Saturday, February 27, 2016

Accepting Chaos

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

- Reinhold Niebuhr

Yes friends, we've come to that time in our renovation when I resort to comforting platitudes in a desperate bid to hang on to my sanity.

If you know me in real life, you're probably aware that I. Hate. Clutter.

 I consider weeding my closets or cabinets a relaxing Saturday morning activity. I'm constantly reorganizing for more efficient spaces and storage, so everything will land happily back in its place. Usually, when the construction trash piles up too high or we excessively neglect normal tidying to get some building work done, I have a mini nervous breakdown and we have to stop everything and clean up for a while. Brett refers to my huge-mess-to-giant-panicked-cleanup cycle as Hurricane Audrey.
 
Overall, we've managed to keep this pretty well under control during our renovation. We did the major downstairs work to the kitchen and mudroom fairly quickly. Both of those ended in a big increase in usable storage space. And up until this point, we've kept the upstairs renovation mess contained there.

No longer.

Now that the serious work of adding a bathroom is underway, chaos reigns throughout the main level as well. All the large bathroom fixtures - bathtub, vanity, shower pan and hardware, sink, everything - have been brought upstairs. At the same time, we've ripped out the entire bathroom floor, and the plumber needs additional clear floor space to work. So we've essentially lost 3/4 of our upstairs storage in one fell swoop.

We're also unboxing all of the fixtures, so the cardboard and packing materials are piling up. It is astonishing how much packaging all this stuff comes in. A neighborhood kid knocked on our door today and I literally could not see him over the mound of cardboard and foam.

Normally we'd take everything out to the carport until we could recycle or trash it. Except the carport is about to be full of pipes and plywood. So there it all sits in one corner of the house, as does all the normal recycling which also no longer has room to go outside.

On the other side of the house, we have the main pathway for bringing said pipes and plywood upstairs. To keep that clear, all the furniture is shoved into the center of the room. Art has been taken down and laid on any available flat surface. And with everything so disrupted, the normal day-to-day detritus is piling up in weird spots rather than getting put away in suddenly-inaccessible places.

Whichever way you look, total chaos.


And I am determined to live with it. No clutter-induced panic attacks this time. Right now, the important thing is getting work done fast enough to stay ahead of the plumber and electrician. And if I just wait a couple weeks until some of the work is underway, we can get everything clean again with much less time and effort than it would take today.


This will be great. *deep breaths* I will do this. *deep breaths*


Thank God for dogs. There's no better path to serenity than a warm pup on your lap.



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