Overnight Guests During Renovations … When Good Enough Will Have To Do

Internet Photo

We’ve got company coming this morning and I’m trying to breathe through it. The house as you might expect is not really guest ready due to a kitchen renovation that has morphed into a couple of other big projects as well. We’ve managed to make it presentable with the dining room table in place and some of the artwork back on the walls, but many places are still very unfinished. There’s a hole in the wall where some electrical bits will be going in next week for the new boiler and it’s right in the place where I’d like to put the tile work you see above.

John and I are still in negotiations about this tile pattern. His only concern seems to be that as it’s behind the hob/stove top, it might get cooking splatters in the grout. I think he’s referring to his mad cooking skills particularly in the stir fry department. I’m joking here, I’m actually a messier cook.

I don’t think this would be a problem, but what do you think? Suggestions, experience … please share your backsplash stories in a comment.

Going back to our guests … they are staying overnight so they’re sure to notice the all the little things that would normally drive me nuts. They’ll have clean sheets, and a tidy bathroom along with a good meal and a glass of wine, but the never-ending dust and the shift in the placement of things makes it all feel a bit off-balance to me.

It’s silly really … all this trying to control things that I can’t right now.

Fingers crossed nothing odd turns up in the food tonight.

An Update From The Edge

Where do I begin …

Let me first say how moved I have been by the messages of support and encouragement I have received since my last post. I have had weepy moments reading and rereading your kind words and your suggestions as to how I might find some peace have been a great help to me. As I’ve managed to move through panic and a mix of other palpitation inducing emotions, I find I am learning some unexpected lessons in letting go.

I spent time yesterday with two close friends who have been helping me enormously with some of the logistical issues I’m dealing with now. Their kindness, and generosity of time and resources have been such a gift to me and their support has made it possible me to move away from a temporary ‘ Chicken Little ‘ mentality that made me feel a bit crazy last week.

As important as their physical support has been, I also had two separate conversations with them that were illuminating and likely to be life changing. You know how people can say something over and over and you think you’ve heard it, well bless them both for their tenacity and willingness to keep repeating themselves because it finally got through my filter. By filter, I mean the voice in my head that wants to qualify, justify, or explain, instead of considering a different possibility.

This time, I think got it and I’m not sure that would have been possible with being so wide open emotionally from the unrelated issue I alluded to in my previous post.

Despite being in such a scary place of uncertainty last week I am managing well now day by day and doing what I need to wrap things up so I can go home to Cornwall and John. I have had so many offers of help and support so many that I am deliberately not naming names here for fear I might accidentally leave someone out.

To all of you who’ve left me such kind messages, I thank you. You helped me leap to the next place which turned out to be a better one. Not all the issues are resolved here, but I do feel better about what comes next.


The Hamster Wheel In My Head

Life is not a big party this trip. It’s certainly not a holiday and in fact has produced more stress than I could have imagined. For several weeks before I flew to Atlanta, I was struggling. I knew that this would be a busy trip with a great deal of things that needed to be crossed off the big list in my head, I knew there would be work involved.

I felt anxious and slightly blue not wanting to leave John even though I was really happy knowing I would see my daughter and my family and friends. I think now that my uneasiness about my visit to America was my intuitive sense trying to prepare me for some of what is happening now.

I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it appears as though I may be here for some time. There are things happening that I have little control over which is extremely difficult for me. No one is ill, and I have been blessed with strong support from friends and family, but I am struggling to let go of fear and worry. My husband John feels so far away right now and even though he is supportive from a distance, I miss him even more since I have no clear idea when I will be able to see him or go home again.

As you may well imagine, my position on the hamster wheel in my head is not especially conducive to my writing and posting.

I wish I could say more than I am almost sick with worry, but I can’t for now. I am trying to find something positive in these events, but even with my normal glass half-full nature, it is difficult to do. The only thing I can say is that when I come out on the other side, I will certainly have a new set of experiences to influence my writing.

It feels dark and scary not knowing when I will be done with all of this, I normally handle crisis well when there is something I can do to control the outcome. Much of this is beyond my control so I am trying to ” Stay Calm and Carry On” as they say in my adopted country.

Tips on letting go would be useful at this point as it feels like everything I every knew about adversity and loss seems to have left me. I thought I was well-practiced in handling tough challenges, but perhaps I’ve grown soft in Cornwall living a low stress life with John.

Let me say again, everyone is healthy and our homes are intact unlike the sad situations of many in the American south who were affected by the tornadoes, and I tell myself this over and over hoping to ease the feeling of anxiety that is with me all the time now.

I hope you’ll be patient with my posting. It’s likely to be sporadic and I have no idea what might show up here as things unfold. Send me some peace if you’ve got any extra and please, share with me how you deal with tough times.