I’ve been a little off lately.
We recently bought a house, moved, remodeled. I’ve found it difficult to acknowledge the reality of how stressful it’s all been.
I’ve literally had to teach myself to say, “I’m overwhelmed.” They’re very uncomfortable words to describe a very uncomfortable feeling.
It’s hard to admit it. It’s better to be stronger than the circumstance, to busy yourself with solutions to solve the problem. It’s a frantic race, one that’s meant a lot of sleepless nights, Google searches, trips to Home Depot.
We knocked down a gigantic 18′ brick wall that divided the main living room from the kitchen. It was an exhausting undertaking, taking down that wall. And it’s not just demolition that can be back-breaking. It’s the dust. It’s the disposal.
That wall came down, but it morphed into something much larger. It became 2,500 bricks scattered all over the floor. It became this gritty red dust that got in your hair, on your clothes, in your nose. It settled on every exposed surface, even on the shelves of closed cabinets down the hallway.
What do you do with 2,500 bricks? I hope you never find yourself asking that question. But 3 trailer loads and a 14′ construction debris dumpster later, the bricks were finally gone.
It’s hard to see your house stripped down, bare and broken. Once the wall was gone, we had no floor, exposed studs, a giant gaping hole in the ceiling. I couldn’t stand still in that room for long.
But somehow it all still seems like a frivolous, first-world-problem. Buy a house that will take decades to pay off, start a larger-than-DIY project. Read too many design blogs and you’ll find yourself in trouble.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Excess. About Exhaustion. They’re related.
It’s boxes stacked to the ceiling, bags of trash, all those wedding gifts you never needed. It’s drywall screws, unfinished concrete, joint compound, primer, paint. It’s the cost of all those things, how to get them, get rid of them.
It’s all been a little more than I could handle. The balance of order, routine, priorities all get shifted, broken even. It’s easy to lose sight of the why knock down a wall? question.
It’s about togetherness, about making a space where we could live, really live, in one open, undivided place. It’s about those dinners with friends on the weekends, or week nights washing dishes and watching TV, without having to be separated. It’s all been about making a home.