It’s early on a gorgeous fall Sunday, and I just had a coffee in my new kitchen — otherwise known as the remodel from hell. What a black hole on your time that sort of job can be! It seems so simple when you start — just save for years, plan well, tear the old one out, and put the new one in. Wrongo.
You see, I live in an old house, and things always take 42 times longer than you expect because of that. In my idealistic, perfect-plan, pre-demolition dreams, the studio would be the temporary receiving department for maybe two weeks, and after everything was done, life would go back to normal. Yeah, right.
I expected the dirt, trash, homeless dishes, pots and pans all over the house and the cooking on a hot plate. Short-term stuff, right? But, in reality, my two week blitz-it timeframe turned into a five-month job. There has been a huge pile of cabinetry, materials, and a new refrigerator blocking my soldering station and bench for the better part of the summer. Worst of all, I didn’t mentally prepare for the seemingly endless parade of strangers traipsing through my private space to measure, deliver, reschedule, hammer, drill, reschedule, plaster, wire, reschedule, plumb and build and reschedule.
I am a private person, and this part of the remodel experience was total torture. I couldn’t escape at all — there was not one normal place in the entire house where I could quietly sit and comfortably focus, think, or create anything — and it made me a terrible person to live with. Crab. Be.
Now, the house is quiet again and the only uprooted thing left standing in my creative space is the old refrigerator, waiting to be picked up Thursday by my state’s green recycle program. Life is peaceful again, it’s somewhat clean, and things are basically organized and back to normal. And, good grief I really. Really. Urgently. Need to make some work. NOW.
However, I am still unsettled and distracted. I really LOVE my new kitchen, but I can’t seem to be able to work. It’s odd, because mentally, I just can’t get back to a place where I want to work. Maybe it’s fatigue, stress, sleep deprivation or some kind of crazy, kitchen-induced-the-book-is-finally-done-and-your-life-is-yours-again, post-partum-like depression or something. And worrying over it only makes it worse.
Whatever it is, I want it gone so I can get to work, and boy, am I tired of waiting for it to go away. You’d think the homemade bread baking in the oven, pumpkin soup on the stove, and really, really good coffee would get me started. But, I am still not ready to sit at my bench, and the new kitchen clock ticks. It’s my audible reminder of passing time that brings me closer and closer to my deadline…