Now, if you had come to visit me a year or two ago, all may have looked fine to you...orderly even. And if I'm being completely honest, I was fooled a bit myself. The wind of truth however has a way of blowing open all the windows and doors and sweeping things out into the light.
How much are we really unaware of and how much have we just grown accustomed to overlooking? Sometimes it's hard to distinguish. And in the end it doesn't matter. Once the restoration is in full swing, all the ugliness we've just covered up with window dressing or become blind to over time is illumined.
That can be a painful process.
How did we ever live like this?
We start with the big things: Hauling out the trash. Removing the junk. Taking responsibility for having allowed it to get so bad.
With the damaging clutter removed we can move on to washing away the dirt, painting, seeing in the cold hard light of day what we actually have to work with.
After we've dealt with problems and made an honest assessment of our situation, we can start to imagine what we want the new life or house to look like. It's time to dream a bit of what could be...
The next part is taking action to make the dream a reality. You cannot progress without this step. And lots of people get stuck here. Either because the thing they envision involves a lot of hard work, or changes, or because they lack a vision they can be passionate about.
My experience has been that the energy for whatever the hard work may be always comes from the passion about the vision of what's possible.
When most of the work is done and you look around at how far you've come, you realize that, while things are so much better than they were, there is always more work to do. Drawers to clean out, supplies to keep stocked, and maintenance to do.
The house, like life, is never really finished. It is in a constant state of flux. But the last important step is to take what we've learned and share it with others who need our help. I've made lots of mistakes and I try to honestly chronicle them for you so that when you are working on a project you will know what NOT to do. Sharing what mistakes to avoid is more valuable than just pretending that somehow it magically all worked out. It didn't. It was hard. It was a process.
And yes, life is just like that.
But making something beautiful out of whatever you started with is possible if complete restoration is your goal.
And why would you settle for anything less?
Don't stop until you get to where you want to be.