Monday, July 20, 2009

When things don’t turn out the way we plan

I’m a planner and a list-maker. I’m one of those people that will write down things I’ve already done and then cross them off. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction out of seeing a quantified list of things that I have accomplished. Sometimes, I even flip through my planner and marvel at all the times I’ve gone to the bank, swept the floor, bought groceries, and done laundry. Some people might find it silly to record these activities, but to me, they are accomplishments.

Now that we are squarely in the midst of our renovation project, I’ve learned to plan in a different way. Instead of planning on things getting done by a certain date, I’ve had to learn to step back and let go. There are moments when I’ve despaired and wondered if we would ever finish. There are still moments when I wonder what it will be like to cook a meal without first having to wipe sawdust out of my pots or move drills and sanders out of the way.

Last week, we had a few really happy moments when things turned out much better than I planned. I have gotten used to things being so incredibly hard, that when things actually work, I find myself surprised. 

water spicket

Take this water faucet, for example. In its place has been a different water faucet that hasn’t worked for the last several months. It was impossible to turn on, and when you finally did get it on (with the help of a wrench and some major bicep action), you couldn’t get it off. My way of dealing with this was to quit using it completely. That was fine, except when I needed to water my flowers. I had resorted to filling a watering can in the bathtub and then hauling the water out to the flowers. As you can imagine, this was frustrating.

However, it wasn’t frustrating enough to actually do anything about it. It wasn’t until the stupid faucet broke completely and started leaking all over the ground that we decided it was time to take on the task of fixing it. I think the reason we put it off so long was because it just seemed like it was going to be one of those things that became A BIG DEAL! You know, one of those projects that takes up an entire day, requires three trips to Home Depot, and ends up costing a lot more money that you originally anticipated.

I am ecstatic to tell you that replacing the faucet was actually… fine.  It took less than an hour, we had all the right parts, and digging the hole was easy (probably because the ground was so wet… whoops!) This is so weird to say, but we were VICTORIOUS. Perhaps this is a sign that our luck is changing?

Perhaps not?


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