We remodeled our kitchen this summer and I know why we chose to undertake the task. For twenty years we lived with a sub-par kitchen that was shoddily decorated and badly mistreated before we moved here, and has since suffered the abuse of four children, a dog, a cat, endless lines of friends, parties, and good living. It had become a depressing place no matter how much I cleaned and organized. Occasional bright new curtains only sagged the shoulders of the rest of the room in despair.
For us this room was the last redo in a fixer-upper house. It's time had come. The gouged and grungy oak cabinets have been sanded and refinished. The torn up flooring replaced. The dingy, ripped wall-paper removed, a leaky old window is gone. Colors updated, everything cleaned, the kitchen is a friendly place once again.
During the renovation process I had to make countless trips to the home improvement store. Over this past long weekend I had occasion to go there once again on a too-hot Sunday afternoon, tuckered out from work, and on the crabby side. I looked around at the other shoppers and saw in their countenances the way I felt. Red-faced, breathing harder than normal, hair disheveled, work clothes damp with sweat, eye-brows slightly raised and scrunched together with that 'hurry up and get out, I don't want to be here' look.
"That's what I look like, I know it," I thought to myself as I stopped in my tracks too suddenly, causing the couple behind me to bump into me, starting an apology war. "Oh, excuse me, I'm so sorry." "No, it was my fault, I stopped too fast."
What in this whole world causes so many of us, on a longed-for three-day weekend to put ourselves through these marathon work sessions to change the way our houses look? Who in all the world cares?
Well, I guess we do.
Here I was, using the holiday weekend to make some headway on our summer project.
And I was exhausted. They were exhausted. We were exhausted.
But progress was made and now we are relieved because Ugly Kitchen has been carefully transformed into Pretty Kitchen. The bulk of the work behind us, we enter September with a lightened load, in a cheerier home.
Environment lends itself to our moods and to our feelings of security and belonging. We notice a positive difference already. I guess fixing up our home is a way of fixing up ourselves.