I spent yesterday pulling giant pink ceramic tile up off of the kitchen floor. It was loud and chunks of stuff everywhere, whacking me in the face and hands and knees…it was total tumult, and yet sooooooo satisfying. It felt like a metaphor for life: how once you accept the fact that there’s really no neat way to do what needs to be done, you can enjoy the mess for the progress it is. The order we crave is almost always preceded by chaos.
At least that’s what I’m telling myself :)
The other great thing about demo is that it’s the best workout ever. The next time my jeans get too tight, I plan to cast around for friends with a house they want to remodel. Voila, instant slim down! (Of course, all this hammer swinging, prying & painting is also giving me hands that look like I beat people up for a living, but I’m choosing to focus on how well my jeans will fit in a few weeks!) Seriously, THE BIGGEST LOSER should do a home renovation edition. Carrying piles of 12 inch tile up & down stairs makes my treadmill workouts look like something I did for leisure.
A couple of nights ago, as Steve and I were figuring out how to remove some fruit-themed tiles from behind the stove (bunches of strawberries, arranged around a giant artichoke), I jokingly said, “Remember that conversation we had about how we should find a new hobby to do together after we move? Looks like we’ve found our hobby!” It’s not sexy (unless you count steamy glances at each other through safety glasses as we peer out over our face masks…and you shouldn’t count that because my glasses fog up when I breath because my mask was made for a bigger face, so I can’t really see much of anything) but it’s fun and satisfying and real. I’ll admit: I dreaded doing these parts of the project ourselves…I was afraid we’d become like those couples you sometimes see on HGTV, yelling and swearing at each other and spending 14 hours trying to get up one small section of floor before they call in the professionals to keep the building and/or relationship from collapsing. But thankfully, that’s not us. We might not make good television, but we make good life.
So that’s what’s going on here. Today I have walls to paint Botany Beige and a trip to Lowe’s to buy some sort of device by which one can scrape the dried cement that goes under tile off of the plywood sub-floor. I can see the beauty of that smooth plywood, ready to emerge…It’s my job to set it free :)