Our Noble Pursuits

Living the good life. And writing about it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thankful, Part 2 - The Attitude Adjustment

When I was a kid and behaving a little, um, badly, my mom would tell me to straighten up or she would give me an "attitude adjustment."  As in, I had a bad attitude and that needed to be fixed.  As it turns out, even though I am now an adult, I still need an attitude adjustment every now and then, and this last week or so has really exposed that truth.

Fact #1: I am not a very flexible person.  It always surprises me when people tell me that I am laid back.  I guess in some situations I must come off that way, but let me tell you, that is not my true personality.  Instead of being go-with-the-flow, I am one of those people who has in mind exactly what the boat I'm sailing is supposed to look like, knows exactly which way the current is supposed to be going, and is not at all good at adjusting to changing water flow.  This leads to some issues with stress and contentment and patience - when I have in my mind how a scenario is supposed to play out and it doesn't, I'm not so good at repositioning my expectations.  At least not immediately.  I get there, but it takes some time.

Fact #2: The type of person I described in the preceding paragraph is not the type of person who handles major life disturbances very well.  What do I mean by "major life disturbances?"  Oh, you know, something like remodeling a large part of your home.  You know, like a kitchen remodel or something.

Did I mention that we are currently remodeling our kitchen?

So here's the thing, I knew going into the Great Kitchen Renovation of 2013 that it was going to be hard for me to be okay with the upheaval a big project like that brings to the home.  I knew I wasn't going to approach such circumstances as a refrigerator in the living room or doing dishes in the basement with a breezy, "oh whatever" attitude.  I knew that.  David knew that, bless his heart.  And there have actually been moments when I have surprised myself with my ability to say "oh well" when the toaster and the coffee pot going at the same time in our makeshift "triage" kitchen (as David calls it) cause the fuse to blow.  Every morning.  (We won't talk about why I always forget that and keep trying to work everything at the same time)  However, I have also been rather astonished by the emotional reaction I have had to things like the toilet seat lid breaking amidst the chaos, the piano being housed in the middle of the living room (right next to the refrigerator), and the sink ending up in Annie's bedroom.   Like, silent tears in the car kind of emotional reaction - or unreasonable lashing out at my husband who is working his tail off creating a masterpiece in our own home.

And that, my friends, is where the attitude adjustment comes in.  This season of physical clutter in our home has really given me a reality check.  One I think I desparately needed.  There is nothing like finding yourself standing in the corner of your basement, muttering to yourself, because at least it feels normal to have a mess there, to make you realize how out of whack your idea of a "problem" is.

You see, I am a tremendously lucky woman.  I have a talented, hard-working husband who is dedicating hours, days, weeks, and months to giving me the kitchen I have always wanted.  A husband who is so skillful at what he does that he is truly an artist of his craft.  I live in a sweet little home that is warm and safe and inviting, in a neighborhood that offers us everything we could ever want.  And I share that home with the previously mentioned amazing husband and the sweetest, funniest, smartest, most beautiful little girl I could have ever dreamed of having.  We have family who love us and support us at every turn - who pitch in with the work and clean up the mess and take care of yard work we don't have the time or energy for and take us in when this momma can't take the disorder another day.  And we have amazing friends who share their homes and their dinners and their encouraging words with us when the projects seem overwhelming. 

And when I think of it all that way, I am honestly ashamed of how inflexible I can be.  How ungrateful I am to get so tied up in the process and how it might inconvenience me a little that I completely lose sight of what a real problem is.  Although we didn't plan in the beginning to be in the middle of a construction project during Thanksgiving, the time of year certainly is helping me change my attitude to see the gift that this renovation is, instead of the stress it may bring.

The early days of the project...

Of course, I will still have my inflexible moments - my freak outs and fits of selfish whining.  That's really why I am writing this post...as a reminder to myself that eating dinner at your coffee table off of paper plates with the refrigerator literally an arm's length away really isn't the end of the world.  Writing this helps me see that.

And you know what else helps?  Pictures like these, that enable me see the beautiful room that will very soon be ours.  And the people I will share it with.

The results so far...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Thankful - Part 1 (Back in Action)

Well, I've given blog neglect a whole new meaning in recent weeks/months, haven't I?  I'll spare you the explanation of how busy we have been, blah blah blah, and cut right to a new blog post.  You don't want to hear excuses anyway, I'm sure.  But for anyone reading this, thanks for sticking with me.

November ranks right up there as one of my all time favorite months.  I'm going to go on record right now and admit that I am one of those people who can't get enough holiday spirit.  I don't put up a tree in September or anything, but I get a kick out of the local 24/7 Christmas radio station and I wander around aimlessly in Target, staring at trees and lights and wreaths and ornaments.  Annie has already picked out her first Christmas tree ornament for this year - a very classy white knitted owl (girl has good taste), and even in the cluttered midst of our kitchen renovation project (more on that below) I have managed to find a few of the Christmas scented candles I bought on sale last year and have them ready for lighting at a moment's notice.

But the biggest reason November ranks so high in my list of favorite months is the spirit it naturally inspires to think about blessings instead of wants, to focus on what I have instead of what I think I need.  And so in the spirit of November and Thanksgiving, I am going to try (and try really hard) to have a few blog posts about the little things I am thankful for.   Here's my first batch...

I am thankful for fall holidays spent with my sweet little family and enjoyed with our friends.  Here are a few pictures from Halloween 2013, with Annie sporting her "baa baa" costume.

I am thankful for a husband who has the skill - and the patience! - to do a complete kitchen renovation essentially on his own.  I now know what gutting a kitchen looks, and feels, like.

I am thankful for Annie's bathtime selfies.
You know, cause they're cute.

And her recently found love of smiling for the camera. (I may not be so thankful for this later on, but for now it sure does make taking her picture easier).

And that's just a start.  We have lots to be thankful for in this house of ours.  I plan to do my best to remind myself of those things.  Daily.  So here's to being thankful...and to blogging again!