It was my plan to write a regular old DIY/home decor post this week. Really it was. But the problem with “my” plan is that sometimes, it isn’t actually “THE” plan, if you know what I mean. Sometimes, what I want gets completely annihilated.
It’s been raining here. Not literally, mostly. But figuratively, definitely. And it’s been raining for a while.
I have a big birthday coming up. You may be able to guess which one. Here’s a hint:
That’s me with my Dad. And if those pants, the shag rug, and that orange fake tree behind the plaid cushioned rocking chair aren’t dead giveaways to the era I was born in, well, I’m just not going to hold your hand through this calculation anymore.
So this big birthday. I *thought* that I was A-OK with it coming round. But then I noticed that my searches on eBay and Craigslist were changing a bit. Where before I had typed “vintage mirror” or “antique desk” in the search bar, I found myself typing “vintage Alfa Romeo Spider” and “1960’s MGB convertible”. WHOA. Where did this come from?
I began to ponder. And pondering is dangerous if you happen to be me. Example? While all my college besties were partying their tails off on graduation night…I was pondering. Alone. In my car, driving aimlessly around campus sobbing about how the best years of my life were over.
On the night that the first of my closest childhood girlfriends got married, pondering left me inconsolably crying at her reception. I bawled about how all my friends were growing up and getting married, and once again, our lives were over.
In case you thought I was kidding. Here’s the proof, and what is now an epic, albeit pathetic and ridiculous reminder of my behavior. Shot in the whilst in the throes of my tantrum, and being consoled by the wedding coordinator. Wish I could say it’s a photoshopped-celebrity-rag-fake. TEMPORARY INSANITY.
You get the drift. Sometimes, my brain gets the better of me. And I think this big birthday may be bringing that contemplative-craziness on…AGAIN.
As I said, it’s been raining. I lost my Grandmother this month.
And she was a really important person in my life. I admired her greatly. She was a brilliant feminist who could also cook a mean beef stroganoff. She could sew a dress, three pillows, four sets of curtains, a winter coat and eight sets of pajamas in about 2 hours. She was educated and well traveled and worked up until almost the day she died. She has been with me every Christmas, my whole life.
I miss her.
So, that was when the rain really started falling. And THEN,
THIS. And sorry about the bad images folks, but this is a gloomy, bad pic kind of post. That’s me and my friend Amanda in a taxi in NYC last November. And this was the very exciting moment right before a big disappointment. We were finalists being interviewed for a new HGTV show. And we were over the moon excited. Then…we didn’t get picked.
I got over it…mostly. Fast forward until, well, two weeks ago. I flew down south for another HGTV screen test. This time, I was EVEN MORE excited about the opportunity. Guess what? Didn’t get picked AGAIN. They picked a gal with a “southern accent” instead.
So now, it’s pouring. And my birthday is looming.
Guess what I do? I ponder.
This is me. About 15 birthdays ago. I had just graduated with my doctorate degree from Duke. I got a job at arguably the best hospital in the country. I was going to help people and do great things and make the world a better place. That was my plan.
Then I got married. And my kids were born. And at some point, I realized that I really wasn’t that great of a physical therapist. I realized I was much better at rehabilitating furniture than I was at rehabilitating people. I figured out that I had a knack for decorating, and real estate really made me happy.
But how could that be?? This isn’t my plan. Decorating doesn’t seem that important. Painting furniture doesn’t let me save the world.
It’s a conundrum, right? I know. I’ve been pondering and I figured that part out.
So, this morning I’m mulling over this whole mess, and my lack of direction, and missed opportunities, and my looming birthday, and how I’m starting to roll like Indiana Jones’ boulder down some imaginary metaphor-esque mountain. And I’m doing this as I stain my deck. You see, we had a temporary break from the literal rain today. It was still cloudy, but the rain let up for a bit. So I got out my paint sprayer, and I did what I do. I D.I.Y. I fix the stuff. I paint the things.
And there I stayed until we got the call.
The call that the sky was falling. We have a lovely little 1950’s cape cod that we lived in a while back and painstakingly renovated over a two year period…room by room, inch by inch. It’s a rental right now, and our tenants called this morning and said their ceiling caved in.
YUP. It was literally raining DRYWALL.
Here’s a shot of that room pre-disaster…
And back to reality. UGH.
We cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned the deluge of drywall. And I hate to admit it, but I pouted. I pouted like I was back at my friend’s wedding. I pouted about this not being my plan. I pouted about my big birthday and giving up my career and how I haven’t figured anything out or saved the world yet.
And the thing is, nobody got hurt. Nothing truly valuable was lost or irrevocably harmed. THANK GOD, right?!
And that’s the thing. I really get sucked up in “my plan” sometimes. It’s hard for this Type A to not operate 100% of the time looking out at life from behind a checklist. But I am trying to learn to let go and let a power greater than me take the wheel. I suck at it, but I’m trying.
I’m struggling with understanding the gifts I’ve been given, and how I’m supposed to use them. I’m struggling to figure out how I can use them in a way that is meaningful.
And I don’t have answers. Just questions. But, that’s life, right? We have to have that rain before we have our rainbow.
And Lord knows, I’ve had a lot of rain lately. Today, after spending the whole morning staining the deck, then the whole afternoon painstakingly cleaning up Chicken Little’s worst nightmare, I get home, and THIS:
OK, last bad picture, but that’s the sky opening up and just upchucking all over my morning of hard work.
IT’S STILL RAINING.
But I have just enough faith to know it’s gotta get better. It always does. I just have to trust in a plan that’s bigger than any I may have already fabricated for myself. I’m trying. And I’m waiting as patiently as a non-patient person possibly can.
Thanks for listening. I probably don’t say it nearly enough, but I really appreciate you all sticking around and hanging out with me here. You guys are so encouraging and have helped create such a wonderful, safe space where we can all learn and grow and support each other in our DIY adventures. Back to business next week. Pinky swear.