I reached such a point last night. It felt like the 99th hour of cleaning out my middle child’s room and I was fed up. (If you recall, this is the project I referenced the other day. We are swapping our home office and a bedroom. Our younger two kiddos will share a room and the office will go to the smaller room. Oh, and we’re ripping up carpet and installing laminate too. And painting.)
What I’m about to describe are middle-class problems. I am keeping that in mind, even as I gripe about how this project has grown jagged teeth and horns. We’re grateful to have a safe place to live. We have what we need. I don’t take that for granted. And yet. And yet this room swap project has become more work than I’d realized. By 8:30 last night the Do It Yourselfer in me needed a break. I’d been in that room for hours, moving things out so that we can take up the carpet. By evening I’d picked up countless Legos and other tiny toys as well as hundreds of pieces of broken Styrofoam “peanuts,” sneezing as my dust allergies kicked into a higher gear. Muttering about having way too much stuff.
Will I be finished by September 3? That’s fifteen days from now, the Monday before most schools start, the day people cling desperately to the last hours of summer. They set up pop-up tents at the beach and bay, determined to spend every remaining second of daylight in summer mode. Me, I’ll probably be laboring on Labor Day, wrestling carpet away from adhesive. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.
Yes, I did take on this project but in my defense, some of it is Hubby’s fault. (He’s smirking as he reads this, I suspect. We have an ongoing joke about things being his fault.) He described installing laminate flooring as easy-peasy (my words), something that could be done in half a day, an almost-instant solution to our dirty carpet issue.
Last night when I informed Hubby that this project was much more of an ordeal than he’d led me to believe, he shot me The Look (the one that means, “Woman, how could you think this would be an easy project?”). I volleyed back with my raised-eyebrow stare (the one that means, “You described this as a quick, easy fix to the grimy carpet situation. You didn’t mention I’d have to scrape glue off the floor once the carpet was up. How would I know glue is involved? I don’t moonlight at Carpeteria!”)
House projects like this are really a labor of love. Our middle child is so excited about moving into the big kid room, about getting the top bunk, about more space and a new chapter. I need to focus on that enthusiasm rather than get sucked into the vortex of negative thoughts about endless projects and messes as far as the eye can see. On the other hand, as I tell Hubby, when I complain about the mess it is actually very therapeutic. I’m communicating. I’m not holding it in until the fateful day when I go berserk and shave his hair into a Mohawk while he’s asleep. Nope. Not going there. I’m doing the constructive thing: I’m getting the frustration out now (verbally) so it can’t boil over. I’m doing it for him. Yeah.