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.
I’m sitting here, 4:30 in the morning…couldn’t sleep and found your blog and have been on it since 1am! This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m a nurse…divorced 5 years ago, slowly renovating my home in between working crazy hours when my back went….really went. I’m at home recovering from my 3rd surgery in a year. I am 44. My “friends” have scattered as I worked so many hours I couldn’t keep up with most of my friendships. This surgery was a big one. I’m just about to finally get out of needing the hospital bed and walker 5 weeks later. I love being a nurse, I do, but my passion is still renovating and chalk painting. I’m dying to own a tea shop or a bed and breakfast! I know how you feel about everything coming down at once. I have no family left in the U.S., its just me and my three beautiful kids. My relationship from the last five years is ending. He has anger issues and depression and i have spent enough time trying to “fix him”….as nurses do! The end just came at a bad time, but when you go through something like what I just did and can’t rely on that person to be a rock for you for a change, well something just has to give! So it shall. I too am hoping that God is opening new doors for me. I need some real friends in my life that mirror the heart I have. You are a lovely woman and your family is beautiful! It doesn’t matter what you have in the end, its who you have! xoxo
Thanks so much for finding me, and writing. I so hope that your back heals now after this latest round and that you can get back to those things that you find uplifting and fulfilling…be it nursing or chalk painting or the like. 44 is young, and I hope that someday you can look back at this “bump” and see that it was worth going through so you could come out the other side to something truly wonderful. Keep rocking it for your three…you are a fighter, and you’ll win this battle sister!
I understand how you feel completely. I earned my masters degree in school counseling in 1998, and I have been working as a school counselor since 2000. My job is so important, and I am helping kids! In certain instances, I am saving them. And even though I love my students, and I care about their well being,
and I know how important and necessary being a school counselor is, in the past few years, my heart just isn’t in it the way it used to be. Through my blog, I have found my passion! And it seems so insignificant compared to my actual job. Blogging? Decorating? DIY? Trash to treasure? I know people don’t get it. I continually day dream about quitting my job and blogging and DIYing full time. But I am good at my job and people tell me the kids need me. It is quite the conundrum. Financially, right now, I can’t afford to quit anyway, so I will be staying in my job. But secretly, I dream of the day that I can pursue my own passions full time!
You totally get it, Nicki! YES to ALL of that. It is a conundrum, and I’m tempted to tell you that the kids need you, too. But I don’t think that’s my place. It’s up to each of us to decide our paths, I think…although a lot of that path seems dictated by circumstance…financial, family, etc. right? And I think it’s ok that our paths kind of diverge and change course…maybe because we were called in one direction a decade ago doesn’t make it wrong for us to realize our direction and goals have changed, you know? I hope you find some clarity…and if you do, can you send some my way too? TIA 🙂