Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Day the Wall Caved In

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In continuing on our quest to rid our new home of it’s 80s look and earth-toned/throw up toned paint colors, Will and I set out to paint our laundry room on Saturday night. I bought the paint a couple of months ago, we already had all the other supplies, and this little room cannot be much bigger than 5x10. After the experience of painting nearly the whole house, we knew this would be an easy task.

 If you know me well, you know the spirit of my dad comes out in me when it comes time to take on a project of any sort--home projects, academic projects, cooking projects, anything. And if you know my dad, you know that the man is a machine. There is nothing he cannot build or fix, and he will not consider stopping until the job is done and done correctly. There are, however, many things that I cannot build or fix, and so sometimes the combination of the Can’t Stop Won’t Stop attitude engraved in my DNA and my lack of actual ability get me in over my head. It has led to me attempting much mechanical work on my car, nearly shocking myself on occasion, climbing too high, and many, many late nights. When these things happen, Will shakes his head, says, “you’ve got so much of your dad in you,” and tries to keep me from injuring myself. And the laundry room proved to be no exception.

 Will took everything out of the room, I cleaned really well, and we were ready to paint. Even this prep work took a really long time. We felt it best to begin by pulling the washer and dryer out so we could paint behind them, and that’s when things went downhill fast. We saw a terrible thing--a leak running down the wall. Will poked the wall to investigate the situation and IT CAVED IN. I am serious, that part of the wall just collapsed and a hole and messed up wall remained. I will spare you a picture of this, because you know what isn’t cute? A hole in the wall.

 It didn’t take us long to figure out how to best handle the situation--we just pushed the washer and dryer back in place, ignored the hole, and went about painting the room as planned. We painted the trim and walls, then I decided the trim needed to be painted again. Then we touched up the walls. Then the cabinets all looked so dingy that I could not resist painting them as well. When we finished something was still wrong, and I realized the ceiling was a horrible yellow color that was ruining my very life. So we painted it a bright, happy white. After many hours and a hole in the wall we finally went to bed at 3 am. 

 While the room certainly is not pinterest worthy, it looks SO much better than it did back when it had earth toned walls and a yellow ceiling. But here is the problem-that room is not really fixed, because that hole is still there. It’s hidden and I can ignore it, but eventually we are going to have to call the contractor and pay the big money to have it fixed. Then things will really be well in the laundry room. 

 As I think more about having to fix the hole in the wall, I realize I have handled this situation in a way that is pretty similar to how we often handle big problems in our lives. I’m talking about the deep, dark problems that we don’t want anyone to know about and are not easy to fix. The hurts that run deep and that started a long time ago, or maybe we don’t know when they started at all. The issues that we ignore while we address other problems that seem easier to handle, like dingy cabinets or a yellow ceiling. The holes in the wall that we paint around, working hard to make everything else look pretty so no one will notice the mess. Sometimes we can almost trick ourselves into forgetting, but we never really do. The hole is still there. 

 What if this was the year that we decided to handle the hard things, whatever that looks like for each of us. I think a great place to start is by simply sharing your struggle with a friend, someone at your church, or even a counselor. Often times just getting things out in the open, an encouraging word, and a fresh perspective can make a gloomy situation seem a lot brighter. It will still probably take time and work to fully heal, but it’s progress. Plus, I’ve learned the most rewarding things in life don’t usually happen easily.

 As for me and my house, the hole in the wall and approximately 3,000 projects remain! Wish me luck and pray for poor Will. 


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