The Remodel

by balanceofbliss

Matt and I have been talking about upgrading our home. We’ve been in a constant state of fixing-up since we moved in and the end is not exactly within site.  It started with the roof and the living room.  Then there was the “dining room” which was converted back into a bedroom.  After that we opted for all new doors (which all required new framing); a new fire place; a new patio; re-doing the exterior and painting the whole house.  All of this while I completed my degree in dietetics and he completed his CFA exams.  The moment we had a chance to breathe, I decided to change careers and plan our wedding.  Once that was done Matt said, “we have some time and some money left in the budget – let’s do the kitchen”.  *sigh*

I knew it wasn’t “just” a counter top.  I know what entails and what ensues when he gets a bright idea – God love the man.  Here was my requirement: I have always wanted a black and white, French-boho-modern kitchen… end of story.  We opted with a black-white-gray granite that greatly resembles marble.  Our cabinets are staying white and all of the maroon and 90’s-green touches the previous owner painted around window frames – is gone.  It’s all white.  The original (and beautifully worn) wide plank wood floors are staying and the back splash will now be a high-gloss light gray subway tile.

Chalkboards, quirky mirrors, picture frames with my grandmothers recipes, floating shelves holding my collection of treasured dishes will be on display – everything from countries I’ve visited to family heirlooms. I can see it all so clearly and am so…. overwhelmed.  It’s not even close to being finished.

It’s the holidays and I’m a cook.  I’m a person who spends more time in her kitchen than in her bedroom.  I work in my kitchen, I read in my kitchen, I drink in my kitchen, I stretch in my kitchen – my kitchen is my zen space and it is in a complete state of flux.  Greater than that is the fact that I’m a person who needs order and schedule.  I pride myself so often on being able to roll with the unexpected, and I can truly, so long as my environment is stable.

This is the take-away, folks: My kitchen is a reflection of me and where I am in my life.  We’re both in the remodel phase.  That phase where you remove a wall to find the wiring is incorrect and needs to be redone; That phase when you’re painting without a drop cloth and it gets on the floor (and of course you notice it an hour later); That phase where you thought painting an accent wall was a good idea, only to find out it wasn’t; That phase where only raising a shelf turns into a two-day ordeal…  Oy.

So what to do?  Breathe.  Breath, balance, wine, music, frequent walks with the dog, frequent trips to my parents house.  Think it all through and plan properly: measure twice, cut once.

This approach has become my mantra even when the words don’t seem to fit.  Take time for me.  Take time to sit in the silence of my mind, quieting the banter of family feuds and daily to-do’s.  Envision the future I see for myself; Envision the kitchen I see for my new family.  Envision and pray and give thanks and do well for others – and get out of my head!  Get out of my head and get back to being kind.

We get so unbelievably caught up in the details at all the wrong times.  The details are important, don’t get me wrong.  The details make the big picture the big picture.  The details are the difference between “real white” and “soft white”, between “taupe” and “gray”.  The details are what make us unique.  But there is a time when they must be set aside before they drive you completely mad.

So, yes, the remodel.  It’s time to remodel the kitchen and it’s time to remodel my soul.  It’s December… if this isn’t the best time for a remodel, then my God, I don’t know when is.