Let me start off by saying – I went from my mother’s immaculate home, to an immaculate brand-new apartment, to the trusty rusty I’ve come to love: The Fabulous Frost Farm ….
Our house has been under “construction” for the better part of 5 years now. It’s not that we’re dragging our feet – it’s just that life constantly gets in the way. Since Nick has been manning most of the project on his own – it’s a constant struggle of finding the “time” to do big projects, making sure the weather “cooperates”, and ensuring our bank account isn’t drained. Finding the motivation is the LEAST difficult challenge of all. As a matter of fact, it really isn’t a challenge at all. When Nick and I bought our home 5 years ago – we had it mentally revamped, improved, and magazine worthy within minutes. Evidently, life doesn’t work that way – and trying to find a fair balance between living life, enjoying life and actually getting chores completed is VERY challenging.
Initially, we had planned on decorating the house “officially” when we were finished with the inside of the house. The master bedroom was stripped down to its studs within days of moving in.
“There’s No point in investing in good quality bedroom furniture when we’re going to be doing work in the rooms. We’ll invest when the house is properly finished,” Nick said running his hands along the slick beams of the newly demolished bedroom.
“Good idea.” I concurred.
It’s day 1,825 – the bedroom is still down to its studs and our “den” has now become our master bedroom. Nick and I are comfortable and happy here, but there is always that feeling of discontentment. We’re not complete. Our dreams are lofty and often just seem out of reach. Which brings me to today’s blog entry.
I found myself reading a great entry by Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project about “Broken Windows” by way of Tina who runs the Like Ordinary Life blog. Gretchen describes the “Broken Window Theory” “as when a community tolerates minor examples of disorder and petty crime, such as broken windows, graffiti, turnstile-jumping, or drinking in public, people are more likely to commit more serious crimes.” Which in itself means – when you tolerate the little mishaps in life – they are likely to escalate into larger issues.
The blog clearly left an impression on Tina and me, as well. Tina – wrote a very thought provoking entry about Making the Bed – and why she had neglected to add that to her list of Broken Windows. Ironically, as I made the bed this morning I realized that my house is a more like a shattered green house – not just a few broken windows. As I threw mismatched throw pillows onto a layer of mismatched sheets – it dawned on me that we’ve created and adopted our own “motto” of sorts – “I’ll take better care of it as soon as the house is done”. I’ll be the first to admit it is very convenient motto and takes any immediate concern off of our house keeping – but they really are my (our) broken windows. I can’t speak for Nick, but I know that I’ve become completely complacent with dirty dishes in the sink, mismatched sheets on the bed, dust bunnies under the couch, dog hair on the guest bed, mountainous loads of laundry in the basement, broken banisters. The list goes on.
“My sheets will match when the bedroom is done.”
“Laundry will be put away when the closets are finished”
“Harley will stay off the bed once we have guests”
“I always swore I wouldn’t be a neat freak like mom”
Crack, shatter, POP! I can hear the windows shattering as I write this …
Things are going to have to change. I now know that regardless of whether or not the house is “magazine quality” doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t take care of things. Letting dishes and laundry pile up inside my house – is a true indication of my spirit. Sometimes I walk around – unsettled. The indifference towards the little things – creating a permanent feeling of guilt and restlessness. Usually, I’m not even quite sure why I feel that way – it’s just there, lingering, inching its way through my subconscious. It’s usually then – when my anxiety sets in. Obviously, our “magazine makeover” won’t be any time soon. So, I can either live with the uneasy feeling for another 5 years or do something about it.
Perhaps it is the warm weather, perhaps it was the rumored criticism from the house’s previous owner, or perhaps it’s just our time to get it finished. Whatever the driving force is I hope the motivation sticks – so we can finally replace those broken windows and move on.