Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Dark Side

After we had been in the house about three years I began to sink down into what I call a "renovation depression". The fun had worn off and I was tired all the time and had seriously begun to question my sanity. I became really angry at the house for falling apart. About that time I watched a renovation show on TV where a guy who was a "flipper" bought a house unseen and was unprepared for the catastrophic events that would almost bring him to his knees. There were about twenty abandoned cats living in the vacant house along with a whole ecosystem of rats and roaches. They had to call in a hazmat team to clean it up, costing thousands and thousands of dollars. Then they found out the sewer was broken in several places and it cost about thirty six thousand more dollars than he estimated. Then his family quit helping him with his business and he was alone working on and financing that house. By the end of the show he was so stressed out that he beating up the cabinets with a sledgehammer and screaming "I HATE YOU HOUSE?!"
When he finally sold the house he stood outside and yelled "I BEAT YOU HOUSE!"
Of course, he was off his freakin' rocker. The guy was a nut. But nevertheless, I found myself identifying with him in my feelings about the house. That feeling of never getting ahead because you're stuck in the day to day maintenance of caring for the place almost overwhelmed me for a while.
Now days I feel better about things, even though there are those days when I want to scream "I HATE YOU HOUSE!". But since I haven't yet lost my sanity, although I have come close, I decided to go the civilized route and just write it all down. This is what I wrote.

I STOOD BACK and looked at the floor. Finished, at last. Three sandings on my hands and knees with three different sanders, one coat of cherry stain, and four coats of poly, and it was finally done. Instead of the usual rush of satisfaction, however, all I could muster was a sigh of relief to be through with this, the mother of all home renovation projects. That's when I knew that the honeymoon with the house was over. Oh, I still loved the house, but the joy I felt when I bought the house was gone, replaced now with an irritated feeling of just wanting to be finished with it all. I had, after all, been working on it for three and a half years, and had really only scratched the surface of things needing to be done. That was the rub. Still so much to do, and no matter how much I put into it, there always seemed to be something else needing to be fixed. How could I do the renovations when I was so busy trying to keep up with the regular maintenance on the house. I lay in bed and worried about it at night. I stared off into space thinking about it during the day. I shook my head in frustration every time I passed the bathroom down the hall with the wall paper hanging in shreds and the vinyl tile half off of the floor. I really was going to get around to finishing that project soon. As a matter of fact, now that the floor in the front hall was done, that was next on my list. Well, that is, after I get the air conditioner fixed, that started leaking freon and water, in the attic, last week.
I guess I'm just tired. Somewhere between the second and third sanding, on the downstairs hallway, the joy just evaporated. All I can think about if finishing fixing what I can, and moving to a place where I can put my feet up, and sip my coffee while I watch the kids play in the water hose, and not have to worry about getting back to sanding, or stripping wallpaper, or replacing worn out toilets. I just want my life back.

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