to adapt, and it starts with a house.
Leading up to this time, we had been watching a lot of HGTV. The world of home renovation reality television shows had peaked during this time, and so began the era of what I will call “the empowered homeowner.” Instead of seeking your dream home, you would seek a place with your dream potential, this is called a fixer-upper. Well, we found one, and within the first month of living there; we were tearing out cabinets, ripping up floors, and chopping down walls.
Now here is what you have to understand about taking on home projects: They are a freeing, exciting, and creative way to express ourselves, yet they also require a high level of maturity and draw us into philosophical ideals. The empowerment and expectation of what we could accomplish was through the roof because hey, they do this all the time on those tv shows. In 30 minutes, we get to see the purchase, planning, work, and finished product where everybody hugs each other and cries. What we don’t get to see throughout the process, are the tears from trying to balance everything else in life.
Life was very full during this time, so I may have set some unrealistic timelines or expectations to how smooth or quick this project would be. For example, the first wall I took a sledgehammer to (because that is really what everyone is most excited about after watching those shows right?) had sheets of plywood beneath the drywall, which made my body rattle at the first impact and took an hour or two job into the night.
A little background about me: I struggle with being an impatient perfectionist. My mom loves to remind me, and everyone else, about the Lego tower incident. Part of the tower I had been building crumbled, so in an act of anger, I destroyed the whole thing like I was Godzilla or something. That trait rears its ugly head once in a while still, only instead of Lego towers, it’s cutting tiles, laying floors, or busting up old flooring.
Patience is such a powerful attribute, as it provides us the ability to step back in any given situation and gain clarity on the path forward, and those who can learn patience in all circumstances are on a Jedi level of mindfulness. It allows us to experience enjoyment through the process, as well as persevere through hard times. Perfection on the other hand is just subjective. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. I had to learn through this renovation, that I am not a master carpenter, or a flooring expert, or on a television show.
Patience it seems is key to working through change. Even if that patience only buys us a few more seconds of mind space to process something new, and those seconds may be the difference between acceptance or anger, gratefulness or resentment. Change would be knocking on our door throughout the rest of this home project, and 2016 would become a very formative year.