If you have not already read Part I, you will want to check that out first!
I’m sitting in my beautiful new bedroom and just had to re-read my first blog post about the renovation because it feels hard to remember that this space didn’t even exist a few weeks ago. Let me back up a few steps…
The home renovation project that was supposed to last seven to eight weeks ended up taking twelve (told ya so!). That meant that for three months, we had workers coming in and out of our house, materials strewn about, and even more chaos than normal. We could see progress sllllowwwwlllllyyyyyy being made, but it felt like there was always still so much more work left to do. We were eager and excited at the start of the project, but by about Week Ten (OK, Four), the novelty had worn off and we were all definitely over it.
I knew that the timeline was generous and ambitious, but I was not mentally prepared for how things panned out. There were supply chain delays, illness delays, injury delays, permitting delays, scheduling delays, weather delays, and inspection delays. I constantly had to remind myself that this is what transformation is like: inconvenient, clunky, and unpredictable. It felt like we would never get to the finish line.
Neighbors who noticed the new windows and the siding with the fresh white paint started to say things like, “Wow, looks like you’re almost finished!” I know they were trying to be kind, but they couldn’t see that the inside was still a total mess. It may have looked nice on the outside, but we didn’t even have walls yet. The inside work always takes more time.
We also learned along the way that we had to upgrade our entire electrical system, something we had not anticipated. We literally had to rewire the circuitry; the old framework was outdated and no longer able to meet our needs. I was annoyed about this unexpected expense, but the rationale made perfect sense to me.
Then one day the contractor said they were done.
I gasped. It was so sudden. “Wait, really? You’re done?”
Actually, they weren’t totally done, but done-ish in contractor lingo and close enough that I could stop paying for my shared workspace membership.
And, then the weirdest thing happened: I started to feel sad.
I had dreamt of this day for months! I had been complaining about what a nuisance this project was since before it even started! But, for some reason the prospect of making the transition back to my home office, halting my interim routine, and returning to my old one left me feeling unsettled.
It felt strange for a few days not to have workers at our door at 8:30 am saying "Good morning!" on their way in as we rushed out to take the kids to school.
I sort of missed not commuting to and from my shared workspace. I had walked the 30 minutes each way most days and found the practice of starting and ending my days outside, moving, and listening to podcasts or audiobooks to be a silver lining throughout this experience.
I absolutely did not miss communal phone booths and loud talkers who were oblivious to those around them (“THIS IS THE QUIET ROOM, PEOPLE!”).
It took a few days to move our clothes over to the new room.
It took a few more to set up our bed and dresser.
It was a few more after that before we started to feel settled.
For a while, I found myself walking on autopilot to my old bedroom and had to consciously remind myself that my new bedroom was down the hall. Change can be like that sometimes; we sort of forget that we’ve landed in a new place and that the old ways no longer apply.
Now that we’re on the other side of the renovation project, I can confidently say that I’m so glad it’s over and I’m so, so glad we did it. It didn’t always feel so great going through it and there were many moments when we questioned the value of this whole endeavor, but once we were able to see the results and are now enjoying the fruits of our labor, it was so worth it.
Of course, there is still going to be some tweaking – pictures to hang and lamps to purchase – but the big, heavy lifting of transformation is behind us.
At least until we're ready for the next renovation...
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