We’ve made some headway on our stalled construction. I went searching through the archives for photos to remind you of what our house has looked like for the past year, and I found one that I posted on my blog and a couple on Instagram. (If you’re reading this from your e-mail and want to see the Instagram photos, you have to click over to the blog).
This was the ceiling of the guest room right at the beginning of the water infiltration.
Here’s a view from the opposite side of the room where you see some paint peeling on the left-hand side. The rest is obscured by the wall.
I took a step away from my temporary writing structure to think. Where am I really going with all this? Am I supposed to focus on my blog of 8 years? Writing posts and books on faith? Writing fiction? Do I work on being a better homemaker? Goodness knows the room for growth is there. I’m so busy and distracted and I just don’t want to waste time doing what I’m not meant to be doing.
And this is what the ceiling looked like – with the water damage and the workers putting their foot through the floor upstairs. This doesn’t even show half of it between the mould that took over and the paint that “dripped” off the ceiling and walls. The wall is gone and the space is painted. I’m searching for a second-hand buffet that can stretch along the back wall without taking up too much space. We’ll need it because we’re getting rid of some Ikea cupboards.
So the space is missing a buffet, some paintings, curtains, track lighting (that’s centered), and of course the couch and boxes have to go, but it’s infinitely cleaner, isn’t it? Then there’s the kitchen. The wall was so humid, the hotte (I don’t know what that’s called in English) fell right off the wall and shattered in pieces.
Now we have a clean, painted kitchen with a new hotte (need to remove the blue plastic). We’ve taken down the cupboards and had them clean up the mould and repaint before putting the cupboards back up, and we’re waiting for the tiles to arrive for the backsplash. Looking at how pink the wall was before, I regret that I went towards lavender this time around. And it’s so light you almost don’t see it.
Besides that, I’m painting the cupboard doors, but the Ikea paint primer must have some sort of shellack because the paint is not sticking! So I’m not very happy about that. All this work and I think I’m going to have to go back and sand them all.
But here is our kitchen now without the cupboard doors.
Here’s our living space before the hole was put in for stairs (which they were not able to finish so the hole has been there for a year).
And here it is now – repaired and repainted, except for the hole. But the stairs guy came today and we ordered our custom-measured staircase, which will be here in six weeks.
(The couches are a mess but we can’t afford to tackle that right now).
Here’s standing to the right of the dining room looking towards the front door.
And finally, from the other side – standing near the stairwell and looking towards the dining room. So this is all good, right? We haven’t gone back with our former contractor, Jesus, and are using someone else with the tiny, remaining percentage of our loan plus the insurance money we got for the water damage. Jesus is trying valiantly to stay afloat but there’s a good chance his company will fold because of some clients who didn’t pay. And the 40,000€ of our money that was supposed to accomplish the rooms upstairs and the exterior insulation will probably go down with him. So this requires some faith and trust in God. We might not see it again and God will have to provide in another way. Or not.
I don’t think it’s that, per se – (particularly since this is nothing new – on the contrary, we’re finally making some progress on our own instead of waiting for him) – but I’ve been struggling with such fatigue and dullness, and … (dare I say) depression.
It’s been about a year since I went off anti-depressants, and I’m fully functional, if a little less sparkly. But all my motivation, all my words seem to have fled and I have trouble blogging and working on my book. At the risk of letting my vulnerability become a full-fledged pity party, I’ve been struggling with the thinking that no one will notice if I stop. That my words don’t matter. That it’s so much effort with so little reward.
If I look objectively at things, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised at the exhaustion. I’m doing a lot for church, friends, and family (and am reflecting on how to scale back until I’m stronger). I’m also pulled in a bunch of different ways by house upkeep, kids, online obligations, just general life. There’s still a vast amount of work that needs doing to complete our house renovation (not even counting the attic space that will need to be converted into bedrooms one day). And the worst bit is that I’ve gained back some of the weight I lost, through lack of motivation or lack of access to the kitchen. So I feel rather crushed.
And then there’s this:
– what our laundry room looks like until we can figure out cupboard solutions.
-the stairs, which contain the kitchen items waiting to go in the cabinets.
-the outdoors, which is a steady reminder that lawns don’t sow themselves and weeds don’t uproot themselves, and instead of a nice picnic table, there’s a pile of construction that’s not going anywhere any time soon. This post is my way of breaking the silence that comes about when I feel all my words have dried up. It’s to remind me that my words matter to me, that I write for me, and sometimes that has to be enough.
This post is also my way of stopping to smell the flowers
because once I start writing and seeking to share beauty through words and photographs, everything sort of makes sense again. I have my sanity back.
To that end (sanity), I bought a second-hand Pottery Barn desk and I now have a writing station. In our bedroom where I can close the door! I’ve therefore no excuse not to write. So here’s to pushing through when life feels rather crushing. Here’s to glossing over those messy laundry rooms, cupboards that won’t stay painted, cluttered stairwells, and lawns with bald spots – and focusing instead on the mini havens of peace. 🙂